Grangemouth wildlife haven marks its birthday with open day

Sally Magnusson plants the commemorative tree helped by Scottish Wildlife Trust chief executive Simon Milne
Sally Magnusson plants the commemorative tree helped by Scottish Wildlife Trust chief executive Simon Milne

A wildlife haven has just celebrated two decades of successfully coexisting with Scotland’s petrochemical industry giants.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre, near Wood Street, Grangemouth, lies on the edge of the Earls Road chemical complex, but that has not stopped it becoming an oasis for wildlife, insects and plants - as well as a popular attraction for visitors young and old.

Mastermind presenter, broadcaster and one-time Scottish Natural Heritage chairman Magnus Magnusson opened the centre back in 1992, planting a tree to mark the occasion.

Last week his daughter, news presenter Sally Magnusson, planted a tree of her own to celebrate Jupiter’s 20 years.

One of Scotland’s finest examples of the reclamation of disused industrial land for wildlife and people, Jupiter has proved to be a fantastic place to explore, relax and even enjoy a picnic or barbecue.

Simon Milne, Scottish Wildlife Trust chief executive, said: “The Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre is a great example of pioneering conservation in an industrial setting. Scottish Wildlife Trust members and volunteers have helped us transform Jupiter from a railway marshalling yard into a haven for dragonflies, butterflies, woodland birds and fungi. We’ve helped thousands of children get closer to nature here and inspired them to look after Scotland’s wildlife for the future.”

Year round, Jupiter Rangers organise a wide range of special educational and recreational activities, including guided walks, pond-dipping, minibeast safaris and tree orienteering. Environmental experts are on hand to advise people on ways of attracting more wildlife into their own gardens.

To mark the milestone the centre held an open day when Grangemouth High School and Sacred Heart, Bowhouse, Beancross, Moray and Bothkennar Primary School pupils unveiled Jupiter mosaics, created with help from artists Jaine Marriot and Fiona Byrne-Sutton, which will now provide yet another attraction for visitors in the coming years.

Jupiter Ranger Jennifer Dunn said: “The open day was a fantastic way for people to come and enjoy their local nature reserve. It’s an inspirational place for children and adults alike.”