Kinghorn’s beautiful loch is looking forward to another very successful bird breeding season after volunteers spent several days renewing the water’s four rafts of barley straw.
With only the best being good enough for the wildlife at the loch, Craigencalt Trust organised working parties to carry out the spadework. During February it organised sessions to complete a tight schedule to build and assemble four new rafts.
Over 30 of the group’s volunteers turned out in wet and cold conditions to do the work, offering their expertise and knowledge from previous times.
The rafts on the loch are piled high with barley straw, a job which needs to be finished by early March, so that the resident birdlife can use the facilities for nesting.
The operation was completed when the barley straw went out last Sunday, allowing the courting and pairing up of water fowl to begin.
Ron Edwards, chairman of the Trust, said: “When the first rafts were built 17 years ago, the only aim was to rid Kinghorn Loch of annual blue green algae blooms, an exercise that has proved to be completely successful.
“However, over the years, it has also become clear how beneficial the rafts are to the varied birdlife that inhabits the loch. In spring the rafts make ideal places for new nests. With this in mind, this time round the rafts were reinforced to allow larger birds like swans to nest without worrying that their nest will sink as the barley straw rots down into the water.
“There is a huge range of different species of birds that inhabit and frequent Kinghorn Loch. As well as the many water fowl there are garden and woodland birds, owls, woodpeckers and even kingfishers on occasions. Our bird hide is an excellent place from which to view and study them and visitors are welcome. The area in front of the hide and along the west and north bank of the loch is reserved for wildlife only.”
Constructing the new rafts is just one part of the new lochside project which Craigencalt Trust is involved in. Soon it hopes to resume work on a new disabled and family friendly path through woodland around the Craigencalt area.