Communities Along the Carron moving full stream ahead

From left, Isla Campbell and Ian Ross of Scottish Natural Heritage, Christine Bell of Communities Along the Carron, and Councillors Jim Blackwood and Dr Craig Martin
From left, Isla Campbell and Ian Ross of Scottish Natural Heritage, Christine Bell of Communities Along the Carron, and Councillors Jim Blackwood and Dr Craig Martin
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A community-led environmental group is celebrating after winning a grant that will allow its work to continue.

Communities Along the Carron Association (CATCA) has been awarded £30,000 from Scottish Natural Heritage, to be split over the next three years, and the same amount from Falkirk Council.

It will allow its community engagement programme to run until at least 2018.

CATCA will continue its founding aim of breathing new life into the River Carron and its surrounds, a project that has been ongoing since 2010.

The extended funding will also allow CATCA to advance other projects. It is drafting a 20-year development plan and aims to work with 400 more adults and children on trips to the Carron riverbank to learn more about biodiversity and sustainability issues.

It also plans to help people earn a further 300 John Muir Awards; encouraging at least another 30 regular volunteers to become ‘local guardians’ of the river and enable them to commit a further 2000 hours volunteer time to the project.

Christine Bell, said: “We are extremely grateful to Scottish Natural Heritage and Falkirk Council for their funding and continued support.

“These contributions have been vital in ensuring that CATCA achieved a tremendous amount in the past five years, and has helped them on their way to fulfilling the objectives of their development plan for the river.

“Since 2010, we’ve worked closely with many schools, agencies, volunteer groups and private organisations who have all volunteered to help.

“The collective efforts of over 3500 people has resulted in the River Carron being cleared of over 100 tons of log jams, 70 tons of fly tipped items and 2000 bags of litter.”

An ongoing project to clean up the River Carron and its surrounds

Communities Along the Carron Association (CATCA) is a group of local volunteers committed to the regeneration of the River Carron, its communities and adjacent land.

CATCA work with councils, agencies, and other groups to improve the water and wildlife habitat of the Carron, clear litter and other debris from the water and riverbanks, develop a path network, and promote education and heritage projects.

The group has been involved in securing Local Nature Reserve Status for the Carron Dams site in 2013, and helped to win funding for over £1 million of path network improvements. This included the replacement of the Dorrator and Dale footbridges.