Cllr Iain McLaren and his Havoc clean-up and biodiversity team.
By Bill Heaney
Brucehill Cliffs and the Coos’ Park on the Clyde shore at Dumbarton are to be designated as a local nature reserve.
West Dunbartonshire Council has instructed its Greenspace officials to begin the process of designating Brucehill Cliffs Havoc Meadows as a Local Nature Reserve.
SNP councillor Iain McLaren said: “This has become a site of outstanding biodiversity and beauty, and is enjoyed recreationally by many.”
He added: “Council notes the progress made since 2010 in improving the area’s biodiversity and instructs officers to refresh the current biodiversity plan, and bring it to a future IRED committee for consideration.
“The report should include a summary of progress made to date, and what future activities can be done to improve the biodiversity of West Dunbartonshire.
“It should also include an action plan to control invasive species in the area, particularly Himalayan Balsam which is rampant in many parts.”
Cllr McLaren moved an amendment to a motion by Cllr Jim Bollan, calling on the Council to alter its biodiversity plan to a new one that would be popular with the public whom this was for after.
There had earlier been bitter criticism about the way the current plan had led to West Dunbartonshire looking unsightlier than ever since the current one was introduced.
Former Provost Douglas McAllister said members had been flooded by complaints about, rats, dog poo, long grass, park benches and play areas cut off …
But Cllr McLaren, a speech that even members on his own side yawning and looking at their watch, said: “Council notes that many departments are key to the success of our biodiversity programme, for example Greenspace, Roads and HAC, and asks that these departments work together to include in the report how success can be achieved.
“Council notes that biodiversity areas are not just created by simply leaving them alone; they require careful management – especially in April and September – and asks that the report being brought to IRED includes what additional resources would be required to manage these areas better, along with an options appraisal to reinstate the Biodiversity Officer post.
“Council further notes that Greenspace work closely with communities and individuals with regard to biodiversity issues, and that areas given over to biodiversity can take several years for nature to return to them.
Brucehill, Havoc Meadows, the Coos’ Park, Firthview Terrace and the Long Crags.
“Council further instructs officers to begin the process of designating Brucehill Cliffs / Havoc Meadows as a Local Nature Reserve, which has become a site of outstanding biodiversity and beauty, and enjoyed recreationally by many.”
Cllr Sally Page said Balloch was having problems with biodiversity and while there were many areas which looked nice, there were some which badly needed a different approach.
She also raised the matter of wrecks in the River Leven – there are three beached on Monkey Island near Balloch Bridge in her Lomond ward – and asked for them to be removed.