Garnock Connections is celebrating the successful completion of its first project with the installation of new nesting rafts at RSPB Scotland Lochwinnoch.

The partnership of six organisations which launched earlier this year aims to reconnect communities with their landscape and heritage across North Ayrshire.

The work at RSPB Scotland Lochwinnoch has involved the building of eight nesting rafts for birds such as great crested grebes, terns and black headed gulls. The rafts are carefully designed to rise and fall with changing water levels, and are securely anchored a safe distance from shore to ensure that any nesting birds won’t be disturbed.

David Anderson, Garnock Connections project officer, said: “It’s fantastic to be up and running after so much preparation work. This is the first of many projects that we will deliver over the next four years, bringing numerous benefits for both wildlife and people across the area. There will be lots of opportunities for people to get involved in training and volunteering throughout the Garnock Connections programme so please keep an eye on our website for more details.”

A total of 25 projects will take place as part of Garnock Connections, covering an area from the Muirshiel Hills to Irvine Bay, with the River Garnock at its heart. Future projects include ambitious plans to bring pollinating insects back to the landscape, tackle river pollution and breathe new life into important historical sites such as the Garnock Tug and the Peel Tower.

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