Posted on November 14, 2023
The rejuvenation of a much-loved wetland area in Kilsyth continues to flourish and, thanks to support from the National Lottery Fund, a project officer has been appointed to build on the achievements made so far.
Claire Brady is the new Dumbreck & Garrell Project Officer and she will be working on projects in the area until Summer 2025.
She will work with individuals, groups, schools, and other local organisations on opportunities to increase visitors to Dumbreck.
The transformation of the site will also provide valuable habitats for fish, birds, amphibians, invertebrates, and a range of other species that use the site.
Claire explained: “This is such a great opportunity to work with local people and groups on such a wonderful project.
“It’s about encouraging people to get out and explore what’s on their doorstep and engaging with the area along with continuing the restoration of the natural environment for generations to come.
“We’ve already been delivering workshops to local schools and working with students from New College Lanarkshire’s Cumbernauld Campus on Forrest Schools Project.”
Claire will work across the generations to capture the memories and experiences that best describe how different Kilsyth is now compared to 50 years ago and beyond.
She added: “We’ll be looking at ways in which we can best remember and celebrate the changing landscape from a formerly industrial site into a sustainable wetland local nature reserve.
“We’re also in the process of establishing a conservation group from the area to continue to work on conservation and maintenance tasks on site is also vital to protect this valuable wetland habitat.
“The first phase of the restoration has already seen a huge boost to the area’s biodiversity with salmon returning to the river for the first time in 100 years.”
The project will also see new signage and additional paths created to further open access across the site. There will also be a focus on the cultural and heritage significance of this site and the influence it had on the people of Kilsyth.
The first phase of the Garrel Burn River Restoration project saw the once fast-flowing stream return to a more natural course providing additional flood capacity in the marsh during times of heavy rain.
Slowing down the movement of water and retaining it for longer in Dumbreck Marsh prevents more damaging impacts of flooding downstream to homes, businesses, and infrastructure.
There was also work to improve the wetland habitat, replace footbridges, and develop a new one along with upgrades to the boardwalks to complement the newly created paths.
Two new fish passes were also created and almost immediately salmon returned to the river, for the first time in a century.
Initiatives and events will be publicised on North Lanarkshire Council X feed and on the Kilsyth Community Council Facebook page along with other social media channels.
For more information and to get involved, contact Claire on firstname.lastname@example.org