Project to improve the view from town’s station

THE VIEW from Montrose Station is set to improve for rail passengers thanks to a unique partnership between ScotRail, the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) and the Montrose Town Regeneration Group.

Bird’s eye viewers have been installed on the station wall so that people can enjoy the view and appreciate Montrose Basin’s wealth of wildlife.

The basin is a site of international importance for a huge number of species including migratory colonies of pink-footed geese and red knot as well as a wide range of other bird species.

It even recently played host to three spoonbills, offering local birdwatchers the rare chance to see the wading birds at fairly close quarters. There are only a few dozen sightings in the UK every year and these are usually confined to coastal sites in north-west and south-west England and East Anglia and they rarely venture this far north.

Posters will be put up at the station to interpret the wildlife for waiting passengers, encouraging them to appreciate the spectacular natural surroundings.

The viewers are the result of a funding partnership by train operator ScotRail and the SWT.

John Yellowlees, ScotRail’s external relations manager, said the company is happy to join forces with the trust to provide the viewing points.

He commented: “We are delighted to be involved with the trust in promoting awareness of such an amazing location next door to the station.”

Caroline Hendry, SWT’s basin visitor centre, said the trust was also pleased to be involved with the scheme which is in keeping with its conservation aims.

She remarked: “Trains are a convenient and environmentally responsible means of visiting the town as so we readily accepted ScotRail’s invitation to ‘adopt’ the station.”

Local councillors David May and Mark Salmond, both members of the regeneration group, liaised closely with both organisations on the scheme, part of a wider plan to improve the station’s environment.

Councillor May said the project will help both local people and visitors to the town to interpret what they see around them.

He commented: “Regular train users and visitors to the town will now have a greater awareness of our excellent wildlife centre as well as the wildlife at the basin.

“In addition, our group is overseeing the renewal of floral displays which taken into account the salty conditions and Network Rail’s forthcoming provision of an accessible footbridge under Transport Scotland’s Access for All programme.”