Group gets to root of Dunbar pond problem

Action has been taken to get rid of algae which has turned a pond in a public woodland in Dunbar into something resembling green watercress soup.

Members of the Dunbar Community Woodland Group, which manages Lochend Wood for local people, set about putting barley straw into old onion bags supplied by fruit and vegetable shop the Crunchy Carrot.

They had taken advice from Ruth Frost, whose late husband was a soil scientist and pond expert, that the bacteria which grows on the barley straw discourages the algae.

Isobel Knox, the group’s community liaison officer, explained that bricks were put in the 20 bags to weigh them down and they were evenly distributed in the pond.

She said: “Now it’s a waiting game. Hopefully by the beginning of next summer there will be sufficient bacteria to be effective for next year’s growth.

“Its actually a form of pond weed which turns the pond into a bright green watercress soup look.”

The group attracted new members to its recent annual general meeting at which its achievements and plans for the future were outlined.

Now that the path network improvements are complete, members are looking towards the next phase of development. They hope to encourage art work in the woods like the longer established community woodlands such as Wooplaw Woods near Lauder which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year.

A ‘pump track,’ a trail which gives cyclists a total body work-out, is also proposed as members are keen to encourage the area to be used for more outdoor fitness activities.

Scottish Native Woods has also received funding from Viridor landfill tax to set up a ‘Scottish Learning Woods’ at Lochend. Around 600 young trees will be planted on Sunday, October 30, from 11am to 3pm.

Thirty different native species will be planted in clusters of 20 and will be given labels until they grow more.

Bushcraft and survival skills, wood working, spooky crafts for children as well as rural crafts can be enjoyed.

More information is available from www.dunbarwoods.org or phone Isobel on 01368 863239.