Major improvement work begins at Lyne Burn in Dunfermline
Fife Council, in partnership with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) will complete the work in two stages over the next three years beginning with the restoration of the Lyne Burn.
A contribution of £1.1m From the Water Environment Fund administered by SEPA will restore a 500m artificially straightened section of of the burn to a more natural condition, connecting to the recently built flood scheme extending the length of river with high quality habitat.
Alice Tree, River Restoration Specialist with SEPA, said: “The Scottish Government’s Water Environment Fund (WEF), managed by SEPA, is enabling projects like the Lyne Burn to revitalise rivers at the heart of our communities. We want to make the burn and the parkland around it a thriving place for people and wildlife.
“Rivers such as this which have been straightened lack natural habitats for wildlife. Working with Fife Council and Fife Coast and Countryside Trust we look forward to beginning the work on Rex Park, where we will create a place in the centre of Dunfermline for people and waterside wildlife to enjoy.”
Further work will see improvements made to wildlife habitats, greenspaces and new seating installed.
A £150k transformation of the Touch Community Garden will follow in the Autumn. Tripling in size, the garden will include a community food growing area and an orchard and will become the home of the charity Grow and Play who provide locals with volunteering opportunities as well as outdoor learning.
In the second year of the project work will shift to the nearby Lyne Burn Park where £100k is set to be invested by Fife Council in greenspace improvements, upgraded pathways and landscaping. The area will also benefit from new seating and public art.
To round the project off there will be improvements to play equipment at the Rex and Lyne Burn parks and a tree planting programme in Touch.
Fife Council, in partnership with Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, will give local people the opportunity to take part in a range of activities such as tree planting, sowing wildflowers and educational and training opportunities such as wildlife identification workshops, monitoring wildlife along the restored river, and guided walks.
Jeremy Harris, CEO of Fife Coast and Countryside Trust said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming the local community to take part in the various activities we have planned, connecting with nature, and learning about the river’s wildlife. We’ve already been able to welcome pupils from St Columbas High School to a river sampling session. The restoration works allow for the community to get involved in ‘before and after’ monitoring of the water quality and what lives there – a great example of citizen science in action.”
Cllr Judy Hamilton, Convener of Community & Housing Services Sub-Committee said: "I'm delighted to see the Lyne Burn project coming to life after some delays.
"This will improve and connect greenspaces for our communities to enjoy. We have declared a climate emergency in Fife. I would add that we have a climate and ecological emergency - and by creating greenspace, if managed well, it can attract biodiversity and some wildlife back to its habitat.
"We know that physical activity and being outdoors is so good for our health & wellbeing and the cycle path ensures that people can walk or cycle safely to enjoy all that it has to offer."
A website has been developed which will help advertise events and opportunities, such as forthcoming Butterfly Conservation workshops ahead of surveys in the park this summer. Head to www.fife.gov.uk/lyneburnproject for more.
This media release can also be found on the Fife Council website: Major improvement works begin at Lyne Burn in Dunfermline | Fife Council