Cuningar Loop Woodland Park, Rutherglen


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Parks and leisure
Forestry Commission Scotland, South Lanarkshire Council / Clyde Gateway
November 2016
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Outdoor space to regenerate Glasgow's East End

We developed a 15-hectare park at Cuningar Loop, for Forestry Commission Scotland in partnership with South Lanarkshire Council / Clyde Gateway Regeneration Company. The project formed part of the 2014 Commonwealth Games Legacy to regenerate Glasgow's East End. The site was transformed from a derelict stretch of land into an attractive community green space with trails, picnic areas and play facilities.

A key element of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games legacy was to increase active lifestyles and participation in sport in an area where life expectancy is 7 years below the UK average. Cuningar Loop is located in Rutherglen, across the river from the Commonwealth Games Athletes' Village at Dalmarnock.

It has been linked to the former Athletes Village by a new bridge, also built by Robertson Civil Engineering.

Innovative remediation of the site

The development of Cuningar Loop was a major civil engineering project, as the site had previously been used as a quarry, an illegal mine and for landfill. The challenge was to create a safe, accessible site without prohibitively expensive removal of contaminated materials. It required considerable remediation, enabling works and restoration of the growing medium to be able to support a woodland park.

Due to its proximity to the River Clyde, there were chemical and biological constraints that required a soil science approach to create a 'safe and accessible' site. Trial proposals were implemented, monitored and refined, and the results used to develop the main contract works.

A vital component of the works was the formation of a 460m haul road to provide the main site access and to service a new crane base. The crane base was required for the construction of a new bridge that would provide pedestrian access across the River Clyde.

Putting nature first

We worked closely with SEPA to make sure that the correct soil mix was used, in order to allow wildlife to thrive. The soil and compost went through a "riddling" process, which introduces air, improving the quality.

Additionally, we liaised with the Clyde Fishermen's Association to ensure wildlife in the river was not affected by our works.

A legacy of outdoor spaces

Working with Gillespies (masterplanners and landscape architects), Davies White (adventure play design) and Serious Climbing (bouldering park), we created an extensive path network, adventure play facilities, a bike skills area, Scotland's first outdoor bouldering park, a woodland workout area, large meadow and picnic areas, an outdoor classroom, and a riverside boardwalk. The bouldering park was highly commended at the Concrete Society Awards 2015.

Cuningar Loop is one of 13 Commonwealth Woods, designated as an important part of the legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. They provide outdoor spaces where people can enjoy free events and activities, get active, or just go for a walk in the fresh air.

We also used the project as a learning experience for local school pupils. Get into Engineering was a joint venture between Robertson, Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS), Clyde Gateway and the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). The 10-week programme for six 5th year students from Stonelaw High School and Trinity High School gave pupils the opportunity to work on a practical project with students from UWS mentoring them throughout the process. The programme gave students a valuable insight into the industry and was well received by all involved.

Through the project we also supported young people through the charity Action for Children. They work with vulnerable and neglected young people and their Youthbuild training programme helps unemployed young people in Glasgow's most deprived areas get experience in construction. To support the groundworks element of their course we created an area on site where the students could safely undertake a number of activities overseen by our staff, including pipe installation, monoblocking and cement work.

To be able to bring the young people to a live construction project and be welcomed by Robertson and be able to carry out activities like this has been so beneficial to them completing their training
Alan Bowman
Action for Children Project Worker

Increasing active lifestyles

The woodland park at Cuningar Loop now provides a valuable urban green space for residents in the surrounding communities as well as visitors from further afield.

It provides a rare, natural leisure space within the city with an opportunity to get active and be inspired by what is available.

There were 31,000 users to the park in its first month and it is hoped that the park and its facilities will attract over 100,000 visitors per year by 2020.


The project won the Community Award at the Saltire Civil Engineering Awards 2017.

Procurement route

The project was carried out under the Scape National Major Works framework. Scape Group is a public sector owned built environment specialist offering a full suite of national frameworks and innovative design solutions.