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East Tullos Burn restoration begins

20/02/14

A new wetlands area is to be created in Aberdeen, as part of the long-awaited restoration of the East Tullos Burn.

Aberdeen City Council has secured a 300,000 funding package to give the burn, in St Fitticks Park, Torry, a major facelift.

Over the years, the burn has been straightened and over-deepened, resulting in a degraded channel and low biodiversity.

The council commissioned a feasibility study 18 months ago to see if the burn could be restored to a more natural state, improving the park's visual appeal, enhancing biodiversity and potentially reducing pollution in the burn.

A design, which incorporates a new, meandering course for the burn as well as the creation of wetland and pond areas, with extensive planting of wetland plants and trees, was produced in consultation with the local community.

Funding for the restoration project has been supplied by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency's Water Environment Fund, Aberdeen Greenspace Trust, Total, Aberdeen Forward, and the North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership.

Aberdeen City Council Housing and Environment Convener Councillor Neil Cooney said: "This is a fantastic project which will bring great benefits not only to the local area, but to the city as a whole.

"The East Tullos Burn has not been without its problems over the years and I am delighted that we are finally in a position, with the generous support of our external partners, to get this valuable restoration project underway."

Council environmental planner Anne-Marie Gauld added: "There will be a lot of planting work taking place, with more than 150,000 wetland plants being put on the site. This will make the site much more attractive to people and wildlife.

"The contractors will also be completing some upgrades to the paths, which will help to keep people's feet dry.

"The new meandering course for the burn and the wetland and pond areas will be created by diggers, so the site will be fenced off to prevent any risk from members of the public getting too close to the machines.

"Weather permitting, we hope the construction work will not take more than a few weeks, so the area will be open to the public again as soon as possible. This project will be of great benefit to the local community and Aberdeen as a whole."

On-site construction will be managed by Pete Barlow of Salix.

Pete said: "We will try to keep disruption at the East Tullos Burn to a minimum, but public safety is our number one priority, so we will need to exclude people from parts of the site whilst the work takes place.

"Once the excavation work is completed we will be getting on with re-planting the site. Salix operates the largest native wildflower nurseries in the UK and we will be using over 30 native flowering plant species on the site."

Regular updates on the work will be available on the Aberdeen City Council website.