A BALLYMONEY father has expressed his ‘utter disgust’ at the state of the duck pond at Riverside Park.
Describing it as ‘outrageous, smelly and filthy’ Adrian Campbell of Hamiliton Park was totally repulsed when he took his seven year old twins to feed the ducks in the Park last Sunday.
He explained: “It was a lovely Sunday afternoon and I decided to take my son and daughter to Riverside Park to feed the ducks, have a walk and an ice cream.
“However when we got to the duck pond I was utterly disgusted at what we saw. The pond was filthy, smelly and outrageous. It had traffic cones floating in it, litter, bits of wood and you couldn’t see the bottom of the pond due to the dirt and scum. My daughter even said ‘How do the ducks live in that pond Daddy?’ - how do you answer that?
“I was that embarrassed and anger, I went back to my car and got the camera out and started snapping away.
“What impression does this give to visitors and tourists who come to Ballymoney - that we’re filthy people who allow this to happen to our local park, who drop litter and treat their environment like dirt? This is a Council run park, what does this say about them?
“Years ago this Park used to be a lovely place where bands played and we had festivals and people could enjoy a stroll in the sunshine. You wouldn’t think that now - it looks like a rubbish dump.”
Hitting out at Ballymoney Borough Councillors, Adrian called on them to ‘take action’ and help promote the borough as a great tourist attraction and place for parents, both local and visitors, to bring their family.
He added: “The other day I was leaving Ballymoney and saw a ‘no to lignite’ sign. Is that what Council are doing? Not spending money on anything and trying to run our wee town down so it can be wiped out for lignite?
“At the moment we have nothing but coffee shops, charity shops and butcher shops, which are obviously important but not something that brings people into the town to browse and spend money.
“What are the councillors doing to help businesses, promote tourism and boosting the economy? What are they doing for the residents?
“The pond really is a breeding ground for vermin and bacteria and something needs to be done about it - that could be a start. Why haven’t Council taken action? Surely they are aware of the state of it and what impression is gives.”
In response a spokesperson from Ballymoney Boroug Council explained: “The issues raised about Riverside Park, particularly the build up of silt in the lake, was most recently raised at the Leisure Committee in mid June and it was agreed that the Director would re-visit the issue, which had been reported on in 2009, when a proposal to for de-silting of the lake was estimated at £150,000 together with a proposal to upgrade paths est £80,000.
“Essential work to repair and reinstate a collapsed path at the Park, estimated at £119,000 was completed recently and the path network is once again fully available to users. Some bio-diversity measures have also been introduced at Riverside Park.”