Friends unite to care for dear green space

What ameni­ties would you like to see in your park?

Lennox Herald - - NEWS - Lor­raine Weir

Two de­ter­mined women who sparked up a friend­ship while walk­ing their dogs in Bal­loch Park are launch­ing a cam­paign to spruce up the “fan­tas­tic as­set”.

Gil­lian Clark and Jan Shields want to set up a Friends of Bal­loch Park group to pro­mote the area and en­hance the site which is pop­u­lar with both lo­cal peo­ple and tourists.

First, they are em­bark­ing on a mas­sive in­for­ma­tion ex­er­cise, gath­er­ing data on those who uses the park to help pro­vide sug­ges­tions on what they want to see in the area.

Gil­lian, 54, said: “I think I know ev­ery inch of the park. I stay in Bal­loch and I am in the park ev­ery day. I walk my dog up there ev­ery day and Jan’s the same.

“I got to know Jan through walk­ing the dogs. She was quite keen to join the com­mu­nity coun­cil and last April we joined at the same time.”

The ladies started chat­ting while at a Bal­loch and Hal­dane Com­mu­nity Coun­cil meet­ing and de­cided to fo­cus their at­ten­tion on the park.

Gil­lian added: “The park is a fan­tas­tic as­set. We have got the wood sculp­tures which Pa­trick Muir has been do­ing and they are fab­u­lous.

“A lot of peo­ple are bring­ing their chil­dren into the park to look at the wood carv­ings. It’s great.

“We just want to do any­thing we can do to im­prove things in the park and to en­hance the park for vis­i­tors.”

In col­lab­o­ra­tion with West Dun­bar­ton­shire Coun­cil’s Greenspace depart­ment, the ladies are try­ing to gather as much in­for­ma­tion as they can about those who use the park and ideas of how it can be im­proved. They are keen to hear from peo­ple who reg­u­larly visit the park to get in­for­ma­tion about fa­cil­i­ties they would like to see, for ex­am­ple, more public toi­lets.

Gil­lian also ac­knowl­edged that a mi­nor­ity of peo­ple don’t pick up their dog’s mess and ad­vised that this is an­other as­pect they will be ad­dress­ing.

She added: “There’s a whole lot of things hap­pen­ing in Bal­loch. It’s an ex­cit­ing time and we think we can make a dif­fer­ence if we can get this data­base and get a com­mit­tee set up to help over­see things.

“It would be good if there were peo­ple able to do hands-on things to help tidy up cer­tain ar­eas of the park and pro­mote wildlife.”

Any­one in­ter­ested in the park or who has in­for­ma­tion they would like to feed into the data­base, should con­tact Eileen O’Hare from West Dun­bar­ton­shire Coun­cil’s Greenspace depart­ment by email­ing Eileen.o’hare@west-dun­bar­ or call­ing her on 01389753971 or 07805809883.

There are a whole lot of things hap­pen­ing in Bal­loch. It’s an ex­cit­ing time Gil­lian Clark

Park pals Jan Sheilds and Gil­lian Clark who have launched the Friends of Bal­loch Park Group 010317FRIENDS_OF_BALLOCH_PARK_001 Lo­ca­tion lo­ca­tion Lo­ca­tion Bal­loch Cas­tle is in a stun­ning set­ting

Beauty spot Bal­loch Park

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