Funding boost for Lanarkshire reserve


A wetland project at a popular nature reserve in North Lanarkshire has received more than £200,000 in funding.

The scheme will transform RSPB Scotland's Baron’s Haugh in Motherwell. The funding of £210,000 has been awarded from the Scottish Government's Nature Restoration Fund.

A part-frozen pond at Baron's Haugh (Alan O'Dowd).

Over the past few years the River Clyde has slowly but surely eroded the raised soil bund that separates the nature reserve from the river, leading to the loss of footpaths, a hide and impacting on the wildlife that uses the reserve. For many years, RSPB Scotland have been attempting to repair and protect the bund from the increasing pressure of the river, but despite these efforts the erosion has continued and accelerated.

The Baron's Haugh wetland project will tackle these issues and create a sustainable long-term future for the reserve, while also delivering exciting new habitat for wildlife.

The project will work with the changing course of the river and re-establish a more natural connection between the Clyde and its floodplain. It will involve breaching the existing wall to deliver a more naturally functioning wetland, while also creating new pools, scrapes and channels to provide more wetland habitat.

David Anderson, RSPB Scotland warden at Baron's Haugh, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded this funding. This is a fantastic nature reserve which is important for wildlife and cherished by people, and this investment will enable us to take an important step in realising its potential."

The first stage of the project will begin this autumn with the development of detailed technical designs for the wetland work, before on the ground delivery takes place in autumn 2023. RSPB Scotland are also developing plans to upgrade the visitor infrastructure including new paths, boardwalks and wildlife viewing structures.