A CLEAR funding victory

James Brophy (Manager), Nicole Ewing, Bob Taylor, Nadia Bennet and Allen Armstrong. (Picture by David Wardle)
James Brophy (Manager), Nicole Ewing, Bob Taylor, Nadia Bennet and Allen Armstrong. (Picture by David Wardle)

A Buckhaven charity has received a £10,000 boost to help achieve a lasting legacy for the town.

The cash came from Yorkshire Building Society who pledged £150,000 in its 150th anniversary year to boost legacy projects, and CLEAR (Community Led Environmental Action for Regeneration) Buckhaven was one of just 15 projects out of 600 across the UK to be awarded the cash as a result of a public vote.

Now CLEAR will use the money to continue its regeneration of neglected parts of the town, working with local volunteers and children to plant more than 200 trees in public orchards to develop the Buckhaven Orchard Trail, transforming areas of wasteland and unused green space.

Bob Taylor is the chairman of CLEAR Buckhaven, and he was thrilled with the funding: “The timing is perfect coinciding with the arrival of the winter planting season - we can’t wait to get started to make a real difference to our community.

“We are thrilled that our project was chosen for funding.”

CLEAR Buckhaven has already planted thousands of trees and flowers and installed 30 bird boxes around the town, bringing together people from across the area.

Fruit trees have been planted in both town and wild orchards along with wild trees and flowers to benefit pollinating insects, to make a huge difference to the local ecosystems.

The Globe Wildlife Garden has been developed as a wild public space and outdoor classroom and on Buckhaven Braes native trees have been planted to help combat severe coastal erosion and mining subsidence.

The work has also involved partnerships with Buckhaven and Denbeath Primary Schools, and Buckhaven High School in an outdoor education programme and involved an ever-growing army of volunteers.

Public events have included open days at CLEAR’s growing space, bat walks, Christmas tree planting events, guided walks and beach cleans. Several community litter picks have cleared tonnes of rubbish from the coastline, parks and other sites.

Other partnerships have been forged, including Fife Employment Access Trust, SMAH, Princes Trust, Fife Council, Scottish Water and Travelution.