CSGN partners are delivering projects across Ayrshire, helping to make central Scotland a more attractive and distinctive place to live, to visit and to do business in. Here are just a few of the projects that are currently taking place in the area.
East Ayrshire Coalfields Environment Initiative (EACEI)
EACEI is delivering the East Ayrshire Coalfield Nature Network which aims to enhance, conserve and promote the natural heritage of the Coalfields peatland habitats. Working on nationally important sites within the coalfields at Airds Moss, Tapethill Moss and Dalmellington Moss, work has involved repairing dams, constructing bunds, blocking drains, and tree felling; all essential work that will ensure these habitats are robust and adaptable to threats such as climate change. In conjunction a volunteering and education programme is running, working with local communities to improve understanding of these habitats and their important biodiversity
SWT Irvine to Girvan Nectar Network
SWT in Ayrshire is taking action as part of a project being led by Dundonald Links Golf Course in Irvine. Using a landscape-scale approach to conservation, they are delivering a pollinator project by sowing wildflowers in connected areas of land between the two towns. The intention is to boost pollinator numbers by providing lots of feeding opportunities and nesting sites for them. By making sure flower-rich sites are well connected allows pollinators to move away from temporarily inhospitable conditions, survive and recolonise when things improve. All species have a better chance of survival if they can move throughout the landscape.
The coastal habitats and golf courses of south Irvine are an excellent example of such a network. Currently, land identified in the corridor is being surveyed to assess how best to manage that land for pollinating insects. Each site will then be issued with a plan where volunteers and/or contractors will carry out the recommended ecological works.
East Ayrshire Council – Dean Castle Country Park
£3.4 million pounds of HLF Parks for People funding has been secured for Dean Castle Country Park, which will start the country parks transformation into a five star visitor attraction where visitors can participate in, appreciate and value their local natural and cultural heritage.
The Parks for People project (total value £4.74 million) comprises five elements, including:
- developing a new Rural Life Centre with play park, improved animal enclosures, orchard and picnic areas
- upgrading and extending the visitor facilities
- enhancing the green network by reinstating two bridges across the Craufurdland Water and creating/upgrading 6km of paths to allow exploration of the wilder parts of the park
- restoring the designed landscape
- a programme of interpretation, events, workshops, outdoor learning and volunteering activities that will be delivered between 2016/21
As well as the Parks for People project, the Castle Restoration and Modernisation project is also underway. This aims to restore and preserve the external fabric of the building through essential stonework repairs, modernise and extend the exhibition and displays, and provide apprenticeship and learning programmes around stonework restoration and collection conservation. The development phase, which will support the stage two bid to HLF, has now started and should this phase be successful, then work will commence on delivering the project in 2016.