This year the RRC’s Annual General Meeting was held at SEPA’s office in Edinburgh. The site visit went to Stane Gardens in the Shotts community in North Lanarkshire. The area has been heavily contaminated and altered by historical steel industries and development. The South Calder Water, which runs through the site, has been straightened and channelised, and culverted for about 350m. This Water Environment Fund project, carried out in partnership between SEPA and North Lanarkshire Council, aims to address both the contaminated land and the degraded river to improve the water environment and create a high quality green space for the local community.
Upstream of the project site and downstream of the culverted section, the South Calder has more natural characteristics and the project will aim to mimic these processes to improve the river’s morphology and habitat quality. The project also aims to achieve water quality and land remediation benefits.
The first phase of the remediation work was completed early in 2012, when about 46,000m3 contaminated soil was removed. River restoration and creation of the parkland started on site in December 2014 and should be completed by the end of the summer.
The concrete channel and part of an existing culvert will be removed and about 400m of the South Calder Water re-meandered. The whole site will be covered with an impermeable protecting layer to the underlying soil. This will prevent rainwater infiltrating the contaminated soil and discharging into nearby waterbodies. The site will then be covered with a layer of clean topsoil, landscaped, seeded with grass and planted with trees to provide benefits to both people and the environment.