Flood chaos at Motherwell’s nature reserve

A birdwatching hide is left waterlogged
A birdwatching hide is left waterlogged

High winds and storms have cut a damaging swathe through Motherwell’s Baron’s Haugh nature reserve, felling trees and blocking pathways.

And the team who manage the prime local outdoors asset are pinning their hopes on volunteers rallying round to clear up the mess.

A “large number” of trees in the reserve were brought crashing down by high winds, blocking trails and trackways, and many more were brought downstream by flood water along with other debris.

Meanwhile all of the reserve’s wildlife hides were completely flooded as the water in the haugh rose at least four feet.

RSPB Scotland’s Stephen Owen, who is reserve warden at Baron’s Haugh, said: “It’s been quite a shock to see just how much damage has been done.

“We’re used to flooding but I’ve not experienced anything liked this before.”

He added: “Thankfully, we have an incredible team of volunteers, who are going to be instrumental in sorting out all the fallen trees, and repairing paths and other damage.”

The Clyde Walkway, which runs through Baron’s Haugh in places, has suffered damage too, and visitors have been warned to take care when using it.

With the big clean-up still underway, the reserve management would welcome any more volunteers able to lend a hand.

Pathways which were flooded will need to be repaired, and fallen trees and other debris will also have to be tackled.

Ironically, however, the chaos has had one positive outcome - the large number of ducks, swans and other water birds who have been attracted by the flooding.

Anyone interested in volunteering to help restore the reserve to its pre-flood condition can contact Stephen Owen on 0141v 331 0993.