A local park has secured £4,000 of funding and is now in the running for a further £125,000 after it won through to the second round in a public vote.

Balloch Park was one of five projects from across Scotland that judges from Riverwoods Investment Pioneers’ Programme awarded the initial funding too, alongside a strong showing in a public vote.

Riverwoods Investment Pioneers’ Programme is a partnership between Scottish Wildlife Trust and funded by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Judges assessed 12 applications from across Scotland along with the outcome of a public vote which closed on December 4. 

Balloch’s application was made by the Balloch Country Park Regeneration Groups (BCCPRG), a group made up of local volunteers who want to see the park restored and have launched a ‘Don’t Let Balloch Park Sink’ campaign.

Maurice Donohue from BCCPRG said: “The group are pleased to have been well supported in the public vote; we are putting a great deal of effort into talking with the local community and all stakeholders to help realise the huge potential of Balloch Park and the benefits to the environment through nature restoration.”

The judges have stated Balloch Park is strong on footfall and gives benefit to large numbers of people, with commercial possibilities potentially enabling the Park to become self-funding.

The Riverwoods stage two process now requires the Regeneration Group to show they can work closely with key stakeholders including the local community, West Dunbartonshire and Glasgow City Councils, and others, to create a vision and a plan for the Park that has nature and people at heart. 

The group is also working with organisations including Loch Lomond Angling Improvement Association and the Lomond Fisheries Trust as both organisations have trained scientists and knowledge of what is needed to improve conditions for iconic and threatened fish species, including the Atlantic Salmon and Powan.

Audrey Baird from BCCPRG added: “Huge thanks to everyone who voted and helped to get Balloch Park to the next stage. We now have a wonderful opportunity to draw on a range of professional support to create a nature restoration plan for Balloch Park to help remove invasive species and pollution, and create healthier habitats for people and wildlife. 

“If anyone would like to join us, please get in touch now. 

“We will need all the ideas, support and enthusiasm we can get.”