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Flowerbeds in Gretna criticised

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By Ben Murray
Annan and Eskdale
Flowerbeds in Gretna criticised
SORRY STATE . . . council budget cuts have left flowers in disarray

THE state of the flowerbeds in Gretna town has been highlighted.

The matter was discussed at the town’s community council meeting this week which ranged from replacing several planters with more durable metal ones to prevent vandalism to a public forum suggestion that gained a lot of traction.

With Gretna’s reputation as the gateway into Scotland, more and more members of the public are complaining about the lack of maintenance for the flowerbeds dotted across the town.

Due to the budget of the council being cut down more and more, many communities have taken to volunteer work and fundraising to look after botanic needs themselves.

During the public forum, Francesca Lightburn said: “I went to the meeting on Wednesday to bring up some environmental and ecology issues, such as planting and flower beds.

“I suggested that it could be more thought out on a permaculture to benefit the community more – rather than just planting more flowers and trees, we could plant fruits and vegetables or start a community garden of some kind.

“I’m doing a masters degree in environmental science and ecology at the moment, so I would be more than happy to take on a responsibility like that to put what I’m learning to use for the community.”

Gretna community council chairwoman Kirsten Herbst-Gray said: “At the last meeting, Francesca spoke in the public forum about her vision of a community garden with allotments in a designated area at Empire Court.

“We will explore the potential of this proposed project in collaboration with the council and our ward manager.

“It comes at a time when more and more residents express their concerns about the general maintenance of flowerbeds and planters in Gretna in the light of further cuts to the council budget.

“Some residents feel that Gretna’s status as the gateway to Dumfries and Galloway and to Scotland makes it necessary to improve the general appearance of the township which includes more regular grass cutting and an allocation of flower baskets to brighten up the place.

“Community councillors supported by councillor Denis Male and councillor Archie Dryburgh discussed a way forward to ensure Gretna and Rigg flowerbed and planters look presentable and colourful.”

Community Champion 2022 and community council member Gordon Davidson volunteered to tend to the planters scattered across Gretna to make them more presentable.

Gordon said: “Gretna is the first stop tourists drive through when they enter Scotland, so the flowers need to be presentable.

“Once I’ve been given the go ahead by the council, I will do what I can to bring Gretna back to its original glory.

“The flowers are in a shocking state and need massive amounts of attention, but I’m always up for a challenge.”


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