Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

ALISTAIR HEATHER: I’m all for Dundee’s ‘Wee Forests’ but let’s try a bit harder with the green space we’ve got

A burnt-out car on the edge of Dundee. Surely the city deserves better than this?
A burnt-out car on the edge of Dundee. Surely the city deserves better than this?

I loved reading about Stobbie’s new Wee Forest.

A small area of land will be reforested in the Stobswell area of Dundee, allowing space where plants and trees and animals can flourish.

These Wee Forests are being created across the city by a team at the Botanic Gardens, so people will never be more than a three-minute walk from a nature spot.

I have suggestions for a bunch of new places.

I also have some ground rules that we should probably all agree to before we set these little woodlands up, cause at the minute we’re acting like we dinnae really deserve them.

Storm Arwen ripped doon a fair few fences in Dundee.

And all around my bit, secret little brownfield enclaves were exposed.

On the hilltoon, a building with sturdy steel struts to stall its subsidence overlooks one such exposed patch.

The cheap wooden fence that had hidden it for a while buckled in the blasting winds, and this dead area was revealed behind.

It’s currently home to a mingin mattress and some broken traffic cones, and queuing traffic gets an eyeful of this enclave of ugly as they wait at the lights.

The derelict site at the Hilltown. A perfect spot for one of Dundee’s new Wee Forests.

Imagine a lovely wee wooded area here.

A micro forest, wi a couple trees, some undergrowth… Birds in a branch, bees at a blossom.

As we pech our way up the brae fae the toon, what a braw place to stop and catch wir breath this would be.

Green space from a dark place?

Along fae my flat is a semi-derelict plot of land, exposed when the fence was dinged doon by Arwen’s gusts.

It’s a thin strip between plots, about three metres wide and six long.

This channel is truly ripe for a micro forest.

There’s our backies on one side, a wall on the other and beyond that some dilapidated sheds where occasionally sex workers and their clients meet in the shadows.

Surely the families that play in the backies and those who work in the darker neuks back there would benefit from the healthful air of a wee forest?

Some green foliage to combat the endless grinding black diesel hum of the Cleppy Road would be a blow on behalf of nature, at least.

These spaces can be beautiful.

And they are essential too.

Off Clepington Road: the beginnings of a future forest?

The already congested Strathmartine Road is getting a skelp of new social houses that dinnae seem to have a scrap of garden space between them.

More of these micro forests will be vital if the future inhabitants are to have any nature within walking distance at all.

Here’s where we can all play a part

My demand for more green space, even totty wee ones, doesnae come without conditions.

We have a responsibility ourselves here.

We can’t sit around and point fingers, demanding that others come in and improve our environment.

This is our community. Let’s make it nicer ourselves too.

Scaffolding outside the new social housing on Strathmartine Road.

Dealing with dog mess would be a good start.

When pals come to visit me in Coldside, they often remark upon the prodigious quantity of keich on the streets.

Let’s do better on that ane eh.

Torched cars and trashed landscapes

Burnt out cars is another sore point.

I walk regularly at night round the outskirts of the city, where Dundee meets Angus.

This takes me often through the various golf courses and scraggy woods that abutt the Dichty Watter.

The other night, I was on the phone to my partner as I sauntered along a dark fairway.

Suddenly, the black dark night ahead of me erupted in flames.

Torched car found on Dundee’s Caird Park golf course sparks fury

A real fleg of high tangerine flame scorched the air.

By its light I saw a cabal of silhouettes moving about it.

Being a jessie, I quickly exited the scene.

On returning back the next day, I found a Ford Mondeo ditched in Gelly Burn, well and truly gutted.

This is the third I’ve come across in my year and a bit here.

The most supremely melted example was an unidentifiable car dumped on a forest path just off Mains Loan.

Doubtless plenty more have been scattered across the city.

Alistair inspects the torched remains of another burnt-out car.

They strike me almost like found art, or a contemporary exhibit by some challenging artist who wants to make an on-the-nose point about our relationship with nature.

The patterns on the bonnet of the Mondeo were genuinely captivating.

But, fundamentally, I disapprove.

We can all do much better for our green space

When I was wee some Dundonians came out to Newbigging and nicked our crap old Cavalier and flamed it in a field.

It was unnerving for us, as well as for our neighbours, and left us stranded in the village for ages until we could get another vehicle.

Our natural world deserves better too.

Leaving litter to skitter into the wind is bad enough, but dumping a car in a water course? That’s a level beyond.

Think of wee Nemo and his pals, swimming aboot in the poison runoff fae the blazed sump.

So aye. Its a big Yes to the Wee Forests.

They sound class.

But let’s mind and improve our respect for the living green world if we want to prove we deserve a greater proportion of it.


Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]