Falkirk musician’s lyrics take pride of place as new community asset opens

Tune with a view: Battlefield band legend Brian McNeill jams with Falkirk secondary school pupils
Tune with a view: Battlefield band legend Brian McNeill jams with Falkirk secondary school pupils
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A neglected Braes woodland has been transformed into a thriving community greenspace.

More than £200,000 was spent and over 10,000 new trees planted regenerating the old colliery site near Hallglen where Policy Bing once stood.

It was officially opened last Friday by legendary musician and Battlefield Band founder Brian McNeill.

The singer-songwriter unveiled a new viewing area where a line from his song ‘Lads o’ The Fair’, about the Falkirk Tryst, is immortalised in stone paving overlooking the town where he was born.

The area has been transformed into a community space with new paths, seating areas, signage and litter bins to encourage families to use the Lionthorn Woodlands and surrounding areas.

Five hectares of woodland have been planted with two viewing points created over the Union Canal and the Ochils.

The £209,000 project was funded by Falkirk Council, Callendar Estate, The Forestry Commission, Falkirk Environment Trust and Veolia, with help from Central Scotland Forest Trust (CSFT)

Falkirk Council’s convenor of leisure, tourism and community, Councillor Adrian Mahoney, said more work would be carried out at the site in the future.

He added: “The Policy Bing is becoming an important area of greenspace between the Lionthorn and Hallglen housing estates acting as a link to the neighbouring Callendar Woods and the impressive Callendar Park.

“I’m delighted that Brian McNeill gave permission for part of his song to be used at the viewpoint and for him to travel to Falkirk to perform it to guests at the launch.”

CSFT chief executive Simon Rennie said: “With support from our partners we have managed to transform a neglected area of land into a greenspace with excellent views and beautiful surroundings.”