HELENSBURGH'S town centre flower beds have been receiving some additional help from a new project hosted by the Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust.

The ACT Argyll team carried out some much-needed weeding and tidying of the beds in Colquhoun Square after being invited to get involved by Helensburgh Community Council.

The team, who are currently based in Cardross, are led by Mark McDougall, with Stuart Macdonald supervising two trainees and two work experience placements.

The team are offering to undertake a range of tasks including path clearance, landscaping, building raised beds, amenity space improvements and small-scale joinery.

Grace Macleod, the chair of ACT, said: “Offering rural skills and work experience is high priority for ACT.

"We’re keen to involve as many people as we can and hope to engage with volunteers and other groups as we progress.

"We already have close links with the Friends of Hermitage Park and Dunbritton Housing Association and have been in discussions with several other groups who we are keen to support.

"We think our biggest challenge will be finding enough hours in the day!”

ACT Argyll offers practical skills, training, and work experience placements whilst supporting community and charity projects throughout Helensburgh and Lomond.

The project is funded by the Scottish Government's 'social economic growth fund' and has funded support until October 2019.

The community council reached an agreement last year with Argyll and Bute Council under which the local authority concentrates on maintenance of the flower beds and hedges in the square, with volunteer helpers looking after weeding and getting together to map out a replanting of the shrub gardens.

Helensburgh community councillor John Tacchi added: “The work being done to clear the overgrown beds will lead us onto the next phase of regeneration – planting – to make the square again a real centrepiece of the town.

"Their work is invaluable to the project which was started last year."

The ACT Argyll team, meanwhile, have work scheduled in the coming weeks in Hermitage Park and, further afield, in Lochgoilhead.

The team’s training programme is also underway and includes first aid, health and safety, and hand tools and equipment use.

ACT Argyll’s project co-ordinator Mark McDougall can be contacted on 07741 582560.

For information on ACT’s projects see act-now.org.uk or contact Julie Young at 01546 602755.

ACT Argyll's work experience placements are being organised via Helensburgh Job Centre on (01436) 633003.