VILLAGERS in Skelmorlie are joining forces to tackle neglected areas of land and turn them into areas for residents to enjoy.

The new Skelmorlie Environment Trust held its first meeting recently, with villagers heading along to roll up their sleeves and volunteer.

Temporary chairman Nick Hobson says the time has come for the village to look after its own green spaces and improve them to benefit all.

He said: “The trust was conceived out of the enthusiasm of a number of villagers for protecting and enhancing the local environment.

“Activities thus far have focused on litter collection and beach cleans, however we've noticed that several areas of ground within the village have become neglected and unmanaged.

“We are looking to take over maintenance of some of these areas to clear, restore and revamp them for community use."

Volunteers have already started work on a crucial piece of greenery in the village.

Nick explained: “The initial focus is a small clearing to the north end of the Crescent in Skelmorlie, which many people in the village are familiar with.

“To date we have done some rubbish collection and removed some rhododendrons to improve safe access for surveying and marking of native species.

“We are fortunate to have a qualified landscape gardener within the group who has undertaken a detailed species analysis of this small area and has overseen all our activities."

Nick reveals that the group has big plans and harbours an ambitious vision to create an outdoor classroom for the nearby village school.

He added: “Medium term goals would be to make the pathway into the clearing accessible to all and develop it as an outdoor classroom for the school, with some seating and signage.

“Longer term we would be looking to expand our maintenance programme to include other areas of unmanaged ground to the south of the bowling club.

“We are an enthusiastic group of volunteers, simply trying to make our village just a little more beautiful for the people of Skelmorlie.”

For more information, or to get involved, visit the Skelmorlie Environment Trust page on Facebook.