Friday, May 6, 2022

Loch Leven Phoenix Hide rises from the ashes of a devastating fire

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A stunning new nature reserve has officially opened, rising from the ashes of the former building that burned down last year.

Nature lovers were devastated when Mill Hide in Loch Leven National Nature Reserve (NNR) was destroyed in a fire in February 2021.

A crowdfunding call for reconstruction raised almost £30,000 and the rest was funded by NatureScot, which manages much of the NNR.

NatureScot Chairman Mike Cantlay and Reserve Manager Neil Mitchell were joined by the Kinross Beavers and local community and business representatives to cut the ribbon and officially open the new Phoenix Hide to the public on Friday.

Mr Cantlay said: “To see the new Phoenix Hide rise from the ashes has been wonderful and it simply would not have been possible without the incredible efforts of the local community, businesses and the general public. Today we would like to thank everyone who made this day possible.

“The level of support has been truly heartwarming and shows the importance of this special place for nature to the local community and beyond.

“As Scotland’s Conservation Agency it is our goal to inspire many more people to appreciate our nature and I know this beautiful new skin will play a vital role in that for generations to come.”

The hideout has been designed with a more open back to discourage anti-social behavior and includes a new camera to record any incidents.

NatureScot’s Neil Mitchell, the reserve manager who oversaw the rebuilding of the hide, said: “When the Mill Hide was destroyed last year we were all absolutely devastated.

“After the fire it became clear what a popular place it was for people from near and far to come here and connect with nature.

“We were determined to do whatever we could to rebuild the hideout and cannot express our gratitude to the local community, businesses and visitors who have so generously helped make this possible.

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