FUNDING of over £40,000 has been awarded to Scottish Borders Council to support the development of a project in Duns Park which aims to use nature-based solutions to address flooding and create new wildlife habitats.

The project is one of a number across the country supported by the environmental charity greenspace scotland, which is managing the £856,000 Levelling Up Parks Fund provided to the Scottish Government by the UK Government.

Large sections of the park in the heart of the Berwickshire town become unusable due to flooding caused by a rising water table. Drainage works have been undertaken and the playpark moved to higher ground, however issues continue to persist.

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The new project is aiming to design and use nature-based solutions to address these issues, and in doing so also create new wetland and woodland habitats, linking to existing wetland areas to the west of the park, supporting biodiversity.

In addition to increasing natural habitats in the park, the work would also enable paths and spaces to be used year-round by local people and visitors. The funding awarded by greenspace scotland will enable initial studies and ground investigation works to be carried out which will inform the project design.

Over £30,000 from the NatureScot Nature Restoration Fund has already been obtained to support the project.

Councillor Jenny Linehan, Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “This further funding is fantastic news and will enable work to progress on developing the Duns Park project this summer.

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“Creation of new wetlands will allow us to deliver a significant boost to the biodiversity of the park and address some of the existing flooding issues there. There is also great opportunity here to work with the community and the town’s schools to increase awareness of biodiversity and the wildlife the park and adjacent wetland areas support.”

Community and school engagement will take place through the project, along with partnership work with Tweed Forum, SEPA, NatureScot and adjacent landowners.

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Using nature-based solutions to tackle the impacts of climate change aligns with the progress of local and national flood policies and is also aligned to Scottish Borders Council’s commitment to deploying natural flood management wherever possible, under the Climate Change Route Map Action Plan.