Old mill pond at Fife beauty spot to be turned into wildlife haven

A project has been launched to regenerate a disused pond at Silverburn Park into a wildlife haven with pond dipping platform and wildlife hide.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 11:11 am
The old mill pond.

The initiative – supported by Fife Employment Access Trust (FEAT) the mental health charity which manages Silverburn Park – saw Fife Coast and Countryside Trust rangers Deirdre Munro and Dallas Seawright support the community group Friends of Silverburn Park (FOSPS).

“The volunteers cleared a stand of dense bramble which has dominated the south side of the pond,” explained Deirdre.

"Unfortunately, this work naturally creates large patches of bare mud and earth which neither offers cover to wildlife nor is visually attractive.

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“We were able to address this issue by offering pondside vegetation from well-established donor sites, including Petrie’s Pond at Lochore Meadows. A variety of pond-side plants, complete with plenty of mud clinging to the roots, which would harbour all sorts of small wildlife that would also be welcome in the new habitat.”

The first batch of plants has now been collected and planted at the new site where they will help to create a valuable wildlife habitat. The work is ongoing and a good example of how working in partnership can help to deliver positive environmental improvements which help the local area, its wildlife, and people.

FOSP’s member, Dougie Saunders, said: “I have been associated with Silverburn Park for over 40 years, having spent many happy times there with my family. From speaking to others as they come through the park this is a common theme. In retirement I now find I have the time to put something back and last year became aware that Silverburn Park was looking for members to join their Friends Group. FOSP has many great ideas and plans going forward but there is no doubt that this past year has had significant challenges.

"Plans have been in place for some time to restore the pond area, bringing it back to life. This includes the building of a wildlife hide and dipping platform.

"Funding for the hide has been provided by The National Lottery and Fife Council, and hopefully will go ahead during the summer but Covid has prevented us taking forward certain aspects.”