Hundreds turned out at Palacerigg protest

Around 200 people turned out to protest North Lanarkshire Council's decision to remove the animals from Palacerigg
Around 200 people turned out to protest North Lanarkshire Council's decision to remove the animals from Palacerigg

Around 200 people attended a peaceful project against North Lanarkshire Council’s decision to dispose of the animal collection at Palacerigg Country Park.

Hosted by the Facebook page ‘Save The Animal Park at Palacerigg Country Park’ it took place from noon-2pm on Sunday.

This followed a decision that was taken at last month’s council budget meeting to remove the animals in order to save £69,000 over the next two years.

Many protestors felt this goes against the original spirit of the park as it was conceived by the late naturalist/conservationist David Stephen.

Organiser Margaret Moiyes said: “I would like to thank everyone for coming along and making the protest rally at Palacerigg such a fantastic success.

“This includes Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Jamie Hepburn and Cumbernauld East councillor Tom Johnston who spoke at the rally, even though it was impromptu it was really appreciated, plus councillors Claire Barclay, Cathie Johnston, Mark Kerr and William Goldie who were also in attendance.

“This is just the start of the battle, our fight continues. We need to keep spreading the word and keeping this cause at the top of the agenda in the town until our voice is heard by North Lanarkshire Council.”

Mr Hepburn added: “I would like to thank Margaret Moiyes for organising the protest.

“There was a great turnout from the local community sending a clear message to the council administration that we don’t want to lose our animal collection and see the downgrading of our local country park.”

The council plans to use the land for a new outdoor play area.

It is understood around £300,000 has been earmarked, with lottery/heritage funding also being looked at for further improvements at the park.

A council spokesman previously stated earlier this month: “While we appreciate the animals are popular with visitors, the council has to make significant savings to continue to deliver essential local services.

“The park remains open for business, and the council is committed to the future of the park. A new play area will be created at Palacerigg, with work expected to start on site in May.

“A consultation will begin in April to develop a master plan for the long-term future of the park, and we will be asking the public for their ideas.”