Let our parks flourish!

Beveridge Park
Beveridge Park

A PROJECT celebrating international poetry, an outdoor gym and a community food and wildlife garden are just a few of the initiatives helping to breathe new life into a popular Kirkcaldy park.

And Beveridge Park is also hoping to retain its coveted Green Flag status when judges visit later this month.

Scott Clelland and Ian Ferguson

Scott Clelland and Ian Ferguson

Speaking ahead of the visit, Scott Clelland, area parks team leader (Kirkcaldy area), told The Press it was first awarded a Green Flag in 2010 - and has been the only park in Fife to achieve the prestigious accolade.

He said: “This year we are going for flags for Ravenscraig and Beveridge Parks, and there are a number of projects and works ongoing within the three parks to help bring them up to the standards

“As Beveridge Park already has a Green Flag it is all about retaining that standard - but it’s not just about Fife Council and what it is doing.

“It’s about how we work with local communities and find new and creative ways of maintaining the parks in Kirkcaldy and prioritising what needs to be done.”

At Beveridge Park, a project to create a poetry stone circle has been underway since last September.

It is being carried out by Kinghorn sculptor Kenny Munro along with the Beveridge Park Development Group (BPDG),

Ian Ferguson, chairman, explained: “Kenny thought it would be nice to use a poem by Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore which relates to the trees and incorporate it into a stonework feature in the park.

‘‘There is an area which has a circular group of trees and we thought this would be the ideal place to have the stones.”

The poem states: “Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.”

The stones are expected to be in place by the end of the month.

Another project underway is the installation of an outdoor green gym thanks to funding through the Scottish Government’s Fairer Scotland initiative.

It will include eight pieces of equipment - two skiers, two space walkers, a body twister, leg press, horseback rider and a chest press and pull down combo.

Scott said: “We already have a couple of outdoor gyms in Fife - in Leven and Lochore Meadows - so they were the template.

‘‘We had to find the funding to be able to install one in Kirkcaldy and after discussions with the BPDG we submitted a bid to the Fairer Scotland Fund. As well as Beveridge Park, we are also looking to have outdoor gyms in the Gallatown and Templehall areas.

“The outdoor gym is about providing an opportunity for people using the park - not everyone has the financial resources to afford to go to a gym, so this is a great way of being able to keep fit for free! It allows people to exercise outdoors in nice surroundings.”

Another exciting development is the Kaleyard Community Food and Wildlife Garden which is being created within the walled garden in the north west corner of Beveridge Park.

The idea was initiated by people living around the park, and the project is a joint venture between BPDG and Fife Diet.

It has a grant of £9977 from Awards for All Scotland and has also received money from Fife Council as well as funds raised from the Kaleyard ceilidh.

Organisers were keen to find an area where they could meet and grow their own food and which would also provide children with a safe environment where they could learn about biodiversity and food production. The Kaleyard garden also offers a venue for hosting children’s gardening clubs, community feasts, workshops and other events.

Scott added: “Beveridge Park is a Victorian park which was gifted to the people of Kirkcaldy in 1890 and while it has been here for generations, there is continual change. It might take a year or two for the developments to be seen by the public but we are working closely with a variety of groups to improve the facilities.”