Glasgow Academy pupils help boost biodiversity at reservoirs

Pupils made history at an inaugural community bulb planting day as part of the Friends of Milngavie Reservoir’s 20th anniversary celebrations.

Friends of Milngavie Reservoir with pupils at Glasgow Academy

The Friends of Milngavie Reservoir volunteer group (FOMR) joined forces with The Glasgow Academy, Allander Rotary, Milngavie in Bloom, East Dunbartonshire Council and Scottish Water to plant hundreds of daffodil and crocus bulbs at the popular local beauty spot.

FOMR has been instrumental in bringing together The Glasgow Academy, local and national partners as part of its community drive to enhance and protect the reservoirs and its wildlife.

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Eddy Yacoubian, Chairman of FOMR said: “We are delighted to mark the 20th anniversary of the Friends of Milngavie Reservoir through this exciting community initiative.

"We are keen to encourage more efforts around biodiversity and green conservation at the reservoirs.

"The involvement of schoolchildren in bulb planting is a fantastic way for them to learn about the amazing nature on their doorstep.

"We all value the environment and the initiative is particularly timely given next month’s United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, in Glasgow, and its efforts around climate change and reducing carbon emissions to net zero by 2040.

"Global change starts at a local level and the children’s bulb planting to attract pollinators exemplifies that. It is heartening so many local and national groups recognise the national significance of the reservoirs in context to habitat, biodiversity and the environment.”

Stuart Sharkie, President of Allander Rotary added: “Many of the aims of the FOMR are similar to our own, including working with local groups and supporting the environment.

“In addition to the planting of daffodils, we are delighted to provide purple crocus bulbs, as part of the Purple4Polio activities that highlight Rotary International’s campaign which seeks to eradicate polio.”

“The colour purple signifies the dye put onto a child’s finger when they have been immunised. The clean water supply from these reservoirs originally helped to eradicate disease in Glasgow, so it is fitting Rotary is able to support this bulb planting initiative.”

In addition to helping to plant bulbs, local volunteers took part in an organised litter pick. This supported wider community efforts to help improve the special, tranquil environment of the Milngavie reservoirs.

The initiative also involved the launch of a new poster campaign, to encourage visitors to think about the environmental impact of litter.

An increase in the number of visitors during the pandemic has led to a rise in litter and the new posters feature Milngavie reservoirs and are part of a wider campaign across East Dunbartonshire and supported by Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Councillor Andrew Polson, Joint Leader of East Dunbartonshire Council said: "We are delighted to welcome the vision of the Friends of Milngavie Reservoir, which sets out a number of strategic priorities designed to ensure this unique asset remains a popular destination for

generations to come.

"It’s a great place to spend an afternoon and I would encourage people to delve into its fascinating history, which stretches from the Victorian era to today.

Councillor Vaughan Moody, Joint Leader of East Dunbartonshire Council added: “The Council is pleased to continue to support this voluntary organisation, which has done so much to ensure the reservoirs are protected and promoted to local residents and visitors. Their endeavours – and the site, which is Category A-listed by Historic Environment Scotland - tie in with ongoing work by the Council on the likes of the public consultation on the new Active Travel Strategy.