Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


The Rigside and Douglas Water Community Nature Reserve is a great community resource, but is has been neglected for too long; we want to revitalise it so that people will once again want to be involved in projects promoting access to the outdoors, to take an interest in the natural environment and wildlife, and to create a greater sense of community spirit. The countryside and woodland around the villages are inaccessible without your own transport; we want to improve the path network to make the nature reserve accessible for everybody and to make it a place that people want to be involved with.

In the past 12 months with the efforts of our volunteers, help from South Lanarkshire Community Payback and CCI Scotland we have opened up the overgrown pathways to the nature reserve, and with a grant from Community Coalfields Futures we have planted a community orchard and we have funding to plant woodland wild flowers. The publicity and support that we have received from the local press has increased the interest in the reserve, hardly anybody outside the village knew about it, and now we see many people from outside the area coming to see what it is about.

Following a survey and open day organised by Coalfields Regeneration Trust we have a Community Action Plan that places improving the the local path network and local parks, ponds and woodlands at the top of the list of things that would make Rigside and Douglas Water a better place to live.

The local primary school, Healthy Valleys and other organisations who have visited the reserve have found it to be a hiden gem of tranquility and beauty that has tremendous potential.

We want to improve the wildlife potential of the reserve by planting more native wildflowers to attract bees, butterflies and other polinators, we want to install bird and bat boxes and created habitats for beetles and other woodland birds and mammals.

We also want prople from the local community and beyond to want to visit the reserve as a destination and as the hub of the local and national footpaths network. we want to provide information about the mining and social history of the area, to allow people to rest and enjoy the environment, and to provide areas where people can explore and learn about the reserve, its resident wildlife and the vast numbers of migratory birds that visit each year.

Our initial funding requirements are to create footpath access from Rigside to the reserve, to improve the facilities at the reserve including signage, a mining and social history information area, improve the wildlife facilities as mentioned above and to enable people to spend time there by installing a picnic area, children's play area, an outdoor skills area, bird hide, repairing the dipping pond platform and creating composting toilets to prevent the reserve from becoming a public toilet, and finally to fund the public liability insurance, administrative and maintenance costs required to prevent the reserve from becoming neglected again and to protect our volunteers and visitors whils working and visiting it.

Loudon Pond and Ponfeigh Glen Association

Moment of Pride

The area was the hub of social events until the coal mine closed in 1967, when it became a rubbish strewn eyesore. It was rescued as a nature reserve in 1994, the committment and determination of local volunteers has given it back the potential to regain its place at the heart of the community.

Location: Douglas Water