Words and Photo by Zoe Weir
Friends of Havoc Meadows have been working hard to record and conserve the high biodiversity at Havoc meadow in Dumbarton.
Zoe Weir founder of Friends of Havoc and nearby Friends of Dumbarton Foreshore reports on how the two groups have been operating during lockdown.
The meadows at Havoc have come into their own this summer, with a whole new generation enjoying their unspoilt beauty.
New species for the meadow are being found every week, showing that nature can recover if we give it a chance.
Across the whole area, we have seen people rediscovering an appreciation of untamed spaces.
Out went the uptight, outdated Victorian ideal of rigid order, allowing us to remember what we once knew; that wild plants and animals are a wonder, not a danger.
Reduced mowing and vehicle use has given us clean air, lush grasses, birdsong and uplifting wildlife encounters.
After the pandemic, we can apply this to our surroundings and give more room to a fuller variety of living things. Humans did not evolve to exist in a lifeless vacuum; we need to let things grow and breathe, including ourselves!
Socially Distanced Litter Picking
Meanwhile Friends of Dumbarton Foreshore litter-picking group have been able to keep going, by working individually along adjoining stretches – we have even had new members join during the pandemic.
There are still a few stretches up for grabs so get in touch via Facebook.
We have seen more people than ever enjoying shore walks, many of them taking the time to stop and thank us for your efforts, which we love.
During all the fear and stress, the restorative power of our local rivers and lochs has never been more vital.
We are worried though about rubber gloves, especially those discarded near drains.
These, along with balloons of all kinds, are especially lethal to our local seals and porpoises, as well as to lambs and birds.
We would love to see a post-pandemic world move away from them and other throw-away plastics, as these make up 60% of Clyde marine litter.