The group has carried out many externally funded environmental projects since its creation in the mid 90s. This page gives detials of some of them.
Wetland creationPerhaps the largest project undertaken by the group was the creation of a large pond at Ardeer Quarry in 1995. The group also created a path, designed for disabled people, leading from the neighbouring cycle path to a bench overlooking the pond. More recently, a grant from CSV Action Earth allowed us to fund the creation of a boardwalk beyond the pond, allowing visitors to take a more complete walk around the site. The resulting pond is rich in wildlife, particularly invertebrates and amphibians, and is visited by many people every day.
Following several years of preparation, in 2018 we hope to, in partnership with RSPB, create a large, shallow wetland approximately a hectare in area nearby.
Woodland plantingWe planted a hectare of woodland, now in semi-maturity, on Ardeer Quarry LNR. The wood, consisting mainly of Aspen, Alder and Willows is one of the most attractive and natural-looking woodlands in the area. In early 2012, we received Central Scotland Green Network funding to create a much needed shrub layer in the adjacent Woodhead Plantation. We have also improved much of the hedgerow that lines the main path through the reserve, thickening areas of pre-existing hedgerow with new planting and creating stretches of new hedgerow where there were gaps.
Community orchardIn late 2011 we secured funding from the People's Postcode Trust to create a community orchard. The trees were planted in late winter 2012. The orchard was significantly expanded using subsequent funding from Awards for All, the local Community Benefit Fund, Stevenston Common Good Fund and Foundation Scotland/ASDA. As far as we know, it is now the largest public orchard in Ayrshire.
Wildflower meadowIn early summer 2011, we created a wildflower meadow, encouraging plant species that are particularly favoured by pollinating insects. The field had previously been maintained as lawn, but is now alive with large numbers of bees, butterflies, hoverflies and other insects.
Educational projectsDuring 2014, we ran, in conjunction with Buglife, a Heritage Lottery Fund funded project on pollinators. This project included 5 events where members of the public were led on field trips where they were taught how to survey pollinators; a solitary bee identification workshop; and the creation of the Scottish Pollinators website (scottishpollinators.com), designed to teach interested parties how to find, catch, identify and record Scottish pollinating insects.