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Letters / For the benefit of the community – keep the garden

I am astonished to learn from the Shetland News website (Council legal team not too happy with community garden extension; SN, 22 September 2020) that the SIC wants Frank Johnson to demolish the beautiful extension to the Lerwick community garden.

I do not understand this at all after being told by SIC staff recently that there is no money and no time to care and maintain the areas at the Knab between the path and the wall as well as around the Clickimin Loch to deal with the big, dominating dock weed (Rumex obtusifolius).

Here is someone [Frank Johnson] tidying up and improving the appearance of a piece of waste land. The place was not looked after before Frank started this project.

At a time of Corona and lockdown has been pressing hard on our souls, and social distancing has become mandatory, he worked hard to extend the place; a place people love to visit keeping social distance.

Spending time at the garden might have kept depression away from some people.

I cannot understand why the SIC is acting like this. Leaving this as waste land is much riskier from many aspects? And why is the SIC acting now, after the work has been done and everything looks nice and lovely?

Often I think the SIC does not manage to maintain the investments and properties they should look after? Is the budget regarding money and staff sufficient enough?

Do we not all want to improve Lerwick and Shetland? Do we not all want people to love and enjoy the place and its environment? Do we not want people to be active?

Why should someone who volunteered and made Lerwick more beautiful and lovely [get penalised] and the community lose a gem in the middle of their town?

So – for the benefit of Lerwick, the community and tourists – I hope common sense will prevail in the end and we can enjoy the lovely community garden with the extension for several years to come.

Arwed Wenger
Lerwick

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