Kinross Raingardens Trail

14th April, 2023

Last year’s award-winning project at the Park and Ride, Kinross represented the start of the Rain Gardens Trail which will ultimately stretch all the way to Loch Leven. The aspiration is to create a trail of closely linked habitats, increasing the natural biodiversity of the area whilst harnessing the interest and support of the local community.

Kinross-shire Civic Trust carried out 3 projects this year to continue their Raingardens Trail, funded through PKC Nature Restoration Fund.

Improving the Clashburn Close Wetland

The Clashburn Close wetland was heavily silted and overgrown with Typha latifolia (greater reedmace), drying out at the top end with sapling trees establishing. Treatment of drainage from the filter drain network serving the commercial premises on this small estate was inefficient.

An inlet pool was widened and extended as a narrow channel up into the wetland along the longer width of the rectangular feature. The excavated material was compacted to form a linear berm following the line of the excavation. Due to these works, water hasb been able to push through the reedmace and rushes beyond the excavated channel and around the top of the wetland towards the outlet, exactly as planned. New pools of open water have appeared in the formerly drying out areas. The outlet area was also excavated to create a final pool.

The above photos show a new channel and barrier to short-circuiting, creating more pools across the wetland.

Improving the South Queich Flood Area

The South Queich area has been designated as one of the flood areas for the South Queich river. This site was neglected, and Kinross-shire Civic Trust have carried out works to transform this area through pond creation. Frogspawn appeared immediately after creation of the permanent pond.

Volunteers from the Kinross-shire Civic Trust and Kinross in Bloom planted 15 trays of 6 plug plants each, plus 9 pot plants, in and around the permanent pool. The plants were supplied by Celtica Wildflowers. Volunteers also planted a wildflower meadow mix from Scotia Seeds, on mounded earth they created within the main scrape and the re-worked one. The iris are growing well and the marsh marigold are now in full bloom.

Church View Wetland Restoration

This excellent wetland had not had any maintenance since installed. Whilst still full of interest, the natural process of ecological succession had been progressively changing it from a wetland designed to treat runoff from its catchment area, to becoming a Typha swamp with encroaching broom as the initial pioneer bushes. A cautious and very limited amount of excavation was therefore planned.

Excavated material was salvaged where possible for re-establishment in the adjacent South Queich Flood Area where a new permanent pool pond was excavated.

Protecting and enhancing a string of habitats along the Raingardens Trail has the benefit of bringing in more biodiversity. The creation of new pools will create carbon sinks and increase water storage capacity in flood events. The wetlands are more aesthetically pleasing for the local community. Pathways and signage will help engage with the local community and help educate them to harness interest from younger community members – vital for the future.