Regular visitors to RSPB Scotland Loch Leven may have noticed a few changes to the site over the last few weeks, particularly in the area to the east of the visitor centre. We needed to fell a number of trees and bushes, and change the layout of the viewing screen in the picnic area.

It’s all in preparation for the construction of a new easy-access underpass to help people safely cross the busy B9097. There's an old tunnel under the road at the moment, but it has steep steps at both ends, so if you depend on a wheelchair or mobility scooter, you can't get access to it. The steps also cause problems for cyclists, and families with pushchairs, as well as anyone who just finds it difficult to get up and down stairs.

This creates an unfair barrier, not only to the visitors who come to RSPB Scotland Loch Leven to use the car park and facilities, but also to people using the Loch Leven Heritage Trail. This long-distance route is accessible to almost everyone: 13-miles of uninterrupted, wheelchair-friendly pathway that loops around the whole of the loch, taking in beautiful views, and bringing people closer to nature. There's even a free mobility scooter hire scheme for anyone who needs a bit of extra help to get around. But when the trail passes through RSPB Scotland Loch Leven, the only way to get to the visitor centre is through the old underpass, and down the steep steps.

That’s why we’re building a new one!

It will be reached by gentle slopes at both ends allowing access for all, and will also link the Loch Leven Heritage Trail with the Fife core path network, opening up miles of trails, and providing hours of opportunity for enjoying the outdoors.

Through generous funding, we’ve almost met all the costs for the underpass, so much so, that we’ll be starting construction work next week!

We’re also launching a crowdfunding campaign in the next few days to help close the funding gap, and we’ll have some really interesting rewards available for supporters. Just keep an eye on our social media to find out when the page goes live.

If you’d like to know more, please contact the reserve:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RSPBTaysideFife/

Twitter: @RSPBLochLeven

Telephone: 01577 862355

Email: lochleven@rspb.org.uk

Website: rspb.org.uk/lochleven


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