COUNCILLOR Ellen Morton has been to check up on the progress at Hermitage Park in Helensburgh as refurbishment works continue, and she is impressed with the findings so far, but is urging the public to get fully behind the project...


This week I visited Hermitage Park with the park manager, Melissa Simpson to see how work is progressing and to get a progress update.

I am delighted to say that I am pleased with how things are shaping up, but, given that concerns have been expressed about how the Park looks, I thought some information might be helpful.

What needs to be kept in mind is that this is a major project over a few years and, just as when decorating your own house or refurbishing your garden, there is a period of inevitable disruption while new things are put in place.

READ MORE: 'Friends' admit frustration at Hermitage Park delays

So far the bowling green area, which has normally flooded every year, has had new drainage put in, which has stopped the flooding. The children’s play area is complete, and work on the war memorial has been completed, except for getting the pool of water at the front reconnected to the water supply so that the pool will no longer look stagnant, as it currently does.

The Pavilion is now finished, except for the connection to the external sewerage system, which requires crossing Sinclair Street to get to the main pipes. Because the road works in both Helensburgh and Dumbarton town centres are leading to extra traffic down Sinclair Street the connection to the Pavilion has been deliberately delayed till that work is complete to avoid any further increase in traffic on Sinclair Street. This should be done shortly.

Some of the planting areas and flowerbeds also look neglected for a variety of reasons. A number of serious persistent weeds like bindweed and knotweed were present in the old beds and we must be certain that they have been permanently eradicated before new planting can be done and that takes time. Also, one untidy, wet area will become a bog garden.

READ MORE: Pupils sow seeds of success in Hermitage Park's garden

I was really impressed by the work of local school pupils and by Helensburgh Community Council’s drystone wall workers, who have created a marvellous seating area – complete with backrests for people like me.

Most of all, of course, we need to appreciate the enormous sustained effort put in by the Friends of Hermitage Park, who brought forward this long term vision.

If you want to help the park become a successful, sustainable asset then the best thing you can do is this: use the park. You can also support the work of the Friends, either financially or by joining their work parties. If you want to make constructive proposals, or get explanations about something of concern, then contact