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As with the other sections on our natural environment, this does not intend to be an authoritative source, but rather to encourage a wider appreciation of our flora.

West Dunbartonshire has some great parks and these are covered under their own sections. Parks are a very good place to start getting to know our wild flora, but parks by their very nature are also places where we find so many introduced species. They enriche our lives and environment, but can also interfere with it. Many plant types have gone feral and, as with other forms of life, have affected the natural reproduction and growth of our indigenous species. Such problem plants are termed invasive species. 

A weed is a plant that is simply in the wrong place.

What is intended here is to celebrate our indigenous species. Some invaders will be discussed too, but what better than to get to know some of the stars of our indigenous plant world first.

The Woodland Trust has an excellent website illustrating our most significant flowers and trees. Also the Oicture This website notes the range of plants in West Dunbartonshire including which ones are toxic to humans. This same website offers an app that can identify plants for you. See the links below.

NatureScot's website offers a complete list of all trees and shurbs undigenous to Scotland.

Trees, both indigenous and introduced, become very much valued and integral part of our urban environment too. Certainly the more mature ones become very important to us, yet some can become dangerous when old, susceptible to being blown over, or an impediment to natural light, both on the property on which they grow or to neighbours, oer perhaps seen as a hindrance to building development. Removal of or even severe pruning therefore needs to be prudently assessed. There is not an automatic right to cut down or remove such significant trees and the council needs to be consulted. 

Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs) protect a number of trees and woodlands in West Dunbartonshire. These orders prohibit the cutting down or any other works to protected trees without the Council’s consent. They can have a communal value and certainly their demise can detrimentally affect neighbouring property too. To find out more, see the link below. 

A cat amongst the bluebells.

Birds, as other animals, almost always have an inherent instinct as to what is safe to eat and what not to so it is rare to see them succumb to them. Pets though will not necessarily have this so it is wise to watch out for them. Plants to be careful of on their behalf include daffodils and mistletoe - and even rhubarb - which is toxi even to us until cooked. 

There are plenty of plant identification apps on the internet. Worth a try. Accuracy may depend on country of origin, the available data bases and what image is fed in. Gardening Bankl website below gives some suggestions.

BIRD GAP website 15 Plants That Are Poisonous to Birds  : https://birdgap.com/plants-poisonous-birds/#:~:text=Mistletoe%20Mistletoe%2C%20also%20known%20as%20Phoradendron%20vilosum%2C%20is,is%20because%20they%20contain%20high%20amounts%20of%20viscotoxin.

DALMUIR : index.asp?pageid=716265 & https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/leisure-parks-events/parks-and-greenspaces/parks/dalmuir-park/

GARDENING BANK : https://gardeningbank.com/plant-identification-apps/#:~:text=Best%20Free%20Plant%20Identification%20Apps%201%201.%20LeafSnap,Seek%20...%208%208.%20FlowerChecker%20%28Plant%20Identify%29%20

LEVENGROVE : index.asp?pageid=715801 & https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/leisure-parks-events/parks-and-greenspaces/parks/levengrove-park/highlights-of-levengrove-park/

NATURESCOT : https://www.nature.scot/doc/trees-and-shrubs-native-scotland

PICTURE THIS website : https://www.picturethisai.com/city/United-Kingdom-West-Dunbartonshire.html

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT : https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-planning-series-planning-circular-1-2011-tree-preservation-orders/pages/5/

WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE COUNCIL - TREE PRESERVATION ORDERS. https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/council/strategies-plans-and-policies/local-development-planning/tree-preservation-orders/

WILDVALE : http:// https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/woods/lang-craigs/

WOODLAND TRUST : TREES : https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/plants/wild-flowers/ & FLOWERS : https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-british-trees/

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