IN the heart of Victoria Park lies a treasure trove that whispers secrets from an era long before our time.

A rare collection of fossil trees nestled within Victoria Park has stood as a testament to ancient history, and its preservation just received a significant boost with a triumphant grant of £450,000.

The announcement of this grant from the Scottish Government's Place Fund, which is allocated to councils for use in partnership with communities, businesses and the third sector, marks a pivotal moment in the ongoing efforts to safeguard and cherish the relics of our geological past.

The hard-fought win by trust members, council officers and the Geological Society of Glasgow has resulted in this funding allocation, and I can’t thank them enough.

Their tireless dedication to conserving these 330-million-year-old fossils has been recognised and supported, signalling a new chapter of these majestic remnants.

The Fossil Grove Trust, a trust formed with the noble mission of preserving these ancient treasures, will employ the grant to breathe new life into the infrastructure housing these awe-inspiring remains. The improvement works on the building, home to the remnants of eleven lycopod trees discovered over a century ago, will ensure the longevity and accessibility of this remarkable geological site.

The fund is truly a testament to the community’s commitment to preserving this invaluable heritage.

It will not only enable crucial maintenance but also enhance access for both our immediate community and visitors from afar.

It is a victory for heritage, for community, and for the enduring quest to safeguard the timeless whispers of our planet's history.

With this grant revitalizing the Fossil Grove, it awaits, poised to embrace inquisitive minds and enthusiastic spirits, beckoning them to behold the splendour of an ancient story.

As this is my final column of 2023, I want to wish everyone in Victoria Park and across Glasgow a very Merry Christmas and a joyous New Year.