The New Lanark Roof Garden

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Vistors at New Lanark Roof Garden near the falls of clyde wildlfe reserve - view towards New Lanark Mill HotelThe decision to develop a garden on the roof of Mill No.2 was influenced to a large extent by Robert Owen’s views on the importance of the environment and natural history. A pleasant environment, he believed, was essential for happy, healthy communities. His plans for a better and healthier society invariably included gardens and landscaped recreational areas.

The woodland footpaths, or “promenades” laid out by Owen on the hillside above the village can still be enjoyed to this day, as can the “diversified views of a beautiful country”.   In a sign of the times, however, the area once used as the public vegetable garden, and which was used in the second half of the 20th century a football field, has now been appropriated for use as the visitor car-park, this being the only available area in which to accommodate the vehicles of the many thousands of visitors attracted by New Lanark’s fascinating history and beautiful landscape setting.

Quote by Robert OwenRobert Owen established an innovative system of education in New Lanark. He believed firmly in the crucial formative influence on a child’s character of environment and educational opportunities, and advocated the importance of allowing young children to learn by exploring and discovering the world around them. He was enthusiastic about the teaching of natural history, and this was an important part of their curriculum. The children were taught to understand the concepts of animal, vegetable and mineral. Visitors to the New Lanark Roof Garden therefore, will encounter representatives of these three kingdoms of the natural world.  In addition to the plants, the water, stones and slate, there are sculptural and carved representations of a variety of birds, animals and insects inhabiting the garden, all of which might be discovered in the woodlands and river valley which form the landscape setting for the village of New Lanark. Plus children visiting the Roof Garden are encouraged to explore it and discover its hidden sculptures with a mini nature trail quiz available free of charge from the New Lanark Visitor Centre reception.

Further information regarding the flora and fauna of the local area is available from the Scottish Wildlife Trust, which owns and manages the beautiful Falls of Clyde Reserve from its Visitor Centre in the former Mill Dyeworks down by the river.

LEADER - South Lanarkshire Rural PartnershipThis project is part-financed by the Scottish Government, European Community and the South Lanarkshire Rural Partnership LEADER 2007-2013 ProgrammeThe Scottish GovernmentThe European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development - Europe investing in rural areas

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