Have a look at the Pollen Count chart below to find out what the pollen count in Glasgow is today, and scroll through the next few days for a forecast of what's coming. The chart also highlights the levels of different types of pollen: grass, trees (birch, cypress, oak, plane and sweet chestnut) and weeds.
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Louise Baillie S.A.C. Dip (Diet, Exercise & Fitness), Advanced Human Anatomy & Physiology Level 3 @AVogelUK Ask Louise
Glasgow is the UK’s third largest city behind London and Birmingham. It is a city of great culture, architecture and arts, but it is also home to plenty of green spaces. In fact, the city’s name is thought to derive from the Cumbric phrase 'glas cau', meaning ‘green valley’ or ‘green basin’. Though much of this greenery was inevitably lost as the city expanded and roads and motorways were paved, Glasgow still retains a large number of parks and green spaces. All this greenery means that there is more potential to trigger hayfever symptoms.
In addition, Glasgow is one of the UK’s most polluted cities, according to a recent WHO publication. Pollution exacerbates hayfever symptoms as the pollen sticks to pollution particles, meaning it lingers for longer than it normally would.
On the bright side, Scotland’s pollen seasons tend to be shorter that England’s, so you may find that your hayfever symptoms clear up earlier here.
As with any city, hayfever symptoms in Glasgow are caused by tree, grass and weed pollen. Glasgow’s tree density is above average, with around 112 trees per hectare. The most common species here are hawthorn and alder, though obviously native trees such as oak and birch are also commonly found.
In addition, Glasgow’s green spaces also contain many grass and weed species, such as nettle and dock.
The most important places to avoid during hayfever season in any city are open, green spaces with a mixture of trees, grass, weeds and flowers. Glasgow’s city centre has few green spaces, save for Blythswood Square, a small, tree-lined square in the financial district.
Around the edges of the centre and towards the East and West Ends you’ll find much more greenery:
Kelvingrove Park. Surrounding the River Kelvin in the West End, this park is a popular spot for enjoying the sunshine. However, it contains a wide variety and volume of trees, including Birch, Ash, Poplar, Plane, and Oak, meaning that from the beginning of the year up until around May and June, the area may be affected by tree pollen, and will be affected by grass pollen from May to August
The Botanic Gardens. This park is situated in the West End also contain a number of tree species, as well as a wide variety of plant species which, in some cases, can irritate pollen allergies
Glasgow Green. This is the city’s oldest park. Situated just in the East End of Glasgow it is within walking distance of the city centre. With tree lined footpaths and open grassy areas, this park provides a hotspot for pollen, in particular during grass pollen season
The Necropolis and Glasgow Cathedral. Located just in the East End, Glasgow’s impressive medieval Cathedral is surrounded by grass and a handful of trees. The neighbouring Necropolis is also a vast grassy area lined by large trees.
During the height of pollen season and on high pollen count days, much of the West End may be best avoided, as many of the popular spots are sandwiched between Kelvingrove Park and the Botanic Gardens, plus many of the streets in the West End commonly feature trees, shrubs and green gardens.
There are a huge number of indoor activities you can do in Glasgow to avoid being exposed to high pollen counts. You will inevitably find a number of things to do just wandering around the city, exploring its shops, bars and cafes. To help you out, we’ve got some suggestions of things you can do in Glasgow during hayfever season:
Glasgow is famous for its vibrant music scene, so head to one of its many venues for some evening entertainment
Glasgow is also well known for its huge choice of vegan cafes and restaurants, so head to places like Mono or the Flying Duck to try something a bit different
Go and see a new film in the city centre’s Cineworld, featuring 18 screens over 6 floors, including a 4D screen; or visit the Grosvenor Cinema on Ashton Lane which shows new releases as well as special screenings of independent films, live performances from the National Theatre and documentaries
You can also try Intu shopping centre in Braehead, containing shops, an Odeon cinema, bowling alley and indoor ski and snowboard centre, Snowfactor. With real snow (not a dry slope!) you can ski, board, get tuition, go sledging or go ice wall climbing, even in the height of summer!
Try the A.Vogel specialist store, Jan De Vries, in Shawlands, where the staff will be able to advise on which of our products is best for you. You’ll also find Quality Vitamins and Herbs on Douglas Street, just off Sauchiehall Street, The Park Road Pharmacy just off Great Western road, not far from the Kelvinbridge subway station, Woodlands Herbs on Woodlands Road or Abbey Chemist in Trongate. These outlets may stock our hayfever products – but it may be worth phoning to check first! Our hayfever products are usually stocked in Holland & Barrett too.
What you eat can have a dramatic effect on your hayfever symptoms. While anti-inflammatory and natural anti-histamine foods can help control your symptoms, foods containing dairy and foods rich in sugar can actually make them worse.