We are delighted to announce that the Edinburgh Shoreline project has been awarded funding from Scottish Natural Heritage’s Biodiversity Challenge Fund to deliver habitat creation along the Edinburgh coast. This new part of our project will be called The Wild Line.
In total, 14 projects across Scotland have been awarded a share of £1.8 million over a two year period. All projects are taking practical steps to improve natural habitats, safeguard plant and animal species and improve biodiversity.
The Edinburgh Shoreline project will work alongside the University of Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh Council, University of Glasgow and Scottish Seabird Centre to create or improve large scale habitats for pollinators, rocky shore invertebrates and seabirds until September 2020.
For pollinators, the Wild Line will create 10 new wildflower meadows in the north of the city, particularly concentrating on areas where there are gaps between flower-rich habitats to create a pollinator ‘corridor’ for the coast (see pages 14-16 of the CEC Biodiversity Action Plan for the importance of green networks).
We will be installing man-made habitats to hard sea wall defences to create vital habitat for species such as barnacles and periwinkles, much like our initial experimental tiles that you may have seen in Cramond but on a larger scale. Concrete sea defences are particularly devoid of life and with so much of the Edinburgh coast protected by them it is important that this barrier is transformed from grey to green (see pages 38-41 from University of Glasgow here).
The Scottish Seabird Centre will be undertaking large scale removal of plastics along the Edinburgh and East Lothian coasts, as well as removing Invasive Non-Native Species such as Tree Mallow from the Forth Islands, both of which have a negative effect on the areas available for sea birds to nest (see SOS Puffin for info).
Collecting data will also be an important part of the Wild Line project, to enable us to monitor the impact of our work for these three species; pollinators, rocky shore invertebrates and sea birds. Throughout the course of the project we will have specialists, students and volunteers helping us to monitor the impact that we make.
As well as improving the coast for wildlife, we hope that the Wild Line will also make our coast a better place for people!
This is an exciting time for the project, and we are grateful for the support of Scottish Natural Heritage in making this new strand of the project possible. Although it sounds as though the Edinburgh Shoreline project will be busy delivering these on-the-ground works, never fear, our usual community engagement will continue! You might know us for supporting community groups to improve their local greenspaces and hosting events such as walks, talks and bioblitzes: all of this work will still continue. So keep an eye on our social media feeds and events page of the website for more opportunities to get involved.