THE house builder behind a major housing development at the west end of Helensburgh has given a helping hand to community efforts to improve one of the town’s much-loved green spaces.

Persimmon Homes has donated cash and 85 tonnes of materials to the Friends of Duchess Wood to help the volunteer group’s efforts to improve the paths network in the nature reserve.

The company made the donation after the Friends applied to Persimmon’s Community Champions scheme, which sees the company donate up to £1,000 to good causes each month.

Persimmon’s development at nearby Duchess Gait is nearing completion after planning permission for an initial 76 homes was granted in December 2017, despite 83 objections.

A subsequent application to increase the number of homes on the site to 83 was granted in May 2019.

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The Friends’ work will see a new path created between a ‘wildlife corridor’ which separates the wood from the new homes and the rest of the wood’s path network.

Chris Logan, Persimmon’s regional director for the west of Scotland, said: “The Friends of Duchess Wood do an admirable job in the upkeep of this wonderful natural asset, for the benefit of the community and its visitors.

“We are pleased to maintain our links with the charity and hope that our donation towards the pathway leaves a lasting legacy that people enjoy for many years to come.

“Our involvement in projects such as this is a way that we can support the communities that we are working with and we are delighted to donate funds to Friends of Duchess Woods through our community champions scheme.”

David Lewin, spokesperson for the charity, said: “We want to improve the footpath network by creating a new path linking the end of the wildlife corridor with the main path round the wood.

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“This will give Duchess Gait residents and the wider community a safe way into the wood and access to the path network.

“In addition, we want to resurface the low-level path network in the wood to make it suitable for wheelchairs, mobility scooters and elderly visitors.

“Persimmon has also donated 85 tonnes of materials towards the creation of the new walking path within the wood and we are delighted to receive this ongoing support.”

The company previously had to apologise after waste from the building site for the new homes was found in the nearby wood on two occasions in early 2019.

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