“Abandoned” boats lying sunken in the River Leven for years have raised concerns for members of Balloch and Haldane Community Council.

The issue was discussed at the community council’s meeting last Wednesday, specifically mentioning the area of the river in Balloch known locally as Monkey Island.

Community council member Jan Shields said: “These abandoned boats at Monkey Island have been here for years – at least two years. It just really annoys me to see it.

“There are lots of boats in the River Leven that are – to use a good, Scottish word – manky.”

The point was raised by other members that if it were a car left on the roadside, it would be taken away.

Ms Shields said she had tried contacting cruising clubs in the area to try and get to the bottom of who the owners of the rejected vessels are.

But it still remains a mystery as to who has left their boats to sink and rot.

Chair Murdoch Cameron added: “It seems a bit unfair that these people who abandon boats get off scot-free.”

Jim Lough, secretary of Leven Cruising Club – Loch Lomond’s oldest boat club – echoes the frustration of the community council.

“We don’t know who owns the boats either,” he said. “The park authority won’t tell us due to data protection, they say they are restricted from passing on that information.

“Nobody likes to see abandoned and sunken boats lying about at any point.

“In the past we have salvaged boats, but only with consent from the owner, so our hands are tied.

“When somebody in the middle of the night abandons a boat it can take months or longer to sort out.”

The park authority does not have the power to intervene and remove these boats in the River Leven.

Gordon Watson, chief executive of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, explained: “Sadly abandoned and sunken boats have been an issue on the River Leven for some time.

“The park authority has welcomed the efforts in recent years to provide the various boat clubs with improved facilities to better manage the situation.

“Unfortunately, we do not have any powers to intervene to address the situation at Monkey Island as this is a matter for the landowner and the boat owners concerned.

“If the boats have a registration number which we are able to identify then where possible, we will make every effort to contact the owners and request removal.”

A West Dunbartonshire Council spokesperson said: “We share the concerns of the community council and we’re currently seeking legal advice.

“Additionally, we would encourage boat owners to look after their vessels and not to allow them to become an eyesore or an obstruction.”