COUNCIL bosses have been urged to save a 200-year-old tree in Bowling which a campaigner fears could be “bulldozed” as part of plans to redevelop the former ExxonMobil site.

West Dunbartonshire Council plans to purchase the land at Sheepfold, owned by Susan Dick, to develop a relief road to the site in Bowling which is subject to renovation work to include storage, distribution, industrial, business and office space.

Ms Dick, who owns a pony therapy business, has been asking the council for a suitable piece of land to re-home her ponies and transfer the burial ground before work on the relief road progresses. 

She is now asking the council to save the tree - which she believes to be healthy, with no known issues or health concerns. 

Ms Dick will present her case to councillors on Wednesday (March 29).

She said: “I currently own land which will be bulldozed as part of the Exxon development. I have one request in light of this council’s drive towards net zero and any climate change policies they may have. 

“Within this field there is a large and beautiful 200-year-old tree. It is on a prominent site within the field near the private road, also belonging to myself, and which is a right of way.

"It is a healthy tree which grows straight with no known issues or health concerns. 

“There is also a large wildlife pond near the Arnold Clark end of the site. I don’t think either of them are in the path of the intended roads.

"When the site is cleared I ask that serious attempts are made to save this tree and the pond from destruction.”

Ms Dick also claims that due to the tree's age and size, it will be an asset in “carbon capturing” as will the nearby pond which is doing its bit for wildlife. 

She continues: “It is not good enough to simply destroy such a valuable tree and replace it with tiny saplings as is the norm.

"The hundreds of trees that will be lost on this site mean that the drive towards net zero will be damaged extensively - but the saving of this tree and pond could help offset some of the damage done to the environment when this field is destroyed.

“Could I have any kind of assurance that when decisions are being made the saving of the tree and pond could be considered as essential.”