Men’s Shed for Braehead Community Garden

A Men’s Shed will be opening in Stirling in January 2018.  Braehead Community Garden has joined the Men’s Shed movement and converted a shipping container into a workshop.   A public meeting is being held on Wednesday 17 January for any interested local “shedders”. Volunteers are in the process of kitting it out with all sort of tools for making and mending all sorts of things.

Braehead & Broomridge Community Development Trust has secured funding to open a “Men’s Shed” at Braehead Community Garden in 2018.

The Men’s Shed Movement originated in Australia in the 1990s and has since spread worldwide.  Men’s Sheds are similar to garden sheds – they are a place to pursue practical interests at leisure, to practice skills and enjoy making and mending.  The difference is that garden sheds and their activities are often solitary in nature, while Men’s Sheds are the opposite.  They’re about social connections and friendship building, sharing skills and knowledge, and of course a lot of laughter.

Volunteers at Braehead Community Garden have already converted one of the garden’s large shipping containers into a workshop and secured funding to purchase tools, thanks to a grant from Foundation Scotland and Stirling Council’s Community Pride Fund.

Organisers are holding a meeting for interested “Shedders” later this month, with the Shed opening in February.  Initially there will be a weekly two-hour drop-in workshop, but once shedders know what they’re doing, they’ll be able to access the workshop whenever they wish.   Membership of the Shed will be just £12 per year.

Shedders can work on their own projects or get involved with community projects, helping maintain green spaces or building things for schools, libraries or individuals in need. Activities in Sheds vary greatly depending on what activities shedders wish to pursue, but could include woodworking, metalworking, repairing and restoring, electronics or model building.   Sheds attract people of all age and skill levels.

men's shed for stirling
Men’s Shed men: volunteer Jim Kirk, who coordinated the shed conversion, with Trustee Chris Kane

Braehead Community Garden Trustee, and Stirling East Councillor, Chris Kane, says,

“We already know from other men’s sheds around Scotland that men who are involved report living healthier, happier and more connected lives.   Loneliness and isolation can be as hazardous to our health as inactivity or smoking, and men typically find it more difficult to build social connections than women, particularly when they’re older and retired.  Sheds are about meeting like-minded people, having fun, sharing skills and gaining a renewed sense of purpose and belonging.  Braehead Community Garden is already a great social focus within the community and opening a Men’s Shed is a logical next step.  I can’t wait to see what friendships form and creations emerge from this project.”

Read more from Chris on the Men’s Shed Project

While the focus will initially be on starting a Men’s Shed, organisers hope that if there is a demand, that a “Woman’s Shed” and a “Mixed Shed” will follow shortly. Shedders will automatically become members of Braehead Community Garden, allowing them to take part  in the many social and community events held throughout the year.  Shedders do not have to live in Braehead to join.

Potential Shedders are invited to find out more at a public meeting, held in Braehead Community Garden’s clubhouse, on Wednesday 17th January at 7.30pm.   There will also be a drop-in event at the garden workshop on Tuesday 23rd January from 10am-noon.

The shed is always on the lookout for good quality tools – if you’ve any to donate, please email

For more information on the Men’s Shed movement, log onto the UK Association’s website or the Scottish Association’s website.

Braehead 2017 Pumpkin Festival


On Saturday 28th October 2017, Braehead Community Garden will be holding its second Pumpkin Festival – and you and your family are invited to join in the fun.

Pumpkin Carving Workshop.  11am-1pm

img_1919If your carving skills stop at triangles for noses and circles for eyes, then bring your pumpkin to our PUMPKIN CARVING WORKSHOP between 11am and 1pm.  We’ll have carving kits, templates and some artistic volunteers to help you create a pumpkin lantern to impress.

The event is FREE for Garden Access Pass holders and their children, £2 for non-members.  Don’t forget to bring your own pumpkin!

Pumpkin Cookery Workshop.  1pm-2.30pm

img_1934Ever wondered if you could do something with the leftover pumpkin after a carving session?  Come along to our cookery workshop and get some inspiration for recipes and then help creating delightful dishes!  Free for members, £2 for non-members.  Places are limited and this event MUST be booked by emailing 

Pumpkin Show (entries to be submitted at Community Garden between 1.30pm and 3pm)

img_1936Enter your carved pumpkin into our PUMPKIN SHOW and you could win a prize in one of our show categories.  Hand your entry into the garden and we’ll judge the best, before showing all pumpkins in the evening lantern show.  All pumpkins can be picked up on Sunday 30th between 1pm and 2pm.  You can enter in any or all of the following categories:


  • Scariest Pumpkin
  • Funniest Pumpkin
  • Best Pumpkin that references a Movie
  • Best Pumpkin carved by a (supervised) under-10 year old
  • Best Pumpkin carved by a (supervised) under-15 year old

The winners will be announced and on display at the lantern festival.

