Muiravonside Improvement Project Receives HLF Boost

Improvement projects underway at Muiravonside Country Park are set to receive a boost from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Falkirk Community Trust is investing over £175,000 from external grants on Muiravonside Country Park, near Whitecross. The money includes an £80,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which distributes money from the National Lottery.

Using the external funding, we aim to:

  • Reopen the old visitors' centre as a new Visitor Hub
  • Add benches and information boards to the site
  • Improve paths and natural habitats
  • Provide space for local people to grow their own food

There will be a number of opportunities for people to get involved through a history research project into the past uses of the site, as well as conservation volunteering with the Countryside Ranger and training in traditional rural crafts and skills such as dry stone walling. There will also be an events programme suitable for the whole family.

Muiravonside is a former country estate, now owned by Falkirk Council and managed and maintained by the Trust. The park - which boasts a cafe, play area and popular petting zoo - attracts around 90,000 visitors every year.

Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Falkirk Council's Spokesman for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, said:

"I'm delighted the Heritage Lottery Fund has given its support to the Muiravonside project. Its £80,000 grant boosts the total amount of grant money now raised for the Park to around £175,000. This will provide a range of improvements across the site. I know staff are keen to get work underway and to hear from local people who want to be involved in some of the projects."

In the future visitors to Muiravonside will be able to munch on a fresh apple in the new ‘Fruits for our Future’ orchard, learn about traditional Scottish rare breeds at the site's New Parks Farm, explore the biodiversity themed Poetry and Sculpture Trail and tire out the kids in new Natural Play areas. The projects will enable local people of all ages to discover more about the history of the people who used the site before it was a country park, both through the research project and through their legacy, a series of interpretive panels which will be installed around the site for every visitor to enjoy.

The skills and experience which participants will gain through working with the Countryside Ranger for the site will help them understand and restore our heritage and encourage more access to the countryside. Improvements to the site enabled by the Heritage Lottery Fund Grant will allow many more people to enjoy exploring the natural and man-made history of this special site.

Other groups helping to fund the Muiravonside project are: Avondale Environmental, Falkirk Environment Trust, The Woodland Trust, Falkirk Council, Peoples Postcode Trust, Forth Valley Orchards and Maddiston Community Council.

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland said:

"Muiravonside Country Park - Learn, Explore and Enjoy is a great project as it shows how local heritage can be a catalyst for lots of different activities and bring people together behind a common purpose. The Heritage Lottery Fund is pleased to support Falkirk Community Trust in its plans to offer training in rural crafts and skills and thanks to National Lottery players, people of all ages will be able to enjoy the history on their own doorstep.”

Published on Thursday, 21st May 2015

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