Nature Restoration Projects

Nature Restoration Projects

Restoration urban grasslands to improve local biodiversity and help tackle the impacts of climate change

The Nature Restoration projects aim to enhance the city’s low-quality biodiversity urban grasslands through a mixture of amenity grass naturalisation and boundary improvements. It includes the creation of wild-flower meadows and a wetland area will help make space for nature in an urban area to address biodiversity loss. It is a key action as part of the Edinburgh Adapts Action plan 2016-2020 and the Edinburgh Biodiversity Action Plan 2019-2021 as well as the Edinburgh Living Landscape and associated green action plans.

This project will enhance green infrastructure in critical urban ecosystems that provides a new corridor for wildlife restoring degraded habitat and reducing fragmentation by:

  1. Enhancing quality of existing habitats – improving the species and structural diversity of remnant hedges.
  2. Reinstating degraded habitats – establishing a higher species-richness using a local seed mix in the grassland and restoring a wetland area.

Habitat management and connectivity – It will help halt the decline of pollinators and increasing habitat for mammals and birds at risk by making more space for native flower rich habitats and grassland, extended hedges, specimen trees with supporting changes in management to favour diversity of species and habitat structure at a landscape level; adopting nature-based approaches to managing key ecosystems.

Urban nature-based solutions – It enhances wildflower meadows by providing a range of benefits for biodiversity. It is an enhanced green network that provides functional and visible links through and between town and country, allowing nature to move easily between the two. The wetland area provides benefits to both the amenity value of the park and to biodiversity by alleviating flooding and the loss of habitat. It is an investment of nature in, close to, or benefiting disadvantaged communities in Edinburgh.

Targeted action – habitats

The project improves habitats by incorporating nature-based solutions that help mitigate against climate change and the impacts of climate change: It will do this by:

  • Re-establishing nature-rich habitats which include the expansion of existing habitat
  • Increase connectivity.
  • Change new habitat management for nature.

The project enhances habitat linkages which increases connectivity at a landscape/urban scale. It also helps the strategic habitat creation and enhance green networks in semi-urban areas from Edinburgh to the surrounding countryside. The 3 projects sites are Cammo Estate, Stenhouse Greenspace and Craigmillar Castle Park. For more information about the project contact ross@elgt.org.uk

Cammo Estate

A new burn has been restored to enable the wetland area to be created which provides an ideal nesting habitat for wetland birds, mice and bumblebees.

 

 

 

 

 

Stenhouse Greenspace

The new trees at Stenhouse will help to mitigate against flooding.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craigmillar Castle Park

The new specimen trees that have been planted will provide key features in the grassland area and stabilise the soil.

 

Funded by: NatureScot, City of Edinburgh Council

Outputs:

  • Grassland – Species richness targeting has been located on parts of the site that are likely to have lower fertility and more free-draining soils. Diversifying the current mostly rank grassland will complement the meadows across the area and add to the network that links. The aim would be to establish a higher species-richness using the Urban Pollinator seed mix developed by Scotia Seeds in a total area of 6.9ha of grassland.
  • Hedging – Enhancing the species and structural diversity of remnant hedges through planting and introducing a low maintenance regime. The objective is to create a well-structured hedge with a total length of 298 metres with a variety of habitat niches for a wide range of invertebrate species and food sources, and shelter for birds and small mammals.
  • Individual Specimen Tree Planting – Planting of 10 standard trees within grassland settings.
  • Wetland – The creation of a new burn section 280m long and a wetland approximately 60m by 50m. The banks are planted with iris and meadowsweet, and brooklime, marsh marigold and water forget-me-not will grow in the burn. The spoil is used to create low banks which are great for growing tansy and mugwort.

Outcomes:

  • Improve the biodiversity of urban grasslands
  • Provide habitats for wildlife
  • Improve the appearance of urban greenspaces
  • Provide communities with the opportunity to help tackle the nature and climate emergency