Preparing for a new era at Ecology Centre

Ecology Centre Kinghorn Loo with a View
Ecology Centre Kinghorn Loo with a View

It’s all change at the Ecology Centre in Kinghorn as staff begin packing for the big move.

With the centre’s lease on its current premises at Craigencalt Farm due to run out at the end of November, and staff eagerly waiting to find out if their bid to the National Lottery for funding to build their new centre has been successful, 15 years of accumulated possessions from furniture and office equipment to gardening items are all being either sold off or boxed up in preparation for the move to the centre’s new home in the eastern bank of Kinghorn Loch.

Three shipping containers which will temporarily house the on-site activities of the new centre until it is built are already in place and are being renovated to accommodate the Tool Shed project. They are being insulated and painted and having power installed to enable volunteers to continue meeting over the winter months. Another two containers will also be used for storage.

The centre’s new ‘Loo with a View,’ an eco toilet overlooking the loch and set amid a beautiful wildflower meadow, is already in place and is attracting a lot of attention. With its attractive glass tiles and stunning outlook it has seen many visitors in recent weeks.

The timber building works without the need for water, instead using sawdust and a natural composting system.

While the shipping containers will be used for volunteers and outdoor staff, the education sessions for schools will continue and the administration staff will move temporarily to accommodation in Carlyle House, Kirkcaldy, until the new centre is complete.

Alison Crook, development manager for the Ecology Centre, explained: “The key date for us is mid-November when we will hear the outcome of the Lottery application which is pivotal to building the new centre.

“In the meantime the shipping containers will enable us to continue with our projects, and all the work is being done by our volunteers, who we couldn’t do without.

“If all goes well and we are granted our funding, work should start on the new centre at the beginning of the year with an entry date by late Spring. We expect the building work to take four to five months and the biggest job will be getting the power supply in from the main road, which will be first on the list.

“The weather will be the thing that determines the timescale of all the work, so we are all praying that it is not a bad winter.”

Alison said the changeover process had been a fairly smooth one “because of the 10 years of hard work done by the staff before it”.

“It is a big thing, but everyone is working together to ensure it happens as easily as possible.”