The Cumbernauld Community Memorial Peace Garden, in North Lanarkshire was dedicated as the latest Centenary Field in Scotland on May 22.
Fields in Trust, in partnership with poppyscotland, is delivering the Centenary Fields programme to protect war memorial playing fields, parks and green spaces in memory of those who served or lost their lives during World War I.
Participating in the event were Stuart McDonald, Member of Parliament for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East along with Jamie Hepburn MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, The unveiling was supported by the Valhalla Explorer Scout Unit from Kildrum Parish Church in Cumbernauld.
Centenary Fields is UK-wide programme providing a unique way to commemorate the centenary of World War I. It gives land owners, the opportunity to dedicate space to remember the sacrifices of those who gave their lives during the conflict, but also to ensure that future generations have valuable green space to enjoy as a living legacy. Sites protected through the programme can be war memorial parks or recreation grounds, memorial gardens, parks and recreation grounds that contain war memorials or other significant green spaces.
Cumbernauld Community Memorial Peace Garden has been created as new recreational space from a formerly vacant and overgrown area of land to establish a war memorial in a place that has not had one before now. The community effort to create a new memorial garden has been led by Cumbernauld Environmental Society, with the involvement of all sections of the local community including Schools; Scouts and Guides; Army and Air Force cadets; individual volunteers alongside many local businesses.
Fields in Trust Chief Executive Helen Griffiths comments “This programme is a fitting way for us to mark the sacrifices made by so many in World War I whilst looking to the future through a living remembrance. We are delighted that communities across the UK are embracing Centenary Fields, commemorating the centenary of World War I for local people in a way they can appreciate forever. We look forward to many more landowners following their lead.”
In addition to the Cumbernauld event there were similar unveilings in different parts of the UK last weekend; Bellvue Park, Wrexham marked the dedication of recreational space as a Centenary Field just as we approach the 100th anniversary the Battle of Mametz Wood which saw thousands killed from the Royal Welch Fusiliers. A plaque was was also unveiled at Redoubt Gardens, Eastbourne home to a tree and plaque honouring the memory of former Eastbourne resident and World War I veteran Henry Allingham who died in 2009 aged 113.
A further event in Northern Ireland in July will mark the protection of Bentra Golf Course as a Centenary Field and safeguard this recreational land in perpetuity. Bentra Golf Course & Whitehead Diamond Jubilee Wood was home to the Whitehead Aerodrome from 1915 to 1917, the first military aviation facility in Ireland.