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£30,000 made available for upkeep of Sanquhar Loch

By Jonathan Clark

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Sanquhar Loch
Sanquhar Loch

A TOTAL of £30,000 will be made available for the maintenance and improvement of Sanquhar Loch, it was announced today.

At a meeting of Moray's economic development and infrastructure services committee, it was announced the funding would be made available to implement the Sanquhar Loch and woodland management plan.

The money comes from legacy funding, classed as revenue reserves that have been earmarked for the upkeep of the Sanquhar Estate, and will be accessed from 2019 to 2023 inclusive.

The plan starts next year with the cutting down of dying and hazardous trees around the loch.

In 2020, tree safety surveys will be conducted and invasive species will be controlled. From 2021-2023, trees that were felled will be removed, as the continuation of controlling species goes on.

The funding was agreed on several grounds, with an influence being placed on the fact the loch and surrounding path is used by Forres Academy, which is located 200 metres down the road.

The local school regularly uses the loch for PE classes, with pupils running around the pathway – the restoration is therefore of increased importance. On top of that, it's an area of local pride, where dog walkers are regularly spotted alongside those simply observing the nature.

A group of volunteers, called the Sanquhar Dam Restoration Group, have already worked for more than 1,800 hours, mostly at weekends, maintaining and restoring the pathway around the loch and are willing to continue to do so.

Council Leader Graham Leadbitter (Elgin City South) thanked the volunteers for their endless efforts. He said: "I must commend the tremendous effort of the volunteers. Thousands of hours of work go into maintaining the paths and woodlands."

Convener Shona Morrison (Fochabers/Lhanbryde) added that she has seen volunteers working even on "dreich" days, and thanked them for their efforts.

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