A new environmental restoration project has been unveiled to boost biodiversity and build climate resilience in the East Neuk
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Forth Rivers Trust has launched the Balcaskie Wetlands Project which focuses on the upper reaches of the Dreel Burn. It aims to combat the twin challenges of climate change and declining biodiversity by supporting the creation of a crucial wetland habitat on Balcaskie Estate.
Work will include natural flood management (NFM) measures by installing ‘leaky dams’ which will help reduce flood event intensity; riparian tree planting to cool water temperatures; wetland habitat creation which will provide habitat for vulnerable species, and the removal of a ford. The project is a partnership between Balcaskie Estate, Balcarres Estate, Anstruther Improvements Association and the Forth Rivers Trust, and backed by Fife Environment Trust and by the Scottish Government’s Nature Restoration Fund.
Jonathan Louis, co-director of Forth Rivers Trust, said: “The twin threats of climate change and declining biodiversity are at the forefront of these works and our team will draw upon their expertise, supported by our vital partners. This will deliver long lasting nature based solutions that will benefit nature for years to come.‘
The Dreel Burn Project was set up by Anstruther Improvements Association after members of the local community raised concerns about the degraded state of the burn.
Julia Priestley, the association’s community development worker, said: We are delighted that Forth Rivers Trust is leading the Balcaskie Wetlands Project. It will be the first major intervention to take place, as we work towards the long-term aim of restoring the health of the burn. We are looking forward to supporting this project on the ground – in February we will be working with local group Footprint East Neuk to deliver the riparian tree planting on the site.”
Iain Sime, NatureScot head of fundraising, said: “Balcaskie Wetlands is a vital project that will help to reduce flooding while increasing biodiversity in the local area. Nature-based-solutions like these are essential to help build our resilience to further climate change while restoring our habitats and species back to full health. This is exactly the type of project that we are here to support, and it is rewarding to see this work getting underway.”