As a wee girl I spent many a day at the Swannie Ponds – so it was touching to take my kids there for the first time.
I’d visit as a child with various family members, armed with a fishing net, bouncing home with a few tadpoles which would surely turn into frogs.
The boys adored seeing the swans and their grey, fluffy signets as well as lots of ducks and it fair took me back.
The best bit was the people we met. A lady with cool tattoos told us that three funny looking birds we saw were coots and showed us their nests in the water.
She said she knew little before lockdown but has taught herself lots during her daily walk to the ponds.
The only sad bit was the amount of rubbish in parts of the water. And just as I was thinking that, we spotted a lady fishing out bits of plastic and a whole loaf of white bread.
Sue Murray, who is a member of the Friends of Swannie Ponds, was using her son’s old fishing net to scoop up the soggy bread as it’s bad for ducks and swans.
While there are signs on bins asking people not to feed the birds bread, Sue is considering forking out herself for a more prominent warning.
The boys loved helping her – so enthusiastically of course that Chester fell in.
An older lady carrying shopping laughed as my three-year-old asked if she had any sweeties for him. A young woman in a wheelchair smiled as she was taken round the ponds by her carer.
Swannie Ponds (or Stobsmuir Ponds officially) is a jewel in the crown of Dundee, not only for its wildlife beauty but equally its community which has not diminished in the decades since I visited last.