VOLUNTEERS plan to create one of the finest ferneries in Scotland... but they need help.

Victoria Park's Fossil Grove is to host the new Fernery with the first plants being delivered this week.

Members of the British Pteridological Society will be on site on Saturday, June 1 to share their expertise in planting ferns.

And helpers - with spades, trowels or forks if possible - are needed for planting duties.

Volunteer sessions are from 7pm are in May on Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29 and Thursday 30 for site preparation

From 10am on Saturday, June 1 helpers are needed to work with the fern experts planting the first delivery of ferns just beyond the Fossil House around the pond

The Friends of Victoria Park aims to transform one of Scotland’s most significant ‘lost gardens’ into one of the finest ferneries in Scotland.

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

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

The fossils were subsequently designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest with the Fossil House opening on January 1 1890.

The Friends of Victoria Park approached the council a few years ago with some suggestions on how the quarry area could be improved in a more sustainable way.

Plans include clearing the site of large trees, re-establishing the overgrown pond, developing an access route for wheelchairs and prams, and developing the fernery.

Having raised funds some initial funds from the Area Partnership and Fossil Grove Trust, the first order of ferns has been placed.

Specialists from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens and other groups have given their expertise.

Andy MacGregor, of the British Pteridological Society, said: "The British Pteridological Society is very excited by this visionary proposal to turn the old quarry area behind Fossil Grove 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.

"We are very happy to endorse this project and our members will be keen to help ensure its success."