Glasgow Claypits


designed by /



Location: Type: Nature Paths / Playgrounds / Restorations / Waterfronts / Built: 2022 /
Show on Google Maps / Published on July 8, 2024

The Glasgow Canal is located 1km north of the city centre. It meanders through various disadvantaged and disconnected communities that have suffered historically from some of Scotland’s worst health statistics.

The Claypits was a 17ha post-industrial ‘Vacant and Derelict’ site that straddled the canal. It was a significant barrier to movement and access to the canal corridor was limited. The area was perceived as unsafe due to its overgrown nature, contaminated land and anti-social behaviour.

LUC was originally appointed in 2014 by the Glasgow Regeneration Partnership (Scottish Canals and Glasgow City Council) to lead a collaborative design Charrette entitled ‘What Floats Your Boat?’. This involved an intensive engagement process with members of the local community and stakeholder groups over a 4 day period to establish a shared vision for the area, a cohesive development framework for the wider context, and a Green Infrastructure Masterplan for the Claypits site.

Key principles for the masterplan focused on the creation of a multi-functional greenspace that facilitated improved connectivity and access, encouraged activity and recreation, and enhanced biodiversity, with the overall aim of improving health and wellbeing. The resultant design proposals sought to harness the unique ‘wild’ character of the site, and provide access improvements to allow people to connect with nature.

The design proposals included 1.5km of new paths, bridges, boardwalks, SUDS, play, art and interpretation to encourage activity, exercise and exploration. The proposals, underpinned by the strength of community support and a robust design philosophy, helped secure c. £7.5million from various 3rd party sources with construction delivered 2019 – 2022.

Once designated as Vacant and Derelict Land, the Claypits is now Glasgow’s only inner-city Nature Reserve, which is largely maintained by a volunteer community management group. The site provides access to a semi-natural environment for thousands of people. The community response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Ongoing academic research suggests the project, together with other canal regeneration initiatives, has made a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of the local community.

“Claypits is an important part of a £500m investment in the area which has led to a projected 3% reduction per annum in mortality rate among people living within 500m of the regenerated canal and up to 15% reduction in the risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.”

Jill Malvenan Interim
Head of Regeneration & Development at Scottish Canals

Project Data

Landscape architecture: LUC

Other designers involved in the design of landscape:

Civil and Structural Engineer: David Narro Associates
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: DSSR
SUDS Designer: AECOM
Quantity Surveyor : Thomas & Adamson

Project Location: Hamiltonhill, Glasgow, UK

Design year: 2014 – 2020
Year(s) Built: 2019 – 2022

Manufacturer of playground equipment (if any): Timberplay / Richter

The Streetview may show the condition before the intervention.

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