‘The Coby’ is now Riccard woodland

Councillor Helen McKenna with school pupils, council officers and elected members at the official opening of Riccard Johnston Woodland - now a new nature walk resource for local families.
Councillor Helen McKenna with school pupils, council officers and elected members at the official opening of Riccard Johnston Woodland - now a new nature walk resource for local families.

A New Stevenston wood - known locally as the Coby - has been dramatically transformed into a “green” leisure asset for local families.

Officially named the Riccard Johnston Woodland, after the former farm holding on the site, the elaborate makeover was aided by a Forestry Commission grant.

The wood on Jerviston Road - said by the council to have become neglected - now includes countryside walks and also specially-created pond habitats for newts, frogs, dragonflies and damselflies.

It’s also home to many insects and animals including roe deer, foxes, buzzards, heron, bullfinches and various species of butterflies.

Meanwhile hedges have been laid to provide an ideal environment for nesting birds, beetles, spiders and wild plants, providing food for butterflies and bumblebees.

The new-look Coby is reckoned set to prove a major asset to both local school-children and families looking to enjoy a pleasant woodland nature walk.

The link with the area’s past is retained in the revamped wood, both in the name, the old farm walls - still clearly visible - and stone features at the gate.

The council’s environment services conmmittee convener, Councillor Helen McKenna,said: “Children from New Stevenston and St Patrick’s Primary Schools are already coming along to learn about nature and the environment at first hand.

“A woodland management Plan will help us ensure the long-term conservation of the Riccard Johnston woodland for generations to come.”

The woodland is also being managed to provide a sustainable source of wood fuel for the North Lanarkshire Biomass Project.