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Is the circle around the community closing ?
10 August 2010
Is the circle around the community closing ?

Local residents have expressed their concern to the Douglas Community Council about landowners ‘STRICTLY NO ACCESS’ signs that have appeared at rights of way and woodland entrances around Douglas.
 
Douglas and Angus Estates 'No Access' tapeDouglas and Angus Estates 'NO ACCESS' signs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
As the pictures above clearly show, by erecting these signs accompanied by red and white tape, Douglas and Angus Estate intend to prohibit access to countryside woodlands surrounding the village, at various points of entry. (Click on images to enlarge / download)

The only information provided locally on the arbitrary decision to prevent access to all areas, is that contained within the prohibition notices. With the simultaneous closure of all popular local walkways compounded by the existence of operational mineral sites, residents are left with little or no choice for outdoor pursuits; save the stable lake pathway, constructed on Douglas and Angus Estate land at a cost of £30,000, which was provided by a variety of public funding bodies.

In circumstances such as this, it should be of no surprise that residents have expressed the view that their access rights are being unduly curtailed, and that the opportunity to safely enjoy the untouched countryside environs are being diminished year on year for both residents and visitors alike.

The visual impact of unfettered expansion of open cast mining continues to surpass all previous descriptions tendered by those concerned with this industry. The restoration and grandiose after use plans at Dalquhandy unsurprisingly failed to materialise, and the sites of further exploration at Townhead suggests that our once scenic valley environment will be subjected to further desecration; and if allowed, the circle will be complete.

In the recent past if we chose to leave our valley we did so in the knowledge that we would be bound to encounter the HGV traffic associated with the mineral industry. However, despite previously defined routes being subject of agreement, minerals traffic is now a familiar sight, passing through the village en route to Ayrshire, in particular to the school crossing patrol personnel.

We should not be surprised that there is a more pressing need for deer management since the destruction of our woodlands as a result of mineral open cast operations, has resulted in fewer places to provide safe habitat for the deer and other wildlife for that matter, to enjoy a natural existence.

Is this level of degradation sustainable…?
How much more can our valley endure…?
How bright is the economic future…?
 
Douglas and Angus Estate can contacted at the following...

Ian Fleming
Estate Manager
Douglas & Angus Estates
Newmains
Douglas
Lanark
ML11 0RH
Tel: 01555 851536
Fax: 01555 851140

Website - http://www.dandaestates.co.uk/
Email - office@dandaestates.co.uk

For information about the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, click on the link below