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Another accolade for city environment project

26/11/15

An environmental project which has transformed an area of Aberdeen from a neglected spot to a colourful wildflower meadow teaming with insects, birds and other wildlife has been given a second accolade within a month.

The East Tullos Burn Environment Improvements Project has been awarded a Highly Commended in the Sustainable Development category of the RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards in Edinburgh.

Just three weeks ago, the project came top in the Herald Society Awards in the Environmental Initiative of the Year category.

Aberdeen City Council Communities, Housing and Environment vice-convener Councillor Jean Morrison said: "This is another great award for the project and again is a fantastic tribute to everyone who has helped to make it the success it is."

The project was launched in 2012 by Aberdeen City Council to look at ways to improve the East Tullos Burn in Torry as the area had been neglected in the past, suffering with poor water quality and litter problems.

The aim of the project was to look at ways to transform the burn into a more natural water feature that helps to improve the water quality, provide a haven for wildlife, and become attractive to local communities and visitors to the area.

With the help of the local community, a design was produced and work on the ground began in March 2014. The design included a new meandering course for the burn as well as the creation of wetland pond areas, with extensive planting of wetland plants and trees, plus improved access around the area including a new bridge.

Local school children from St. Fittick's Primary school helped put the finishing touches to the burn by helping to plant the remaining flowers on the site.

The site quickly became awash with colour during the summer of 2014, and plants included yellow iris, ragged robin, purple loosestrife, meadowsweet, poppies and cornflowers could be seen, with many lasting well into the late autumn and early winter.

Insects including ladybirds, butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies have moved in along with many bird species, and the odd migrant and rare birds have also been spotted in the area.

Along with the City Council, the funders for the 300,000 project were SEPA's Water Environment Fund, Total E&P, Aberdeen Greenspace Trust Ltd, Aberdeen Forward and the North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership.

The design and implementation companies which played a part in making the transformation happen were cbec eco-engineering UK Ltd, Walking-the-Talk and Salix.

The project was initiated and led by the environmental policy team in the City Council's Planning and Sustainable Development, with support from other teams including the countryside ranger service, and the contaminated land team. When the project was completed, environmental services and the countryside ranger service took over management of the site.

The award was received by Anne-Marie Gauld from the City Council's environmental policy team and Ian Talboys from its countryside ranger service.