Monarch of Glen Gordon Wood steps down after long reign

Gordon Wood unveils an award in Ferry Glen.       Picture: Gordon McBrearty

Gordon Wood unveils an award in Ferry Glen. Picture: Gordon McBrearty

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A CHARITY worker whose dedication and hard work has transformed a once-overgrown wasteland is to step down from his role as chair of Friends of Ferry Glen.

Gordon Wood, from South Queensferry, devoted a decade to turning the Ferry Glen and Black Braes into a tranquil wooded area that local residents could be proud of. The overhaul was sparked after he spoke to then-lord provost George Grubb about the state of the wasteland. Gordon soon set up Friends of Ferry Glen to address the problem.

At the time, the area – which lies between Station Road and the High Street – was seen as a no-go area, unkempt and unsafe for people to visit.

No stranger to hard work, Gordon helped raise £135,000 to revamp the land, and ten years on it boasts a nature trail, new paths, bridges and is a welcome habitat for plants and wildlife, while also offering picturesque views over the Forth.

But now, after a long and successful reign as chairman which saw the woodland claim a coveted Green Flag award, he has decided to step down to focus on other commitments.

Reluctant to celebrate his achievements, Gordon, 76, said: “As the saying goes, ‘Rome was not built in a day’, there is still unfinished business at the Ferry Glen and the Black Braes, but we are making positive improvements year upon year.”

Gordon – who is married with two children – first moved to Edinburgh more than 25 years ago after landing a management job at a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

He was born in Sheffield and lived in Lancashire before heading north of the Border. Friend Graham Clarkson described him as “a terrific guy who has done a lot, very tenacious – but in a pleasant way”.

Neil McKinley, who is expected to take over the reins at Friends of Ferry Glen next month, said: “Gordon’s legacy is there for everyone to see. Trying to fill Gordon’s shoes will be a tall order.”

Gordon also works with autism charity Pasda and carers support service Vocal, as well as being a member of humanitarian organisation Rotary International.

Community leaders were keen to pay tribute to his efforts.

Almond ward councillor Norman Work said: “Gordon was the driving force behind transforming an overgrown, neglected area in Queensferry into an area which we have all benefited from. His passion and commitment will be missed but we all wish him well in his retirement.”

Keith Giblett, chairman of Queensferry and District Community Council, said: “Gordon will be a hard act to follow and will be missed. I think Queensferry is indebted to Gordon for all his hard work in delivering a fantastic asset in the Ferry Glen.”