Lenzie Moss, cafe closure, walking blues and more – Letters to the Editor for January 9. 2013

Lenzie Moss
Lenzie Moss

READERS have their say on the issues which matter...

Cafe closure is a sad loss

I AM writing to you to say I was really sad to hear that Cafe Trevi at Bishopbriggs Cross is closing at the end of January.

Over the years myself and my wife have dined in there for special occasions and the food, service and hospitality has been fantastic from Gary and Gilda and all their staff.

Stephen Smith,

Avon Road,


Walkers are welcome?

WHAT is the point in my making Kirkintilloch a Walkers are Welcome town in 2010, then getting a great deal of money to upgrade paths, when the council is proposing to charge £5 to park for a whole day.

You cannot climb the Campsies or walk the distance paths in less than a day.

The excessive charge to park for a day will drive tourists away.

I walk the English canals a lot. The towns and villages that have plenty of parking are doing well.

P Sinclair,

Southbank Drive,


Call for a breakdown of Hub statistics

WOULD Councillor Geekie give us, the local taxpayers, a breakdown of her figures for the usage of the HUB?

5,363 enquires over a 10 week period, less the holiday weekend, works out at approximately 99 a day.

In an eight hour day that would be 12 an hour.

Given that I use the library regularly and have never seen more than two people waiting for attention, and the same two there when I am leaving 30 minutes later, this is difficult to reconcile.

There seems to be at least five private rooms and as many staff at the front desk. I have seen two in use at the same time.

This confirms that the HUB, where it is situated, is a waste of resources.

The waiting area is not private and if people are waiting more than 30 minutes to be attended to what are the staff doing?

The council recently opened one of the empty units in Sainsbury’s precinct - now that would be more convienient and more of a walk-in centre than the open public space in the library foyer.

M. Macdonald,

(via e-mail).

Lenzie Moss must be for all users to enjoy

RECENT articles in the Kirkintilloch Herald discuss the past and future for Lenzie Moss.

It is indeed a fascinating environment, but not always for the reasons used in the published arguments.

It began after the glacial retreat that closed the last Ice Age, and doubtless developed into a classical Raised Bog, an ecology with which Scotland is well provided.

However, its recent history must be complex. In Victorian times domestic refuse was evidently buried on the Moss, and there was a fashion a few years ago to dig into these deposits for the elegant clay pots and coloured glass bottles therein.

In the first part of the last century there was peat extraction on a scale such that light railway lines were still easily identifiable 40 years ago; local legend says that the workings closed due to the extensive vandalism suffered by the operations, but it would be nice if it turned out that the closure was for environmental considerations.

Clearly what remains is not a classic unmodified raised bog, and to manage it as if it were (or, even worse, to try to restore it as such), will be most environmentally damaging.

At present we have an attractive mix of self-seeded trees and shrubs, particularly on the old peat workings, interspersed with open grassland, the latter rather heavily colonised by garden escapes (Michaelmas Daisies, Goldenrod, raspberries, etc) and of course boggy areas dominated by typical bog plants such as sphagnum.

This provides varied walks and interesting environmental contrasts, but it has only limited connection with the original raised bog environment, although this was the foundation from which the other features developed.

Surely we must accept that any environment evolves in response to the pressures (human and otherwise) that it experiences, and work with that development, rather than trying to recreate a semi-mythical past that would be unsustainable and inevitably collapse with disagreeable consequences.

The trees and shrubs do need some management, but are welcome as habitats for birds, autumn food for avian migrants (particularly the abundant and heavily fruiting rowans), shelter for deer, food during flowering for bees, and so forth.

When I first came to live here the open grassed areas bore common meadowland flowers in considerable variety, but over the ensuing years coarse grasses and weeds such as dockens and Oxford Ragwort have become more dominant.

This relates to increased soil fertility. Uncut herbage returns its nutrients to the soil, organisms breaking down the organic component increase nutrients by co-metabolism that releases minerals held in the glacially deposited substrate, and the abundant dogs make their substantial contributions so long as their owners believe that it is only necessary to remove faecal matter that falls upon the made paths.

Treating these open grassed areas as traditional meadowland with an annual cut and removal of the harvested material will, over several years, reduce the nutrient excess and restore balance, so encouraging pretty and sweet-smelling herbs to re-colonise the grassed areas.

The harvested plant residues will of course input to the council’s composting programme.

The Moss must be for all users to enjoy in their various ways; its proper management will require inputs from all those users as well as some financial support.

Current stories in the Herald’s pages seem to demonise the local rugby club and its desire to improve the facilities that it can offer, but that same club has a vibrant youth programme and also makes its grounds available to local organisations to run many events through the year.

The club’s extensive membership includes experts in many of the areas required for managing the Moss sustainably and for everyone’s benefit.

That club, and its aspirations for its own and the community’s future, make it a major partner in properly managing the Moss, certainly not the Moss’s enemy, despite your reports based on opinions from the self-appointed, doubtless well-intentioned, but seriously misinformed “Save Lenzie Moss Group”.

Dr Brian J. B. Wood

Spruce Drive,


Thanks for the bus shelter

THANK you to Fiona McLeod MSP and Gillian Renwick (constituency manager), members of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport and East Dunbartonshire Council road staff for help in installing a bus shelter at Eastside, Kirkintilloch.

Thank you again from myself and all who use it.

Louise Cuthbertson,



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