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Scottish Water goes wild for biodiversity in Aberchirder


By David Porter

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Nina Ker and Nichola Hepburn have led the biodiversity project in Aberchirder
Nina Ker and Nichola Hepburn have led the biodiversity project in Aberchirder

Scottish Water staff have turned land at an Aberchirder treatment works into a wildflower haven for bees and butterflies.

The project, at Aberchirder Waste Water Treatment Works has seen more than 40 species of wildflowers planted at the site, along with bird boxes and bug hotels to promote biodiversity.

Process scientist Nichola Hepburn was inspired to try the experiment after having success with her own wildlife pond area at home and is delighted with the results.

The space before planting earlier this year.
The space before planting earlier this year.

She said: “As a team we thought this would make for a lovely biodiversity project and started planting the flowers in May – we are amazed at how fabulous the area now looks and how successful it has been.

“We planted over 40 different species of wildflowers and put-up bird boxes and bug hotels which is especially important for our area as the north-east of Scotland has had the largest decline of native flowers in the UK.

“We also don’t cut the grass or use any sprays on the wildflower areas which is more sustainable and much better for the environment.”

She added: “We hope this shows how easy it is for anyone to do - once established, the plants don’t require any maintenance, so if anyone has been thinking of giving it a try, I’d say to go for it!”

Curam Wildflower Nursery, based in Fyvie, helped provide advice to the team on what to plant and provided them with local provenance wildflowers.

Waste water team leader for the east, Nina Ker, said that other potential sites across the region were already being considered for similar projects.

She said: “I knew Nichola was interested in biodiversity and this seemed like an great way for us to try and support the rewilding of certain spaces. Biodiversity is so important to halt the decline of the insect population and to help the pollinators we rely on for our food, so we are already looking at where we can introduce similar spaces at other Scottish Water sites in the area.

“An added bonus is that it’s a fantastic environment to work in, being surrounded by wildflowers, butterflies and bees.

All round it’s a win-win!”.


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