What can we say about 2023?


We still don't know how our wee project has achieved worldwide acclaim from what was once a place of opprobrium, but what we do know is how much life and interest has been brought back to the once forgotten cemetery.


We have reunited over 20 families this year to once long lost families, learned about the life's of many within the cemetery from their family and have even put a face to what was once just a number.

Then we took parental care of our bees with the help of Chris, our lovely Motherwell fireman, earlier last year and to say they have settled in is an understatement.  Hopefully we will have some honey to sell this year which will help fund the Fireman's benevolent fund, so look out for our Pure Dead Brilliant Honey 


In early Spring had the most amazing meeting with Jane Mathers, of Magical Nature Stories who was introduced to us by Margaret from Spotlight Shotts,

Who would have ever guessed that the most amazing, beautiful and heart pulling stories and performances would have come from that meeting on that warm Spring weekend morning and be listened to by many at the Edinburgh Story Telling Festival



To received the news that we had been selected as one of the National Lottery Good Cause Projects 2023 was amazing, but never in our wildest dreams did we think that we would be nominated Scottish Project of the Year 2023.  I still don't think it has fully sunk in yet to be honest.  


The trophy has pride of place in Lottie our Greenhouse.



The installation of North Lanarkshire's First WooWoo Composting loo was completed on 6th March 2024, which will enable people to stay a wee bit longer, and not get caught short in the trees.

Funded by Scottish Power's Renewable EKF Funding, supplied by WooWoo Waterless Toilet Systems, and installed by Xoli Wastewater Solutions 




Finally and unforeseen, but not through the lack of trying, our cemetery was recently recognised as a Commonwealth War Graves site

Rhona, through determination and persistence, worked hard to convince others that we had WW1 soldiers who deserved acknowledgement  and with the amazing research carried out by Terry Denham from 'In From the Cold Project' in November we received  the most amazing emails and telephone calls I've ever had.  Patrick Tierney lair 317,  had been declared the most recent additional to the list of fallen soldiers.  

To think the project had all begun due to my GGG uncle Robbie MacDonald and our visit to his grave at Villers Station Cemetery in Villers-au-Bois.  We went to his grave to find him named, remembered and cared for, and now our Hartwood soldiers will have the same recognition, dignity and honour.



So what does 2024 bring?


If anything, 2023 has shown us that anything is possible if we put our minds to it ... so watch this space