A VILLAGE war memorial targeted by disrespectful vandals and litter louts has been has been transformed by kind neighbours and council workers.

John Logan and Robert Gourlay, from Dreghorn, worked closely with North Ayrshire Council’s Streetscene team after getting in touch with the local authority for help to revamp the war memorial and make it a place people will want to visit again.

Irvine Times: The men transformed the village war memorial after getting in touch with the council The men transformed the village war memorial after getting in touch with the council (Image: North Ayrshire Council)

A spate of anti-social behaviour saw the memorial structure being vandalised, wheelie bins being dragged near it and set alight, hedges being ripped up and litter being strewn around.

 John and Robert have maintained the area by cleaning the paving slabs, planting bushes and plants, weeding, cutting the grass and painting existing benches.

The council helped by supplying new benches and plants and resurfacing a section of the whinstone track to improve access to the site.

Irvine Times: The neighbours worked with the council's streetscene teamThe neighbours worked with the council's streetscene team (Image: NAC)

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, the council’s Veteran’s Champion, said: “What a difference this effort has made.

“The feedback from the people of Dreghorn has been positive, and this is now an area where families out for a stroll and people walking their dogs can sit, take in the fantastic view and reflect.

“Well done to everyone involved for helping to breathe new life into an area that villagers can now enjoy.”

John noticed the decline of the memorial and viewing point while out walking his dog and said he felt saddened by its state of disrepair.

He said: “It was covered in green algae, and surrounded by litter, cans and broken bottles. The views are beautiful from the memorial, so Robert and I thought it deserved some time and effort to improve things.

“We contacted Streetscene around March to talk through some ideas. They gave us hedges, bushes, plants, paint, a picnic bench and two new memorial benches.

“We cut the grass, created a short path – where the ground was waterlogged - to the woods, cleaned the surrounding wall, cleared the algae and have maintained it. It has been a total turnaround and the support from the council has been great.”

Irvine Times: The area had suffered from litter louts and anti-social behaviourThe area had suffered from litter louts and anti-social behaviour (Image: NAC)

Robert is also delighted with the transformation and hopes people will continue to be respectful when walking near the memorial. He said: “Before, there was abandoned shopping trolleys, burning wheelie bins and rubbish everywhere."

He added: “Now, it is a place people can visit, take the weight off their feet and enjoy. We had a lot of help, including from Muirhouses Farm, which donated manure for the border where we planted the hedges.”

Councillor Tony Gurney, cabinet Member for Green Environment and Economy, added: “This is a fine example of residents and the Council working together for the good of the community.”