Ardentinny Champion

com_awardArdentinny Community Trust is delighted to report that Dennis Gower is the recipient of a Loch Lomond and The Trossachs Community Partnership ‘Long Standing Champion Award’.

The award was presented at the Partnership’s Annual Gathering which this year was entitled “Food for Thought’ to reflect the role that food and drink can play in community life. Very apt, considering that Dennis was the driving force which took Ardentinny’s Glenfinart Walled Garden project from initial approach on the community’s first right to buy; through a village-wide consultation process; subsequent purchase; and development of the garden to what it is today. Namely, a community space which includes a welcoming and contemplative sensory garden; an orchard; a children’s garden; and a productive organic vegetable garden, all made possible by the dedicated hard work of a number of volunteer organisations and individuals. The project benefits the local and wider community in a variety of ways, offering support and development while catering for special needs.

However Dennis’ contribution to community is not confined to the garden. He has served as a community councillor for the past 9 years and, on the Council’s behalf, was instigatory in negotiations with Forestry Commission Scotland on a local hydro scheme. Therefore, this ‘Long Standing’ award is both fitting and deserved.

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Local Development Plan Deadline for Representations

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Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park is currently accepting representations (formal comment) on its proposed local development plan, with a deadline of 29 June 2015. The documents are available on the Park’s consultation website www.ourlivepark.com; in local libraries and at their offices in Callander and Balloch.

Your comments should state what changes you would like made and why; or whether you support a particular policy or site. These can be submitted online at the aforementioned site; by email; or by post to National Park Headquarters, Carrochan, Carrochan Road, Balloch, G83 8EG. Further information is available by calling 01389 722600 or emailing: hello@ourlivepark.com.

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Community Councillor “horrified” at removal of nature trail

Entrance to the Discovery Trail

Entrance to the former Discovery Trail

A Community Council member has expressed her horror at the removal of the Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) Discovery Trail behind the beach picnic area at Glenfinart Bay. Vehicles are no longer permitted to use the road to the nature trail and a locked metal gate has been erected at the foot of the road near the FCS house.

New gate at access road to nature trail

New gate at nature trail access road

The Councillor, Marian Norris, said she had made use of the trail many times and had organised camera club visits to the nature hide. “The nature trail is a fantastic facility for schoolchildren, especially as we are now attracting many people to the village with the Walled Garden and the beach. My feeling is that the Forestry Commission is no longer making recreation a priority in the area”.  She agreed that the trail was no longer suitable for those with disabilities and that she accepted that the small parking area be closed. However, she expressed a hope that the nature hide and information on the birds, flowers and trees could remain, as well as the paths and hide being kept open. She asked if a compromise could be reached to retain the facility.

David Robertson of FCS explained that, with the limited resources available to FCS and with the area not generating any income for FCS, it was pragmatic to focus on the most popular footpaths and to do these well. Indeed in the last year three staff members from the area had retired and had not been replaced. The facility also did not meet disabled criteria. In addition, David Robertson explained that there were also reports of anti-social behaviour and dumping of rubbish in the area, hence the installation of the gate near the FCS staff residence. He also pointed out that there are six other walks in the Ardentinny area which remain open. Information related to the trail is no longer sited at the location, nor will it be promoted by FCS, thus reducing Forestry Commission Scotland liability in the area.

Other Community Council members criticised FCS for not consulting the community on the closure and its failure to consult with residents on enhancing local facilities which had been discussed in previous years.

On a positive note, the suggestion was made that the community might participate in maintaining the nature trail with some possible assistance from Ardentinny Outdoor Centre. It was agreed at last week’s Community Council meeting that both the Community Council and Community Trust would explore this possibility with FCS.

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Trail entrance

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The former parking area at the trail entrance

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Information signage on the trail

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Entrance to the nature hide

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The hide interior

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Discovery Trail

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National Park provides further support

Ardentinny’s Glenfinart Walled Garden has been awarded a £768 administration grant by Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

According to Ardentinny Community Trust Treasurer, Dennis Gower, this most welcome additional funding will go towards insurance and other administration costs of the Walled Garden project.

The National Park previously provided support to this community initiative through the tireless efforts of its volunteers during the preparations for the Glenfinart Walled Garden’s episode of the BBC’s Beechgrove Garden programme and the Trust continues to maintain a close liaison with the Park regarding its ongoing work on the project.

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Lambing season – Warning to dog walkers

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park has issued a timely reminder to all dog walkers in the park to keep their dogs on leads when walking near livestock. Over the past six weeks, nine incidents have been reported to Central Scotland Police involving dogs and sheep. Ardentinny is only too aware of the consequences if a dog comes into contact with sheep, given the sad incident a couple of years ago when a pet dog was shot by a local farmer.

Dog owners should also remember that farmers regularly rotate fields containing sheep, therefore, the owner may not necessarily be sure what’s on the other side of the hedge. A normally placid family dog can become a killer in a field of sheep and, even if the sheep remain untouched, it could cause lambs to be aborted or death of the sheep later.

Please keep your dog fully under control when near livestock.

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Housing development off ‘The Plan’

Many Ardentinny residents will by now have received a letter from the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Planning and Enviornmental Appeals to say that the examination into the unresolved issues raised in representations to the proposed Finalised Draft Local Plan has now finished and the report has been submitted to Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Authority. This report is now available on the National Park website where it confirms that the proposed plan to build housing south of Lochview is to be deleted from the Plan.

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This work by ardentinny.org is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 UK: Scotland.