By Danielle Donnachie 

This is known as ‘biodiversity meadows’ by the West Dunbartonshire Council administration. Personally, I think it’s a bloody mess and unsightly.
This is a common theme throughout the West Dunbartonshire area, from Balloch to Clydebank.

Cllr Iain McLaren, or Mr Bio as I like to refer to him, said in a response to concerns of the state of our communities: “Neatly cut grass is something we have artificially come to think of as being ‘tidy’, but in reality it is a barren desert for wildlife.

Levengrove Park Launch
Iain McLaren

“We need to get away from the idea that uncut is unkempt, and provide more areas in our beautiful county where wildlife can thrive.”

He added: “We are now hearing about new dangers the planet faces daily, and respected scientists are predicting a complete ecological disaster within a few short years. I think we should be doing whatever we can to prevent this.”

So, I’m hoping Cllr McLaren and his colleagues are opposing the Flamingo Land plans, seeing this is the biggest threat and risk to our environment.

Meanwhile, Margaret Wood, a UNITE trade union rep, has asked why WDC are continuing to use Round Up, a weedkiller which is said to be “extremely hazardous”.

Arlene Brennan said the same thing happened with grass cutting last year – “West Dunbartonshire Council got so many complaints they reversed their decision. [It is a] disgrace. The place is an embarrassment.”

Community councillor Linda Speir said: “I don’t see neglected areas like this in other parts of the UK. What must tourists think? The place just looks dreadful.”

Trawest Ennovy added: “I’m all for this save the planet stuff , but walking down by the Shore without kids being stung by the overgrown nettles is something I could be doing without, especially when there’s no dock leaves about .”

And James Austin  said: “I would much rather this than the big orange stains all over my street with them using weedkiller instead of a strimmer.”

Sheila Hayes said: “I was in the park at Dumbarton East train station on Saturday with my work and noticed the grass was cut inside the park. But there is a yellow border around all the pathways and I wondered if that was down to weedkiller. I assumed not as did not think it would be allowed in a play area like that. But now I am not so sure.”

Kathleen Brannan said: “The entrance to old Bonhill is a disgrace. If I was visiting an area that looked like ours, my opinion would be that it was neglected and run down.

“How can WDC expect to attract businesses,homeowners and visitors to OUR area when it is so neglected looking?”

Tricia McCarron complained that Council tenants “get threatened with eviction if they don’t keep grass cut and gardens tidy”.

Ann Ellen Opfer suggested: “If there are no biodiversity areas then it doesn’t attract insects that pay an important part. Especially bees if there are no bees then this planet is goosed.

“They should maybe throw some flower bombs in these areas maybe look a bit more pleasant and maybe trim them back from pavements. Make these areas work for the purpose they are needed for.”e

Danielle Donnachie concluded: “I have no issues with biodiversity areas so long as it’s done in the right areas and in the right manner.

“This is just a poor excuse for cutting jobs and services. Not to mention, making the area a complete eyesore.”

Maureen McCann said: “The whole area is a disgrace. The guys [the Council Greenspace workers] do their best with the manpower they have.”

Carol O’Malley said: “We have loads of bio diversity.  I for one don’t want it in my cemetery or my streets.

“If you want it go up the hills. We have plenty surrounding us. I have lived in Dumbarton all my life and never have we had the need for it. [What is happening now] is called cutting corners and it looks a bloody mess.”

She added: “I went to Cllr McLaren already about this, and I will go again if I have to. Do we not have gardens to attract insects and bees because I have seen plenty in mine.”

And Doreen Birkett  said: “I totally agree. Loch Lomond and the surrounding area have plenty of biodiversity. We do not need our housing estates and streets looking like tips.  I mean have you seen the area in Brown Street, Haldane? It’s a bloody disgrace.”

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