Nature reserve to benefit from restoration project

Project will improve the river quality and wetland habitat for wildlife

Dumbreck

A major project will restore the Garrell Burn in Kilsyth to its natural course and see improvements to Dumbreck Local Nature Reserve.

Over £2 million will be invested by the council and SEPA, through the Water Environment Fund, in the project which will improve the river quality and wetland habitat for local wildlife including salmon, eels, otters and kingfishers.

A network of new and improved paths will be created, with features of interest, viewing platforms and interpretation for visitors, and a fish pass will be created at the weir, next to St Patrick's Primary School.

The work will also address some of the issues with flooding at the reserve and surrounding area.

"Dumbreck Local Nature Reserve provides an important habitat for many species of wildlife that thrive in wetlands, such as lapwings, skylarks, fish and otters," said Nicole Paterson, Head of Environmental Assets.

"In the past, the Garrell Burn was straightened for agricultural purposes but our project will return the river to its natural, meandering course which will improve the quality of the river itself, and the wetland surrounding it. This will create a better environment for birds, plants and fish, and the new fish pass will allow salmon and eels to access habitats further upstream.

"The burn often overflows its bank, causing flooding on the local paths but this work will provide some flood storage and reduce the problems.

"Throughout the project, we will have educational opportunities for local school children to learn about the local environment, in partnership with the Clyde River Foundation."

Subject to planning permission, work is expected to start later this year with the majority of to be completed in 2019/20, with final landscaping scheduled for 2020/21.

Consultations have been held to inform and receive feedback from the community on the project. Ground investigations have also been carried out to inform the development of plans for the project.

The Scottish Government's Water Environment Fund, administered by SEPA, supports initiatives to improve river habitats that have been damaged by historical activities and also bring wider benefits to local urban communities.

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