Working at the heart of Fife’s biodiversity

Close to 1000 volunteers have been helping to plant marram and lyme grasses to stabilise the new dunes in St Andrews.
Close to 1000 volunteers have been helping to plant marram and lyme grasses to stabilise the new dunes in St Andrews.

Protecting bats and bluebells and saltmarsh restoration are just some of the improvement works being carried out thanks to the Local Biodiversity Action Plan.

Earlier this month, councillors were updated on the plan and its projects. Partnership working between Fife Council, other organisations and community groups is at the heart of the plan’s success.

With over 200 actions in the plan, a huge range of projects are underway across Fife. Projects range from species-specific work to protect bats and bluebells, to landscape scale initiatives such as saltmarsh restoration in the Eden Estuary. At November 2016, 20 per cent of LBAP actions are complete with another 50 per cent underway.

Cllr John Wincott, executive spokesman for environment and transportation, said: “Biodiversity is a vital part of protecting our environment. By improving the range of species in Fife, and protecting those that we already have, we are securing the natural future of the area.

“The Fife Local Biodiversity Action Plan continues to be a key mechanism for protecting and enhancing Fife’s biodiversity. I’m delighted to hear the plan is delivering beneficial projects to Fife through working closely with our local communities.”

Here are some project highlights from the LBAP: Fife’s Buzzing – This wildflower meadow creation project - led by Fife Council and Buglife – is bringing colour to Fife’s parks. With £86,000 funding from Heritage Lottery Fund and Fife Environment Trust, 2015 and 2016 saw the creation of flower-rich grassland across 22 parks and greenspaces.

West Sands Dune Restoration Project – Led by St Andrews Links Trust, Fife Coast & Countryside Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage and Fife Council, over 14,000 tonnes of sand have been shifted to restore damaged sections of the dune.

Corn Bunting Recovery Project – RSPB is leading this project with support from Scottish Natural Heritage, Fife Environment Trust, Kettle Produce and Marks & Spencer, working with committed farmers and land managers to offer safe nesting sites for the birds. Cllr Wincott added: “I encourage as many as possible to get involved.”