Ayrshire Riparian Woodland Project
Eadha has received funding from the Postcode Local Trust to deliver the Ayrshire Riparian Woodland Project. The project will deliver a major tree planting initiative across the rivers Garnock, Irvine and Annick, with the help of local school children and angling clubs. Eadha has received support from the Ayrshire Rivers Trust (ART) who are helping to deliver the project.
Eadha has been working with primary schools (Abbey and Corsehill PSs, Kilwinning, St Bridgets and Garnock PSs, Kilbirnie, Elderbank PS, Irvine, Galston PS, Lochwinnoch PS and youth groups including the SWT Watch Club and Acorn Club at Eglinton Country Park. Each group has potted on 500 aspen mini-plugs and grown them on over the summer at their premises. The aim will be to propagate and plant 5000 aspen trees along riverbanks with SEPA providing support in identifying problem areas and willing landowners. Eadha and ART delivered a presentation at each group to raise awareness of the issues affecting the rivers and the importance of riparian woodland for wildlife, river bank stabilisation, and water quality. All the target rivers have been historically affected by industrial developments, urbanisation and intensive farming and also suffer from anti-social behaviour including littering, damage of vegetation, wild fires.
Aspen is a key riparian tree species supporting a rich array of biodiversity and is particular effective at stabilizing river banks due to its extensive root system and ability to sucker. Aspen is also the favoured food of the European Beaver which following successful reintroduction, is now spreading across Scotland. Aspen and beaver have a symbiotic relationship, and beavers’ action can promote aspen regeneration.
Tree planting is ongoing at present with some planting having been undertaken along the Lugton Water at Englinton Country Park, the river Calder at Lochwinnoch and the rivers Irvine and Garnock at Shewalton Sandpits and Garnock Floods SWT reserves.
Eglinton Country Park