GFAA recently submitted a proposal to Aberdeen City Council for a project to enhance the biodiversity of our site. I am delighted to say that ACC have enthusiastically encouraged us to go ahead. Read on for more details.

Background
We propose to develop the under-used area positioned in the North-West corner of our site to create a wildlife-friendly habitat which will enhance the biodiversity of the local area. The area chosen was created when the contractors constructing the Pitfoddel’s Station Road pedestrian track and cycleway deposited waste materials (mainly rock and sub-soil) in the corner of our site. The resulting raised area (which we have named, “The Mound” is unsuitable for vegetable cultivation and has remained unused for many years.

Features
The development will include some of the features listed below, the exact number will be dependent on the availability of space and suitable locations. (Where features cannot be incorporated into The Mound suitable alternative locations on the Garthdee Field site will be sought.
• Native flowers and shrubs
• Log piles
• Bug hotels
• A wildlife pond
• A wildflower area
• Nest boxes
• Bat boxes
• Hedgehog huts
• Squirrel feeders
• Bumble bee nest boxes.

Benefits
Projects to encourage biodiversity were recommended in our recent Green Flag Assessment and this development will strengthen future Green Flag applications.
The creation of a larger habitat will enable greater variety of species to utilise the area than would be possible in the fragmented small-scale areas developed by individual plot holders.
The habitat created will provide a valuable learning setting for visiting primary pupils and youth groups.
The intended features will be attractive and beneficial to pollinators, birds, amphibians, hedgehogs, insects, bats and many other species.
Development and maintenance of the mound will deliver engagement opportunities working with nature over a wide range of skill sets for members of site’s volunteer group.
Creation of The Mound and its subsequent population by wildlife may act as a stimulus to other plotters to develop areas within their own plots thereby increasing the overall habitat availability on the site.

Management
The Mound Project will be led by Steve Jennings, the GFAA Committee Member charged with responsibility to lead and coordinate our efforts to enhance the biodiversity of our site. In the first instance we will fund work from our GFAA income and reserves, but we may seek external funding in the future.

Maintenance
The area will be maintained by our resident Volunteer Squad and/or interested plotters as coordinated by Steve Jennings.

Health and Safety
The area is already fenced on 3 sides and a new fence and gate will be constructed to manage public access. Visits by external groups will be supervised by a member of the GFAA Committee.
All works will be completed in accordance with Aberdeen City Council’s policies and procedures and in alignment with GFAA’s Volunteers’ Health and Safety Policy.

Visits by external groups will be risk assessed and monitored.

Further Information

Steve Jennings will be delighted to receive ideas for development or offers of help, or to provide further information on the project as it progresses.