This Month – February 2019

Keep it tidy

We live in such a beautiful landscape in the Gryffe valley and we have a number of groups and individuals who contribute tirelessly in keeping the place looking at its best. I’ve even seen some brave souls out in their reflective vests on the country verges collecting litter. However, whether it’s just the time of the year when the vegetation is at its sparsest but I do notice a lot of litter on the regular waking routes, rights of way and scenic beauty spots. Dog poop is prevalent and more annoyingly poop that has been conscientiously bagged but the bag then left hanging from a fence, tree branch or gatepost.

Now I know most dog walkers plan to return on the same route to collect and dispose of their bags responsibly. But there are a few who seem to think there’s a magic fairy who will sort this out for them. This must be a fairy I’ve missed as I grew up – the poop fairy never featured in my bedtime stories! So come on dog owners, if you’re guilty of this then please stop it – take it to the nearest bin and dispose of it there.

Back to litter, my hubby is often seen out and about with his litter picking grabber around our neighbourhood. He maintains that if we keep the place tidy then it’s more likely to stay that way. And, if more people could keep their own perimeter tidy then more may be encouraged to join in. As I’ve mentioned before, we are so very lucky to have teams in each village of people keen to keep their area tidy. We have our garden groups and litter picking groups. If you are keen to get involved, please get in touch with any of them – most have facebook pages. Or better still, just join in next time you see them out and about – they are always keen for more volunteers.

Staying with litter, it may just be a coincidence, but it seems that since the Council tightened up the rules on who can drop rubbish at our municipal recycling centres, fly-tipping seems to be more prominent. If you would like to report fly-tipping please call the Stopline number on 0845 2 30 40 90, or go online to https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/DumbDumpers. To their credit, the Council are always quick to come out and clear up the mess, but surely it would be better to encourage people to take their rubbish to the recycling centre in the first place?

Shop Locally

I am as guilty as the next person of going to the supermarket to do a “big shop”. It saves time and money, doesn’t it? I don’t claim this to be a scientific study, but I am not so sure about either saving time or money. In trying to limit that “big shop” by staying local I maybe do spend a bit more time walking around the shops. However, I’m told that exercise is actually good for you, and I’ve met friends I hadn’t seen for ages, had a good chat and kept updated on what’s going on in the local area. Our local shops sell great fresh produce and “ready meals” which have been quite unique and delicious. And I may have actually spent less because I only buy what I need which cuts down on waste. And if you’re concerned about the welfare and provenance of your food, take the time to visit your local butcher, fishmonger or grocery store. The owners are full of useful information about their produce and most of them also help out with delicious recipes.

BoW Traffic Island

The crumbling traffic island as you leave Bridge of Weir towards Kilmacolm appears to have been hit so many times that all that’s left of the reflective uprights is now little black stumps. It has still to be repaired, although we now have a line of traffic cones to alert drivers to the risk. Bridge of Weir Community Council have been repeatedly asking Renfrewshire Council to address this and other areas of concern around the village, and Cllr McLaren reports this month that it is on the list for repair. The feedback I’ve been hearing is just to take it away altogether. Hopefully, this will be sorted out before a serious accident enforces the issue.

Tara (the wee, hairy, orange one)

A big thank you to everyone who has expressed their condolences to our family. Our wee rescue dog, Tara, reached the end of her time with us last month. We are very grateful to Cath and the staff at Kilbarchan Vets for helping make her last days with us much easier for her. We miss her like crazy, but adopting a rescue animal is something I highly recommend for anyone thinking about a pet – although she has left a big gap in our family, the love she gave was huge and we will cherish the time we had with her.

To finish

On a lighter note, we have now passed the shortest day back on 21st December 2018 and the evenings should be getting lighter with every week. Plans will be starting soon for our annual events and once again the call is on for volunteers to help out. If you would like to be an important part of your community, then please get in touch with your local group and let them know how keen you are! It’s well worth it!