New garden opens a window to wildlife

Countryside Ranger Ben Herschell and clerical officer Christine Paterson survey the new pond which is already attracting new wildlife to the ranger centre.

Countryside Ranger Ben Herschell and clerical officer Christine Paterson survey the new pond which is already attracting new wildlife to the ranger centre.

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A new wildlife garden is taking shape at the visitor centre at Forfar Loch Country Park which will provide an evolving public amenity for all ages and abilities.

The garden, at the side of the building, has been extended and is now a work in progress which has already attracted new wildlife.

Work began last year to create “A Window in Wildlife”, a grant aided project funded by Angus Environmental Trust.

Members of the Park’s Junior Rangers, an environmental volunteer group for five to 14 year olds which meets on the first two Saturdays of every month, carried out much of the planning and soft landscaping.

Countryside Ranger Ben Herschell told the “Dispatch” the work on the new garden has included the creation of a larger pond on the site and the removal of a ten foot high mound of earth.

He said: “The garden is now a lot larger and flatter and is a more workable area for groups. We already have groups who come down for pond dipping and this can be done in a more controlled area.”

Clerical officer Christine Paterson described the improvements to the garden, which now include a number of different habitats from grasslands, wetland, shrubbery, fruit bushes and a mature hedge.

She said: “Local schools visit the centre as it is an ideal educational resource; it ties in well with the new curriculum for excellence.”

The new garden is an extension to the Millennium Garden - a psychic garden created with the assistance of Kit Grant and pupils at Forfar Academy.

It also complements the popular Apothecary garden which features plants with medicinal benefits and culinary herbs.

A spokesperson for Angus Council added: “‘A Window into Wildlife’ aims to redesign, redevelop and expand the existing wildlife garden, making better use of an area which had limited potential for wildlife. It will provide a public amenity for all ages and all abilities, giving them the opportunity to enjoy and learn about their environment in a safe and easily accessible location, acting as a springboard for them to explore the wider countryside. Wildlife will benefit from the enhanced habitats which will in turn offer an enriched experience for visitors.”