Rome wasn’t built in a day – and the new pavilion in Levengrove Park certainly wasn’t, writes Bill Heaney. However, if we believe everything comes to him who only stands and waits, then the time lapse from start to finish of the new facility in the centre of the park looks worth waiting for. Inevitably, there are sceptics who find it hard to accept that such a business as a cafe and tearoom can survive all year round on this beautiful site which looks out towards Dumbarton Rock and the confluence of the two rivers, the Leven and the Clyde. We wish it well. And we have to thank our lucky stars that the view was not blocked out by the concrete and glass secondary school West Dunbartonshire Council wanted to build there before before the public protested vigorously against it. The playground adjacent to the pavilion though has been the target of vandals and young people with nothing better to do than attack the provision they claim they lacked in this community. Good security here will be vital in coming months. A few walking policemen would not go amiss in order to deter the horn-masters and knuckle draggers whose presence is a blight on Dumbarton. It really is a shame that such worthwhile work has to be protected by so many fences and deterrents. These photographs were taken by Gail Thomson who was full of praise for the work carried out with cash from The Lottery Fund. Gail was really impressed by her visit to Levengrove, but she appealed to the many dog owners who use the park to make certain they clean up after their pets.

Pictures by Gail Thomson

Woods Eildh

Vandals at OvertounMeanwhile, The Democrat can reveal that vandals have struck on Overtoun Estate and the Long Crags.  Eilidh Woods, pictured above, of the Woodland Trust, who are doing such great work in the Long Crags and the Old Kilpatrick Hills, told social media: “[It is] shocking that way markers are being routinely destroyed at the Lang Craigs and Overtoun Estate [at a time] when [we are] trying to promote access for all to the outdoors and create a gateway to the Kilpatrick Hills. How can we stop this vandalism?”

Land Petra in the hills 3

Petra McMillan, owner of the Dumbuck House Hotel in Dumbarton, is one of many local people who use the Woodland Trust trails across Overtoun Estate to keep fit for her charity raising events. The next big gig for Petra will come in the Spring when, with a party of sponsored volunteers, they will climb to the base camp of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, in Nepal to raise money for the Marie Curie Nurses. Petra is on Facebook and, if you wish, you can support and sponsor her there.            Picture by Bill Heaney

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