Balloch Castle Country Park , Balloch , West Dunbartonshire
The Balloch Castle Country Park Regeneration Group have made their first application for grant funding. The group have been working toward this for most of this year – the group has a formal constitution, with the correct data protection in place and a stakeholder engagement document. There is now a website and a Facebook page for the Group.
Councillor Martin Rooney and Councillor Michelle McGinty.
By Lucy Ashton
A meeting with Councillor Martin Rooney and Councillor Michelle McGinty resulted in support from the Council for the Group to apply for grant funding.
The Group have carried out a survey of Park users and a count at all four entrances to Balloch Park. Park users are all appreciative of such a splendid public Park. The survey recognised the need for the regeneration of the natural environment, for a purposeful use of the Castle, and stable block, accessible toilets, a café or two and educational facilities.
The count showed an increase of at least 50% in visitor numbers since the last official count in 2003. The visitor number is close to one million people per annum.
The funding application just lodged to the Riverwoods Pioneers works on a step by step basis, depending on levels of public support to push the application up to the next level. Two finalists will compete for £125,000 that will kick start environmental regeneration planning and work. The Riverwoods Pioneer fund is based on enhancing and protecting the desirable environment for the Atlantic Salmon (a protected species).
The Group have been working closely with those who are already well established in managing and improving the water courses and biodiversity in and around Loch Lomond, are already involved in Education, namely the Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust and the Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association.
Balloch Castle Country Park is bordered by Loch Lomond and the River Leven. There are concerns about pollution into the River Leven from abandoned boats, there are also huge issues with the spread of invasive species within the Park, this needs to be tackled to give the native species an opportunity to thrive. The Burn of Balloch that flows through the Park requires to be cleared, cleaned and for the trees to be maintained with a revitalised planting program of indigenous species.
Please cast a vote now to help your local Park on its regeneration journey.
Voting ends of the 30 of November 2022.