New Graduate Intern to investigate the wildlife of Sustainable Urban Drainage Ponds in Inverness

This is an exciting new graduate opportunity funded by The Highland Council and Scottish Natural Heritage for 2015. The chosen graduate is Marcia Rae and she will soon be standing in a pond near you to investigate the quality of Sustainable Urban Drainage Ponds within the city and the A96 corridor.  

These systems are now part of all new housing development plans and are designed to reduce the risk of flooding and water quality in built up areas. They are designed to look like natural ponds or wetland areas and are planted with native vegetation. It is because of this that they are a safe haven for wildlife, providing a home for animals like the common frog, toad and different species of newt.  

Chair of the Council’s Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee, Councillor Thomas Prag said: “With the spread of development in Inverness it is essential that areas such as these are maintained and improved, providing homes for wildlife amongst our own.  By ensuring that new developments plan their drainage schemes to connect with others in the local area means they can provide a very rich and safe place for amphibians and other wildlife for generations to come, whilst also ensuring fewer problems with flooding.  But it is not just the benefit to wildlife or the reduced flooding risk that makes this project so exciting. It also allows local residents to become involved with wildlife in their own area and encourages them to make use of local own green spaces.”  

Marcia at work

Marcia will be working with the Council’s local Planning Officers to ensure that best practice is delivered when SUDS ponds are created. This will maximise their benefit to wildlife and also local residents.  

Jonathan Willet, the Highland Council Biodiversity Officer said: “We are really pleased to have Marcia in post for a year. Her work will help us to understand the role SUDS ponds play in our urban green networks and also how we can make future SUDS ponds even better for wildlife and as accessible as possible so local communities can enjoy these miniature nature reserves on their doorsteps.”

 

27 Jan 2015
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