The Friends of Victoria Park are aiming to transform one of Scotland’s most significant “lost gardens” into one of the country’s finest ferneries.

Volunteers are needed from 7pm today (Wednesday), and tomorrow for site preparation, and from 10am on June 1 to help experts plant the first delivery of ferns.

Members of the British Pteridological Society (BPS) will be on site on Saturday to share their expertise on the flowerless plant.

More than a century ago in the 1880s, workers clearing ground to develop Victoria Park discovered a remarkable collection of tree fossils – dating back 325 million years.

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The authorities undertook to cover these with a fossil house to protect them rather than have them moved to a museum.

The quarry area surrounding the fossil house, that opened in 1890, was developed into a rock garden with a small pond, a bridge, and interesting footpaths along deep crevasses.

It is said that a team of more than 30 gardeners looked after the area throughout the 20th century, but over the past decade it had become completely overgrown.

The pond filled up with vegetation and dried up impacting on the fossil house itself which depends on the pond to draw water away from the building and prevent the ancient fossils being affected by damp.

Over the past few years, The Friends of Victoria Park have been working to improve the area.

In 2017, a number of volunteer days to clear some of the overgrown site were held with the support of Glasgow City Council.

Major clearing work was undertaken and further work is being carried out this year and next.

In March 2018, the pond was re-established after the group successfully obtained funding.

And next month, the first order of ferns are to be planted, thanks to another cash boost.

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The idea to create the fernery at the Whiteinch site was put forward by former chairman, landscape architect Richard East.

Andy MacGregor, of BPS, said: “We are very excited by this visionary proposal to turn the old quarry area into an outdoor fernery.

“A more ideal location for this could hardly be imagined. Most obviously, the proposed fern plantings will complement the fern-related fossil history of the grove itself.

“In addition, it will reflect the site’s equally visionary conservation by our Victorian forebears who, as it happens, had a peculiar (if wholly understandable) obsession with ferns. It was this same obsession that inspired the establishment, a few miles away, of the Kibble Palace’s tree fern collection in the 1880s, around the same time as Fossil Grove was discovered.”