An innovative amphibious machine has been used to cut through a dense jungle of reeds to bring important wetland habitats back to life at Cambus Pools Wildlife Reserve near Alloa.
The Truxor 5050 cutting machine is made in Sweden and was operated by Derrick Emms from the Sustainable Water Company Ltd. The work has exposed a network of open water, mud and swamp, which will make the reserve better for wildlife.
Reserves Manager Rory Sandison said: “Over the past fifteen years dense reeds have choked a once open wetland on the banks of the Upper Forth. We’re now working to push back the reeds to create a diverse mosaic of habitats that is buzzing with life.
“We have already seen kingfishers, grey wagtails, curlews, goldfinches and many more birds coming back to the reserve The next stage will be to bring in some of the Trust’s rare breed Shetland cattle to graze on the reserve. This will help to slow the regrowth of the reeds and maintain the more open habitats.”
The work was part of an Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) project led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. It was part-funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Life financial instrument of the EC.
Alex Page, IFLI’s Programme Manager, said: “The Inner Forth is globally important for its wildlife, with wetlands around the world under increasing threat from climate change and habitat destruction. So places like Cambus Pools Wildlife Reserve are vital to help us protect the wildlife that needs these wet places to thrive. The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s work is a fantastic example of what can be achieved, even in so-called industrial areas, to make the Inner Forth better for wildlife and people.”
Cambus Pools is a wetland reserve with reedbeds, grassland and open water. It attracts a wide variety of wildlife, including waders, warblers and wildfowl that rely on this increasingly rare habitat. It is located behind a large industrial area on the Inner Forth estuary and shows how even small areas of land can be vital habitats for wildlife.