Benchmark of selfishness

Senior park manager Garry Jeffrey-Nixon - who discovered that the benches were missing - and Go Greener chair Glyn Jones examine the orchard's former focal point.
Senior park manager Garry Jeffrey-Nixon - who discovered that the benches were missing - and Go Greener chair Glyn Jones examine the orchard's former focal point.

THIEVES have made off with two community project benches installed in Rouken Glen park by a local environmental group.

Go Greener first introduced the benches in February this year, coinciding with the opening of its community orchard in the East Renfrewshire park – an event attended by over 50 neighbours.

The benches provided a focus area for the budding orchard – but volunteers and park rangers were disappointed when at the end of April, they both disappeared overnight.

Chairman Glyn Jones told The Extra: “Over two and a half years ago, the idea of a creating a community orchard in Rouken Glen was only a dream, but through hard work by volunteers and donations from both East Renfrewshire council and local businesses, the dream came alive.

“One of the orchard’s legacy features was a focus area, where the community could sit on two benches and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the area.

“Sadly, these benches have been stolen by mindless individuals who simply don’t care how hard the community has worked or how much time has been invested in creating a place for future generations to enjoy.

“It is a pathetic act of theft with no thought for the time, expense and commitment of the volunteers. They’re stealing from the children of today”.

The theft is thought to have taken place late on Friday, April 27 or in the early hours of Saturday, April 28.

Police constable Erik Work, of Giffnock police station, has been investigating the incident and asked that anyone with information contact him on 532 5700.

Despite the setback, the Go Greener team is pushing ahead with plans to restore the seating area – this time with sturdier log benches.

Glynn continued: “Part of the process will be to ensure that the trees, posts and archway are all preserved.

“The orchard is a legacy to pass on – it’s tremendous and will continue to be so. We will not let this set us back and cause us to lose enthusiasm for it. It’s part of the community now and hopefully it will remain so”.

For now, the initiative is planning its fourth Apple Day – on September 16 – to which all are welcome for apple pressing, a live beehive, information on the orchard’s trees and more family activities.

Go Greener is also keen to hear from green-fingered volunteers, and anyone who would like to be involved can contact Glyn by e-mailing hello@gogreener.org.uk.