Work on returning one of Rothesay’s best beauty spots to its original glory is gathering pace - thanks to the volunteer efforts of one local couple.
Alan and Georgina Denholm, who live at Chapelhill Villa in Westlands Road, have been painstakingly restoring the rockery, garden and viewpoint next to their home, offering stunning views across Rothesay Bay to Inverclyde, Cowal and Loch Striven, since moving in to the property three years ago.
And though the couple are happy to be kept busy by what is clearly a labour of love, they also want to get the word out that they’d be more than happy to be joined by other members of the public to help get the rockery, next to the old Rothesay Academy building, back to its original condition.
“It can be quite a busy place,” Georgina told The Buteman this week. “There were 30 people came up to the viewpoint during January alone.
“It had got to the stage where people visiting the viewpoint couldn’t see anything over the tops of the trees, so we thought we’d offer to do something about it.”
The rockery, viewpoint and garden space are all owned by Argyll and Bute Council, but after approaching the authority with their offer of help the Denholms were delighted to be given the green light to start work on the site.
“It’s a beautiful spot,” Georgina continued. “There’s so much to see, and we’d love to see anyone who has a bit of time to spare to work on the site, whenever they feel like coming up. Unfortunately we don’t have tools to give people but anyone who can come along to help will be more than welcome.
The Denholms are members of the Bute in Bloom voluntary group, which was set up in 2013 to make Rothesay’s annual entry in the Beautiful Scotland awards scheme more of a community effort by encouraging local residents to take on responsibility for tidying up patches of land near their homes.
The area was added to the route taken when Beautiful Scotland judges Lorna Mutch and Kate Stevenson assessed Rothesay’s entry in the competition last August, and the Denholms are hopeful that their efforts will make even more of an impression on the 2014 judging visit.
“Somebody did a nice, planned job on the site,” Georgina added, “and we just want to restore it to something resembling what it was originally.”