Exciting new plans for Leslie Common Good Land

Plans are being made to transform a former cricket pitch into a natural wetland habitat attracting insects, birds and other forms of wildlife.

The area of Common Good land, known locally as ‘East Meadow’ in Leslie was for decades used for various sports, most notably cricket, but in recent years has suffered from flooding and poor drainage.

But now, a iniative from the town’s community councillors to put the area to better use has got the support of Fife Council.

Jim Leitch, from Fife Council’s area parks team is now carrying out a study into how best to implement the idea.

He said: “We are currently working with the community council on options and look forward to continuing to work together with them to find a solution for the future of this area.”

With a number of unsuccessful attempts to drain the area, it is understood the preferred option is the possibility of turning the land into a valuable resource for the local community.

Chairman John Wincott said, “Over the past couple of years the area has gradually been converting itself into a wetland habitat with local wildlife and plants starting to become established.

If the feasibility study and costs were favourable, the Community Council would be able to consider improving on the slow natural process that is already occurring to produce something that is a valuable asset for the local community.

Fife has been identified as an area that is lacking in this type of environment and, if the scheme were to go ahead, we would like to see it being properly implemented with perhaps a wooden boardwalk and viewing areas for people to enjoy the amenity.

However, we are a long way from any decision yet while we await the results of the investigations that are currently being conducted by the council officials who have been very helpful in providing advice and assistance with this.”

The common land has a long tradition with sporting activity, as well as being a cricket pitch, the land was used for football matches and proved a popular area for many years for the Leslie Ladies Keep Fit Club.

In winter months in the early part of the last century, the area was flooded and left to freeze over creating a temparary ice rink wich proved hugely popular with the Barony Council employing a guard to stop children from braking the ice at night.

During the Second World War, a dam was built and a reservoir created to store water for the fire service in case of possible air raid.

Leslie Community Council are expecting the initial results of the survey in the autumn.