Broughty Ferry Environmental Project

Zoom: Taking a closer look at nature

The Group
Broughty Ferry Environmental Project was set up in 1998 to initiate and manage local environmental and sustainable initiatives in the east of Dundee. The project has two main aims: to promote and encourage the conservation and protection of wildlife and the environment for the benefit of the public; and to advance the education of the general public about environmental issues through the provision of education, information and publicity.  The Zoom project included the communities of Douglas, Whitfield and Broughty Ferry.

What were they trying to achieve?
The project aimed to engage local people in an exploration of their natural environment and identify action needed to protect and enhance the area.  The objectives were to explore local biodiversity within the Dighty Burn catchment; to find out what makes it distinctive and valued by local people; to use approaches which make the exercise accessible and inclusive; to train people in relevant research techniques; and to use the results to recommend action through practical projects to protect, conserve and enhance local biodiversity.

How did they go about it?
The initial phase included recruiting and training volunteers, and preparation of Zoom packs.  Each pack included questionnaires, information, a gift and survey sheet relevant to the topic to be surveyed: e.g. ladybirds, lichens.  The next stage involved activities to generate interest in the project, involving around 400 people, including a school mosaic, survey of invasive species, sessions with primary age children on insects, reminiscence sessions, and poetry.  The final stage involved presentation of displays in community centres and libraries, and follow up meeting to generate ideas for action.  The research was undertaken by the BFEP project worker, local volunteers and a research mentor.

What did they learn?
Some of the results of the projects included:

  • A profile of participants' favourite greenspace
  • Survey findings for various species of bird, bee, ladybird, seaweed and lichen
  • Poems about local greenspaces from reminiscence sessions and about insects from children's sessions
  • A survey of invasive species (including Giant Hogweed) along the Dighty burn

What difference did it make?

  • The results of the project contributed to several birds for funding and to developing work on diodiversity with local schools and other partner organisations
  • A successful application was made to the Scottish Executive's Biodiversity Fund to work with local people to understand, restore and manage the habitats along Broughty Ferry beach
  • Building on the baseline survey, the local authority has embarked on an initiative to tackle invasive species in the area, with ongoing community involvement; and its ranger service is considering adopting the BFEP approach across the city

Broughty Ferry Environmental Project
Broughty Ferry Library
Queen Street
Broughty Ferry
Tel:  01382 436932