This project aimed to restore Cambus Pools Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserve, enhancing its value for people and wildlife, and to reconnect the Reserve and this stretch of the Forth to the local community. You can access the project report from the downloads section of this page.
Cambus Pools is a nature reserve on the edge of the Forth at Cambus, near Alloa, behind bonded warehouses operated by Diageo plc. The site is leased by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and has probably been separated from the River Forth by flood embankments since at least 1866. The pools are on riverside flats and are a prime example of space for nature squeezed in between commerce and industry. This makes it particularly special for local wildlife-lovers and Trust members. Cambus Pools features reed beds, grazed grassland and open water and welcomes warblers and reed buntings alongside waders and wildfowl.
With the Scottish Wildlife Trust staff, volunteers and contractors, we have made Cambus Pools reserve even better for people and wildlife. Harvesting 2.75 ha of phragmities reeds by brush-cutter or the amphibious 'Truxor' vehicle has increased the extent of open water in the West Pool. Volunteers are playing a key part in the ongoing restoration of the reserve by helping to control the reed re-growth, to make sure the pools don't disappear as scrub and trees move into the dense reedbed. This management has created a wide variety of grassland habitats and improved conditions at the pools for wading birds.
New paths have also been added, allowing easier access for the public to enjoy the area, and work was done to keep vegetation around the paths under control to ensure they are still accessible. The East pool has been fenced, cattle handling facilities installed and during 2017, cattle started to graze the site. In 2018, the Trust intends to fence the West pool to open this area to grazing.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust local group regularly run events in the area and using the reserve. Details can be found on their website: http://www.swtstirling.org.uk
A complementary IFLI project near the site, Cambus Whisky and Wetlands Wander, focused on improving local pathways with an emphasis on linking the industrial and natural heritage of the area with the communities at Cambus and Tullibody.
The Truxor reed cutter in action at Cambus Pools. Photo/Scottish Wildlife Trust.