Pumpkin Lantern Festival.  6pm-8pm

Come join us in the garden for a dazzling pumpkin lantern show.  All of the pumpkins entered into our show will be lined up and lighting up the darkness in a spooky show of the best and scariest pumpkins in Stirling.  We’ll also be dooking for apples and having some other fun Halloween activities in our Polytunnel.  Entry is by donation.  Teas, coffees and home baking will also be available.


Kerse Road Bridge Closure Gets Go-Ahead

Kerse Road Bridge
Kerse Road Bridge

Network Rail have cleared a significant hurdle in their plan to fully replace the bridge over the rail tracks at Kerse Road.  Stirling Council’s “Environment and Housing” Committee voted 4-2 to grant a “road closure” order, adding to the Planning Permission Network Rail were granted last month.  The order was granted subject to the successful conclusion of a programme of works to mitigate the effects on road safety and community inconvenience during the closure.  Kerse Road Bridge is on one of the city’s main arterial routes, accommodating around 22,000 vehicle movements every day.

2018 timetable for works

A temporary bridge will be built to ensure pedestrian and cycle access will be maintained at all times.  Motor vehicles will face the following restrictions:

  • January – March 2018:  the route will be reduced to one lane, accommodating traffic heading OUT of the city.
  • April – September 2018:  the route will be fully closed while the current two lane bridge is replaced with a new three-lane bridge
  • October – December 2018:  the route will reopen to two way traffic, with narrow lanes and speed restrictions
  • Christmas 2018:  All restrictions will be lifted and the route will be open.  There will be two further weekend closures to allow finishing work including road marking, and to remove all of the equipment associated with the project.

Official Diversion Route

Stirling Council are legally obliged to designate an official diversion route for all traffic.  This route must start and finish at the closure point.  For illustration, the official route would require drivers who wish to get from Aldi to Waitrose to travel out of the city to the motorway junction roundabout (the one with Granada Services) and then travel down the Glasgow Road and onto the Burghmuir Road.

Mitigation Measures for Braehead & Broomridge

Everybody, including council officials, recognise that drivers with local knowledge will use their own diversion routes, meaning some roads are expected to see a significant increase in traffic volumes.  This includes the Pike Road-Broom Road-Linden Avenue corridor.  Stirling Council and Network Rail have been working closely with the local Community Council and have agreed the following mitigation measures:

  • Pike Road:  Speed activated signs warning drivers going faster than 30mph to slow down.
  • Broom Road:  a new zebra crossing to link the two bus stops at Carrick Court
  • Linden Avenue:  a new zebra crossing near to the junction with Afton Court
  • Linden Avenue:  a new zebra crossing near to the junction with Valleyfield Place
  • Pike Road & Linden Avenue:  more prominent signage informing drivers that there is a 7.5 tonne weight restriction meaning only vehicles making deliveries within the area over this weight may use the roads.


Stirling East Councillor Chris Kane says,

“Network Rail initially presented a totally unacceptable thirteen month full closure of the bridge. Through a lot of hard work from Stirling Council officers and intense lobbying by Braehead Community Councillors and elected councillors, this has been negotiated to a six month full closure with significant mitigation measures on affected roads.

Road safety is my number one priority and the proposed series of mitigation measures will go a long way to securing this, as will the clear commitment from Network Rail and Stirling Council to spring into immediate action if something unexpected happens. 

This will have to be monitored extremely carefully and regular, meaningful communication with communities and affected businesses throughout the closure.   Network Rail have been told that their level of engagement with businesses in Springkerse is not up to scratch and they have committed to an immediate improvement in communication.

While this closure will cause a huge inconvenience for local residents and Springkerse companies, it is important to remember that Stirling is open for business and ready to give our usual welcome to tourists and day trippers.  The further away from the closure you are the more time you’ll have to react to the diversionary signs.  Visitors traveling to or from the motorway network really shouldn’t notice much, if any, time added to their journey. 

Nobody thinks this is an ideal situation but at the end of the process we’re going to have a bigger, better bridge and an electrified railway with better, faster more environmentally friendly trains.”