A major project to improve the River Leven and its surroundings has been given a welcome boost heading into the spring.
The Restoring the River Leven Project, which forms part of the wider Leven Programme, is initially focusing on a two-and-a-half mile stretch of the river from Windygates to Leven.
The initiative aims to restore the river for the benefit of local people and wildlife, including making it easier for fish to move upstream of the Burn Mill and Kirkland Dams to breed and thrive.
Sarah MacDonald, Project Manager for Restoring the River Leven Project, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded a small grant from Fife Council’s local community planning budget.
“The funding will help us bring the area of Dam Wood, known by some locally as ‘the Beach’ or ‘Millennium Forest’, into better upkeep whilst retaining its natural feel.
“To do this we plan to work with local community groups to run events and activities to help improve the area for local wildlife and make it, once again, a more welcoming space to enjoy.
“If you would like to share your thoughts on this space or have an idea for an activity, please get in touch and we can see if we can make it happen!”
The project team has already made a noticeable difference to the area.
Hanna Rennie, Conservation Officer with Fife Coast and Countryside Trust who is supporting this work, added: “As a first step we are pleased that the Community Trade Hub has designed and built two notice boards that we can use to share information on projects and upcoming events.”
The Community Trade Hub, which is a social enterprise working within the Levenmouth area, believe in training the basics of construction as well as life skills, so the young people they work with have the foundations to pursue a successful career path.
Pat Allen, from the Community Trade Hub (pictured above with Hanna), explained: “We not only support school pupils early in their journey to build experience, practical skills and qualifications to help them secure a positive destination post-school, but we also provide an alternative option for pupils who may not engage with school, college or university for whatever reason.
“On this project a group were involved in designing, creating and installing the new notice boards, which now take pride of place at Dam Wood.”
Anyone who wants to get more involved with the Restoring the River Leven Project should contact firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
Pictured above are Pat along with (left to right) Michael, Calum, Roman and Guy, all from Kirkcaldy High School, and Stuart and Roger from the Community Trade Hub.
You can see a video highlighting the tremendous work done in Dam Wood on our YouTube channel here.
The Restoring the River Leven Project has been commissioned by Fife Council with thanks to funding from the SEPA Water Environment Fund.
The Community Trade Hub (CTH) was last year awarded grant funding of £202,050 from the Levenmouth Reconnected Programme, which is overseeing a £10 million pot for worthwhile initiatives benefiting Levenmouth’s people, communities, businesses and visitors ahead of the rail link’s return in 2024.
CTH’s Positive Futures scheme works together with local schools as well as career advisors, Police Scotland, job centres, community organisations, and local authority youth initiatives to help promote opportunities available and generate referrals into the service.