Calls for action as Duns Park is ‘a no go area’ for Reivers Week

Duns Park during recent flooding.
Duns Park during recent flooding.

THERE’ve been calls for Scottish Borders Council to finally rectify the drainage issues at Duns Public Park as more heavy rainfall last week saw it resemble more of a lake, causing last minute chaos for the Duns Summer Festival committee who had to hastily find other venues for a number of events.

The heavy rainfall which took everyone by surprise last Thursday, June 28, led to large pools of water forming all over the park and after waking up to find it full of water on Friday, those involved with Reivers Week knew it could no longer be used as part of their festivities.

This year is not the first time that a water logged public park has prompted a last minute shake up of plans; it’s happened on numerous occasions over the years and summer festival president, Stuart Renton, said it was about time improvements were made on the site.

“After all the rain fall we had last week the park became a no go area for us,” he told ‘The Berwickshire News’.

“It’s very unfortunate that we haven’t been able to use it for events like the crowning of the Wynsome Mayde, which is traditionally held there. The only thing we’ve used it for so far is the bed race - we called it our water feature! The ongoing drainage problems with the park are frustrating for the whole town. We’ve been told there’s money available so hopefully it will get sorted in the very near future; we’ve pushed for it for long enough.

After being approached on the possibility of works being carried out at the park in the near future, a spokesperson for SBC said these were part of the council’s plans although costs were still being addressed.

They added: “The recent heavy rainfall, particularly over the last two weeks has left the park flooded. As there are issues with the drainage we have surveyed the park and a have had a new drainage system designed.

“We are working out how much this will cost, and will progress with the project in due course.”

And Councillor Donald Moffat, who said he’d been following the issue since being elected in 2007, believes the money is available to rectify it before it gets any worse.

He added: “The drains will run it’s just a case of trying to get the water to them. There’s no mistaking that Duns Public Park is a first class facility and we need to get it back to the point where it can be used by everyone.”