New bridge now in place

SWT volunteers work on the new crossing at Balgavies Loch, which was completed this week.

SWT volunteers work on the new crossing at Balgavies Loch, which was completed this week.

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A footbridge lost to severe flooding at an Angus nature reserve has been replaced after the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) secured funding of more than £5,000 for the scheme.

The new bridge over a burn at Balgavies Loch reserve, near Forfar, was installed by Trust volunteers in place of a temporary structure that was erected last winter and financed with a £5,446 award from the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund, delivered through the Angus Environmental Trust (AET).

It replaces a crossing that was washed away as a result of the severe flooding that resulted from the severe storms that hit Angus in January 2016. Drainage has also been improved to reduce the risk of flooding in future.

Rab Potter, reserves manager, said: “The new bridge is longer and higher than the previous crossing. Water can flow freely underneath it, and it will be much harder to wash away in a flood.

“Thanks to the support for the project from Angus Environment Trust visitors can continue to enjoy the circular walk around the reserve in safety.”

With a range of different habitats, the nature reserve has long been recognised as an important site for wildlife and has become known for its ospreys which nest there every summer.

Shona Smith, AET chairwoman said: “We are delighted to fund this project to once again allow visitors access around Balgavies Loch, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest with some great things to see.”