Ducks and swans will have more spaces to dabble after work at RSPB Scotland Baron’s Haugh

More homes for nature

Filed under News
Date posted: Tuesday, 24 October 2017

RSPB Scotland will be creating more homes for nature at Baron’s Haugh this winter, as work gets underway to transform an area of the reserve known as Cemetery Marsh.

The work, which will include the creation of new pools, removing overgrown vegetation, and installing cattle fencing, will benefit wildlife such a whooper swans and ducks.

Machinery clearing the existing pools and re-landscaping the site
Machinery clearing the existing pools and re-landscaping the site

The work has been made possible by SUEZ Communities Trust (formerly SITA Trust) through the Scottish Communities Landfill Fund, who have kindly donated over £16,000 towards the project. Contributions from the Clyde & Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) and EcoCo LIFE have also played a vital role in supporting this work.

Gerry McAuley, RSPB Scotland Area Reserves Manager, said: “Cemetery Marsh is a part of Baron’s Haugh that we have, until now, not been able to tackle, due to lack of resources. As a consequence, the marsh has been drying out and the whole area has become very overgrown. By clearing the existing pools and re-landscaping the site, it will be restored to a fantastic wetland that will benefit many different species.

“We’re very excited to be able to get this project underway, and are immensely grateful to SUEZ Communities Trust for their contribution towards making it possible.”

Wetland habitat such as Cemetery Marsh, has been disappearing from the Clyde Valley, creating a squeeze on wildlife such as otters, wetland bird species, amphibians and insects. Through this project, and on-going management, it is hoped that the biodiversity of Cemetery Marsh will be increased, as migrant and resident species are encouraged to move in to feed and breed.   

The project will benefit wildlife such a whooper swans and ducks
The project will benefit wildlife such a whooper swans and ducks

The name Cemetery Marsh comes from the cemetery adjacent to the site of St Patrick’s church which formed part of the Dalzell Estate, home to the Duke of Hamilton and family.

Marianne Ivin of SUEZ Communities Trust said: “We are delighted to be providing the funds to aid the restoration of the wetland at this very important site. Undertaking this work in previously unmanaged areas will make a huge difference to the provision for nature and for public enjoyment.”

SUEZ Communities Trust provides funding awards through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund – an important source of funding which came into effect in April 2015.  The scheme is linked to the Scottish Landfill Tax and encourages landfill site operators to provide contributions to approved bodies, who can then pass the funds onto community and environmental projects.

Baron’s Haugh is open at all times, and events run throughout the year. The reserve also has regular work parties with conservation volunteers, who tackle everything from planting hedgerows, to repairing fences. To find out more about the site, visit www.rspb.org.uk/baronshaugh, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

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