Council helping nature thrive with new grant

Tuesday March 28th 2023


From left to right in the back row: Treasurer of Rosewell and District Community Council Helen Blackburn, Councillor Dianne Alexander, Nick Benge of Watergems, Amy Fergusson of the community council and Keep Rosewell Beautiful and Midlothian Council Ranger Alan Krumholds. In the front: Secretary of the community council and Keep Rosewell Beautiful member Edith Cameron, her son Rory, 4, and Midlothian Council Ranger Jo Cooke.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Local people can enjoy watching wildlife thrive in a new pond beside the Dalkeith to Penicuik cycle path at Rosewell.

The pond is among new environmental initiatives paid for by Midlothian Council after it was awarded £103,000 from the Scottish Government Nature Restoration Fund.

The council used part of the money to appoint landscaping and design firm Water Gems, based in South Queensferry, to complete a programme of pond maintenance and construction.

Work started on the new pond near the junction of the B7003 and B6094 in January of this year and has just finished.

The project also included restoring the main pond and curling pond at Vogrie Country Park. This work, which included clearing vegetation and silt, increases the amount of open water and depth of the ponds, benefiting pond life.

New platforms will be created at the curling pond, giving people easier access to the water for activities like pond dipping.

Materials cleared from around the ponds were recycled to create safe places for insects and amphibians to live in and hibernate, further benefitting local wildlife.

Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for green spaces, Councillor Dianne Alexander joined local residents from Rosewell and District Community Council, Keep Rosewell Beautiful and Nick Benge from Watergems to have a look at the new water feature. She said: “I live close by and am sure, like me, lots of local people will really enjoy looking at the pond life and surrounding meadow species.

“Nature sometimes needs a little bit of help to thrive, and these works will contribute towards the council’s commitment to increasing the number of managed ponds in Midlothian which is set out in the Midlothian Local Biodiversity Action Plan.”

Amy Fergusson of Rosewell and District Community Council and Keep Rosewell Beautiful said: “As a member of the Rosewell community I am really excited to see environmental projects like this being supported and delivered in Midlothian.

“Providing these habitats in our local areas will help amphibian, invertebrate and aquatic plant species to have access to new habitat and will help them thrive. I hope it’s just one of many projects that will be delivered in the future to benefit freshwater and other biodiversity within the Rosewell area, as well as provide lovely local spaces for community members to enjoy.”

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