Heritage Trail developments

The anticipated completion of the Heritage Trail is now in sight.  Work started at the RSPB end, with the new section of trail heading west toward the Factory Bay section.

The new Heritage Trail extension

The new Heritage Trail extension

RSPB manager Uwe Stoneman looks out from the location of the planned view point.

RSPB manager Uwe Stoneman looks out from the location of the planned view point.

TRACKS Director Neil Kilpatrick leads staff from partner organisations along part of the newly completed trail.

TRACKS Director Neil Kilpatrick leads staff from partner organisations along part of the newly completed trail.

The Heritage Trail project was started back in 2006, and the intention had always been to complete a full circuit around Loch Leven, providing unprecedented access to all corners of the reserve.  Scottish Natural Heritage have been fully supportive of TRACKS (The Rural Access Committee for Kinross-shire) in their tireless efforts to make ends meet and bring all relevant parties to a satisfactory conclusion.  Funding has come from many sources, with the most significant bulk from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

One of the existing ponds that management is planned for.

One of the existing ponds that management is planned for.

This pond has already been partially cleared.

This pond has already been partially cleared.

A digger works away shifting earth at the site of one of the new ponds.

A digger works away shifting earth at the site of one of the new ponds.

After more than seven years of planning, construction, discussion and some more planning, the final phase of construction looks set to be completed possibly as soon as April 2014.  The route will lead the user around RSPB’s land, past newly created ponds, along part of the Old Railway with our insect survey ponds and back to join up with Factory Bay to the south of Kinross.  There has been some management of these ponds also taking place, which is intended to benefit the invertebrate populations that inhabit them.  A particularly exciting piece of news is also the development of a Heritage Trail app, which will feature cultural and natural heritage points of interest around the whole route, with games and information for all to enjoy.

A digger working on creating a drainage ditch

A digger working on creating a ditch

The ditches will be the site of a reed bed, planted by volunteers to provide additional habitat and also to act as screening for sensitive wildlife.

The ditches will be the site of a reed bed, planted by volunteers to provide additional habitat and also to act as screening for sensitive wildlife.

Newly planted trees will add to the screening already there, and increase biodiversity along the new trail.

Newly planted trees will add to the screening already there, and increase biodiversity along the new trail.

As part of the latest developments TRACKS are looking for assistance from local volunteers to participate in a large scale tree and reed bed planting project.  The new vegetation will provide additional habitat for a variety of wildlife and will also provide screening from the path for the wildfowl on the loch.  If you are interested in participating in this part of the project, please get in touch with us at the reserve office on 01577 864439 for more information.

About Craig.Nisbet

Reserve Officer Loch Leven National Nature Reserve Scottish Natural Heritage
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