A BRIGHTER future may be on ther horizon for a shabby section of The Leasowes after ambitious plans were agreed.

At their AGM at St Peters, Hiplands Road, The Leasowes friends group, presented their vision for the regeneration of this Grade I listed historic landscape and nature reserve.

Well loved for its beauty and tranquillity, areas of this popular green space, both at the entrance and car parking area, are in need of an upgrade.

This has been made worse by the old wardens base, vacated in 2020, deteriorating and being near to collapse.

Th egroup also believes the lack of toilets and café deter people from visiting and the health walking groups, once some of the largest in the country, have been disbanded.

David Chaffey, from the friends group, said: "We were blown away by the attendance levels, we actually ran out of chairs and some were left standing.

"At the conclusion of the presentation, a show of hands indicated the support we have from the community."

The proposals, compiled in conjunction with other community groups, include a new visitors centre, changes to internal and external directional signage, improved entrance, car park, children's play area and ultimately the restoration of a 500m section of the Lapal Canal.

Mr Chaffey added: "This site is of national importance, being an 18th century landscape created by William Shenstone, which has now matured into a haven for wildlife and fauna.

"It has lots of potential to be a significant visitor attraction which would benefit, not only visitors to The Leasowes, but by boosting the local economy, the community as a whole."

The local council has been in discussion with the group for some time and is currently preparing plans for some of the proposals in order to apply for outline planning permission.

Once in place, the current derelict building can be removed and funding sought for the development.