Restoration work to begin at Arnhall Moss ponds

Ponds at a local beauty spot in Westhill are about to be restored for the benefit of wildlife and visitors.

Three ponds running between Arnhall Moss and Denman Park will be enhanced by Arnhall Moss Advisory Group and Aberdeenshire Council.

They are working in partnership with Froglife, the UK reptile and amphibian conservation charity.

The work begins on February 22 and will be jointly funded by Froglife’s Scottish Dragon Finder project (funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund) and Aberdeenshire Council.   

“We are absolutely delighted to be working on this project with Froglife,” said councillor John Latham (Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford), the council’s Pond Champion.

“The plan is to open up and restore the ponds and add a dipping platform and some interpretation boards.

“Pond restoration work can be a messy business but the end result will be a spectacular transformation, with large areas of open water and hopefully lots of frogs in years to come.”

Westhill and District councillor Iris Walker, a member of the Arnhall Moss Advisory Group, said the group is looking forward to the work going ahead.

“The first phase will involve felling selected trees from around the ponds – this will open the area up and we will concentrate on taking out dead trees and species which are not really suited to growing by the ponds,” she said.

“You will see the trees marked up for felling within the next few weeks. Very little management work has been done on the ponds over the years and we have a great opportunity to tidy the area up and enhance it for wildlife all at the same time”.

Garioch Area Ranger Alison Sutherland regularly uses the area for pond dipping with local primary schools and biology students from Westhill Academy.

She said: “The current dipping results do not generally show many invertebrates and no amphibians. We very much hope this situation will improve.”

Alison also hopes local people will help keep the ponds clean and litter free in future, as a big part of this project will be the removal of broken bottles, tyres, shopping trollies and other rubbish.

To find out more about the pond restoration project or about joining the Arnhall Moss Advisory Group, email Emma Williams at: emma.williams@aberdeenshire.gov.uk