RESIDENTS have hit out over a "half-drained, very sad-looking pond".

Locals say the pond in Knightswood Park has been emptying during the summer months for the last three years due to what is believed to be a leak, with the water dropping from more than four feet high to a few inches.

However, they say despite reporting the issue to Glasgow City Council, they are frustrated about a lack of communication about what is being done.

Clydebank Post: Knightswood Park PondKnightswood Park Pond

Caroline Johnston, who lives in Knightswood, says the pond was a "place of solace" for many during the lockdown.

She said: "The pond and the park mean a great deal to the local community because people come down to feed the birds in the pond and during lockdown that was where everybody went to spend their hours.

"Even now with the nice long evenings, there are people coming and sitting in the park and having picnics in the park.

"So, to have a half-drained, very sad-looking pond is not great for the 'feel good factor'."

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Tony McGraw is chairman of Knightswood Model Boat Club which has been based at the park for 10 years and has around 45 members, aged from 15 to 92, who meet three times a week.

He says the pond's water levels start to drop in April and don’t recover until the end of November, meaning they ultimately lose out on around six months of sailing.

Tony said: "We are the only club in the west of Glasgow, all the other clubs are Southside.

"It gets a lot of guys out the house, gives them something to do, gets them chatting, gets them building, gets them talking.

"Unfortunately, due to the pond being down so much our guys are very depressed.

"[Their] mental health is very important to me but some of them I’ve noticed are beginning to withdraw again due to the fact they can’t get sailing."

Clydebank Post: Tony McGraw.Tony McGraw.

He continued: "This has been a boating pond since, I think, the early 50s and it keeps our heritage alive.

"I myself have got a 7ft Vanguard which was the last battleship built in Clydebank. We’ve got a QE2, a Queen Mary, umpteen paddle steamers, umpteen tugs, all sorts of stuff."

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Last year following complaints the pond did get refilled, but Tony says he would like to see the issue "properly" fixed.

He said: "There’s a big lack in communication regarding what’s happening with the pond, that’s the main issue.

"What we would have liked done is the pond totally drained, surveyed, and fixed properly.

"Last year they basically came and turned the tap on and left it running."

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However, it’s not just the community affected by the low water levels of the pond, with local wildlife also suffering.

The pond is home to a variety of animals, including fish, eels, frogs, and newts, as well as many birds.

Tony said: "The swans disappear when it gets down to so low a level, they can’t feed properly, and they just migrate off.

"We had 120 geese last year, 90 swans off the top of my head and a few other migrating birds.

"We did have a resident pair [of swans] but they’ve left due to the fact they got attacked by the foxes because the foxes can wade out."

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Lilly Cumming, who has lived in Knightswood for more than 50 years, says it's "heartbreaking" to see how the wildlife has been affected.

She said: "It was an essential part of our mental health during lockdown and beyond to spend time at the pond and enjoy the wildlife.  

"A group of us formed, purely based on our love of the swans and watching out for the new swan family and cygnets, and we are now great friends.

"We’re known locally as 'The Swan Aunties', though we look out for all wildlife and with the help of the fantastic Hessilhead Wildlife Sanctuary have helped many birds and probably saved a few wee lives."

Clydebank Post: Pauline O'Malley and her daughter Demi, Christine Montgomery and Lilly CummingPauline O'Malley and her daughter Demi, Christine Montgomery and Lilly Cumming

A Glasgow City Council spokesperson said: "Water levels at Knightswood Pond are a concern and this issue is clearly having an impact on wildlife as well as local residents’ enjoyment of the park.

"Seasonal variations in rainfall can be a factor, but we are monitoring the pond closely to establish the cause of the fluctuating water levels.

"Funding has been allocated to make significant improvements to the pond and we want to progress with any work as soon as possible.

"We are committed to protecting Glasgow’s biodiversity and the city’s ponds have an important role in supporting wildlife and habitats."

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