Located just one mile from the hustle and bustle of Glasgow city centre lies an urban oasis – Hamiltonhill Claypits, the Dear Green Place’s only inner-city Local Nature Reserve. Running alongside the Forth and Clyde Canal, the area of the Claypits reserve was originally the home of a clay quarry used in construction of the Canal in the late 1700s but is now home to deer and a variety of bird species – from warblers to peregrine falcons to host of waterfowl.
An incredible 75,000 people live within a 20-minute walk of the Claypits. In an area underserved by green spaces, having this reserve on their doorstep is a vital link to nature, wildlife, and access to outdoor space for exercise and mental wellbeing. A new cycling and walking route funded by Sustrans opened in July 2021 which now enables people of all abilities to better access the Claypits
Local Nature Reserve and links to the wider towpath and National Walking and Cycling Network. Future proposed developments – developed through community consultation – include an extension to the path network, boardwalks, redesigning the entrances, picnic area, interpretation boards and a new bridge to enhance access for residents of Firhill, Woodside and Maryhill.
Scottish Canals has worked with Glasgow City Council and Sustrans Scotland to safeguard the Claypits’ future by having it protected as a Local Nature Reserve, securing funding to support sensitive development of the site in partnership with the local community: in 2018, the project took home a Living Waterways Award for the community engagement work. The Claypits Local Nature Reserve Management Group, an independent charity made up entirely of local people, who, in partnership with Friends of Possilpark Greenspace, now work closely with Scottish Canals and Glasgow City Council to protect and maintain the reserve to enhance it for both the wildlife that lives there and for the enjoyment of the local communities and visitors.