Bringing colour to St Fitticks Park
Thousands of water-loving plants are to be bedded in to a long-neglected area of Aberdeen as part of an environmental restoration project.
Replanting work is about to start on the St Fitticks Park stretch of the East Tullos Burn, where more than 160,000 plants will be set in place to improve the appearance of the park by injecting some colour, and enhance biodiversity.
Several new wetland areas have been created by the burn and a larger pond has been formed at the upstream end of the site. The excavation work for this part of the project, which has created a series of bends, or meanders, for the new course of the waterway, is nearing completion.
All of these areas currently have bare soil, so they need to be replanted to stabilise the soil and complete the restoration of the site. The replanting also provides an opportunity to bring in a mix of wetland plants which will have colourful flowers and provide different textures and structures.
Much of the planting will be done by Salix, the company leading the restoration work, but it is hoped that the local community will get involved with some of the later stages of the planting.
David Holland from Salix is co-ordinating the planting work. He said: "This is quite an intensive re-planting programme, partly because it's important that the site looks good as quickly as possible and partly because we want to minimise the amount of bare earth to avoid the risk of soil washing off the site. We've selected a wide range of plants, all of which are grown from Scottish seed.
"For example, we'll be planting Yellow Iris, which has very tall, straight leaves and beautiful yellow flowers. We'll also be adding Ragged Robin, which has pink flowers, Purple Loosestrife which has dramatic purple blooms, and Meadowsweet which has flowers that look like white candyfloss.
"Once the heavy machinery is off the site, we're hoping some of the local schools will get involved in some of the replanting work as well."
Councillor Angela Taylor, vice-convener of Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure, said: "It's fantastic to see the restoration project progressing so well. The East Tullos Burn has suffered from a number of problems through the years and this project will make a huge difference not only to the watercourse, but also to the area. It will make St Fitticks Park a place to be proud of, attractive, and somewhere that people want to go and spend time.
"This work won't just attract people to the area, it will also help to encourage the return of a variety of wildlife, which would be very welcome."
The restoration work on the East Tullos Burn is being funded by Aberdeen City Council, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency's Water Environment Fund, Total E & P UK Limited, Aberdeen Forward, Aberdeen Greenspace Trust, and the North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership.
If you'd like to know more about the work on the burn, you can see the full design plan at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/etbproject or contact Tamsin Morris on 01651 851553 or Anne-Marie Gauld on 01224 522768.