Set up in 2009, the Glasgow Living Water Project created and managed wildlife hotspots across the city and it’s surrounds. The project initially focussed on 14 habitats selected by Glasgow City Council.
Due to the success of the original Glasgow Living Water project, the project entered its second phase in 2012, with six new sites being selected by Glasgow City Council encompassing a range of habitats from urban parks to allotment plots, local nature reserves and hidden greenspaces. All of the sites were chosen as they were in need of works to create and enhance standing open water habitats to enhance the sites for amphibians and reptiles and a variety of other wildlife that would be attracted to these amazing aquatic habitats.
Historically, Glasgow is known affectionately as the ‘dear green place’ which in many respects still remains true today – there are over 90 parks and formal gardens, and 26 allotment sites within the region. Rejuvenation and creation of these important habitats is a priority to counteract the negative impact of the disappearance of numerous ponds within the UK in the last 50 years.
Community involvement was an important goal within this project and through volunteering days and training on sites the project enthused local people about ponds and natural environments, which are often taken for granted. Raising awareness, social inclusion and community participation was at the heart of the Living Water Project, all of which are key parts of Froglife’s strategy.
The Glasgow project was funded through the Heritage Lottery Fund, Biffa Award, Glasgow Landfill Communities Fund and worked in partnership with Glasgow City Council who is the landowner of all the project sites.
An end report detailing the project can be found here – Glasgow Living Water Phase 2 end report
Following on from the initial success of the Glasgow Living Water Project, in 2011 Froglife made the leap into North Lanarkshire, thanks to funding from Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN). Ambitious pond creation plans were developed and the Froglife team wasted no time in pulling on their wellies and getting stuck in!
The thirteen pond creation sites were a diverse mix of urban and country parks, local nature reserves, and hidden wildlife havens. However, all the sites had one thing in common; they desperately needed new ponds created and old ones restored. Hence, since the origins of the project, the team were working hard on designing, creating and managing ponds of all shapes and sizes for the benefit of amphibians and reptiles. Some of the sites were already home to populations of frogs, toads, newts and lizards and it is hoped these ponds will allow their populations to expand and in some cases breed on-site for the first time. Community involvement was another goal of this project and volunteers played an important role helping to create ponds, build hibernacula and survey for amphibians.
Froglife also took the time to visits schools and events to help enthuse local people about ponds and their natural environments. These ponds will improve areas not just for wildlife but local people as well, and it is hoped that communities will help care for these ponds long into the future.
The Living Water project worked with the Clyde Amphibian and Reptile Group, who promote the conservation of amphibians and reptiles, and undertake surveys in the Clyde area of Scotland.
The North Lanarkshire project was funded by WREN, North Lanarkshire Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and Glasgow Natural History Society.
See where Froglife Scotland was busy creating and enhancing Living Water sites here.
Facts and Figures
The Living Waters projects in Glasgow and North Lanarkshire have completed work at 33 sites achieving the following:
- Creation of 108 new ponds
- Restoration / enhancement of 34 ponds
- Creation of over 100 temporary ponds / scrapes
- Creation of 41 hibernation sites for amphibians and reptiles
- Completion of 161 amphibian surveys
- Providing 27 volunteer amphibian survey training nights
- Providing opportunities for over 500 volunteers in practical conservation tasks
- Promoting the value of pond habitats at 86 events / presentations
- Engaging over 9000 people in education and awareness raising for amphibian and reptile conservation
- Involving over 2900 school children in talks and activities relating to amphibian and reptile conservation
The Glasgow and North Lanarkshire Living Water Projects came to a close in November 2013 and Froglife were thanked by funders and local councils alike for the sustained success of both projects and the lasting legacy the projects have begun.
In 2015, thanks to a grant from Biffa Awards, we started work in South Lanarkshire. The project worked on 6 sites creating a total of 6 ponds and restoring 8 ponds, with additional terrestrial habitat such as basking banks and hibernacula also created. The project sites are all in close proximity to each other and connected through drains, ditches, river banks, green spaces and countryside; there is also connectivity between habitats within each site. Works were carried out at the following sites: Barnhill, Holmhills, Calderglen Country Park, Langlands Moss LNR, Chaterherault Country Park and Mausoleum Field.
South Lanarkshire Council Rangers at a recently restored pond during a celebration event