In a press statement today, Jerome Mayhew of Go Ape said:

“Having taken into account National Trust for Scotland’s request that we try
to avoid constructing additional buildings in the park, we have carefully
explored the possibility of using a part of the existing Knowehead Lodge as
our customer reception and equipment store. However, we have concluded that
the amount of work required to adapt the building to incorporate our
reception area would be too extensive and impractical. We have therefore
decided, after much thought, not to go ahead with building a course in
Pollok Park.

“We are obviously disappointed that this will prevent us from providing a
healthy and exciting new recreational activity for Pollok Park and for
Glasgow and would like to take this opportunity to thank Glasgow City
Council and the many people in the local area who have openly supported us.”

Robert Booth added:

“Obviously we regret Go Ape’s decision not to proceed with their facility
at Pollok Park. Our main objective was to secure an additional attraction
for park users at no cost or financial risk to the Council. The loss of
such an exciting venue for health and recreational activity within the park
and of course the 2000 annual free places which would have been available to
Glasgow groups young and old is therefore a major disappointment.

“Notwithstanding this we are delighted that the Company’s future plans
continue to include Scotland with their 2nd site scheduled to open early
next year and wish them well with their ongoing discussions with the
National Trust for Scotland on the potential opening of their 3rd site in
one of the Trust’s own locations.

“The public can be assured that the Council will continue with its
commitment to improve its parks and open spaces by providing quality
facilities everyone can enjoy and make use of. ”

Save Pollok Park tonight issued the following statement:

“We’re delighted with this outcome and we want to thank all our supporters
for sticking with us over the last eighteen months. Our campaign was backed
by thousands of Glasgow residents who wanted to keep Pollok Park’s North
Wood as the haven of peace the Maxwell family envisaged when they gifted it
to the citizens of Glasgow. It’s just a pity it’s taken so long to reach
the obvious conclusion.”

“Throughout this saga the Council failed to consult its taxpayers properly
or listen to protests. They did not address the legal and operational issues
which we believe made the proposal a non-starter anyway. A great deal of
public money and time has been wasted in futile posturing.”

“Go Ape was never part of a health agenda as the Council claimed but simply
a crass attempt to cash in on a dear green place. The council has now lost
two major park schemes to popular protest and they need to rethink the
commercialisation of such open spaces or risk further defeats.”

“In March 2008 we characterised the council’s handling of the planning
application as ‘slapdash and incompetent’ as they failed to consider key
evidence on a number of planning issues. For instance they did not consult
NTS which has the lead conservation role. ”

“In the last 12 months we have pointed out to council officers many other
problems with the plan including the fact that this is Common Good land and
cannot be leased without Court consent; precedent showed this approval was
unlikely. The Chief Executive’s department failed to respond and we now call
upon the appropriate council committee to investigate these failings which
have cost the taxpayer and Go Ape dear.”

“We are also critical of the NTS. As conservator of the Park they failed in
their duty to oppose the scheme vigorously when legal opinion obtained by
Save Pollok Park clearly showed they had an obligation to do so. Had they
made their position clear from the start the scheme would have been dead in
the water.”

Bill Fraser

Save Pollok Park

Tel: 0141-424 0447

Mob: 07775 832 461

Fax: 0141-626 4235

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