This evening, I am focusing on Linn Park, a public recreational area, south of Glasgow.
Superficially, the park is just an extended recreation area which is very popular with dog walkers. However, drill down a layer or two, and the park reveals a complex and evolving ecology, industrial history from the 17th to 20th centuries and even age-old linguistic history evidenced in the name.
Linn could be derived for either Llyn, which was the Brittonic ( Welsh) name for lake or linne meaning pool in Gaelic. Brittonic was spoken in S.W.Scotland during the first and early second millennia.
The grass field shown immediately below has not been ploughed for at least 60 years and is now managed as a traditional meadow with an annual hay crop. Here can be found long grass, scrub, hedgerows and woodlands. Plants include Ox-Eye, Yellow Rattle, Common Knapweed, Buttercups, Clover. Bird’s-Foot, Trefoils, Bedstraws, Orchids and such wildflowers as Betony, Meadow Crane’s Bill, Ragged Robin and Field Scabious.
The park is home to 28 hectares of woodland of which 8.8 hectares are deemed to be ‘ancient’ with records of such dating back to 1750. The current tree population dates from the 20th century. There is a programme in place to replace the existing trees with native, Scottish varieties. The woodlands and riverbanks provide biodiversity and micro-habitats. Wild birds include Great Spotted Woodpecker, Wren and Long-tailed Tit.
The park contains remains of the following;
- Paper Mill
- Meal Mill
- Waulk Mill
- Lime Quarries and Kilns.
- Coal Mines
- Mary Queen of Scots lost the Battle of Langside nearby in 1568.
- Cathcart Castle, built in the 14th century, once stood nearby. It was partially demolished in 1740 and finally removed in the 1980s.
Clearly, this relatively small and concentrated area can satisfy a wide range of interests and activities.