Biggar and District Community Heritage Ltd.

Little Mitchellwood, Biggar

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Little Mitchellwood, Biggar Spring 2006
Little Mitchellwood, Biggar Spring 2006
Volunteers clearing Little Mitchellwood 2005
Constructing Paths 2005

The Little Mitchellwood Project

This was the first project of BDCH and involved the restoration of a neglected piece of woodland on the edge of Biggar (Lindsaylands Road, corner of Langlees Road) into a fine small woodland recreational area with wildlife conservation interest.  The woodland is leased from Lord Clydesmuir, at a peppercorn rent, for a period of 50 years.  The name of the wood is derived from Elizabeth Mitchell who planted the wood some 60 years ago.  This first project was supported by Leader+, Awards for All, and Forward Scotland.  The balance of the funding was given by sponsors who kindly donated goods and services and by a small indefatigable band of volunteers who donated their valuable time.. 

In all weathers, the volunteers worked energetically to clear old, dead remains of trees and shrubs and also clear rubbish and rank vegetation.  Paths, suitable for wheelchair access, have been created, an entrance and drystane dyke built, new trees and shrubs planted and some seating provided.  Children from the local primary school helped in the planting of spring bulbs.  Little Mitchellwood was opened to the public in the late summer of 2008 when the work was completed and the new planting established.

There was an emphasis on ensuring a wide range of indigenous plant species and on creating a suitable habitat for wildlife.  Wildlife is encouraged by the provision of bird and bat nesting boxes, by log piles for other small animals and by including trees and shrubs to provide berries and fruit.  Signs on plants will help both young and old in identification and encourage school pupils to learn more about nature.

Little Mitchellwood, Biggar Spring 2006

Miss Elizabeth B Mitchell.

The woodland owes it name to the memory of Miss Elizabeth Mitchell (1880-1980) who planted the woodland, which was apart of her estate, as she believed strongly in providing open spaces in the proximity of housing estates, which the wood adjoins.  She was the first lady town planner in Scotland and the then owner of the Langlees Estate, bought by her father when she was a child.  For many years she lived at Langlees House after early years in Edinburgh, before spending her final years in Stirling.  In her time Miss Mitchell had been involved with the Rowntree Trust (while she was at Oxford University), and the development of the new town of Letch worth.   She was instrumental in the development of Scotland’s first new town, East Kilbride.

It was believed she had gifted the woodland to the town of Biggar, which then was an independent town with its own provost.  That was not the case and it was sold along with the rest of the Langlees estate to the late Lord Clydesmuir (Ronald).  In 2004, the present Lord Clydesmuir (David) granted a 50 year lease at a peppercorn rent, to BDCH to restore the woodland as a community resource.

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