Tayside and Central Scotland

'Wildlife-friendly' kerbs installed in Blairgowrie

Wildlife friendly kerb
Image caption The new kerbs have a recess providing animals with a safe route around the drain

New "wildlife-friendly" kerbs have been installed in Blairgowrie as part of efforts to prevent animals becoming trapped in gullies.

Perth and Kinross Council are to pilot the use of the special kerbs at a site in the town's Elm Drive.

The new kerbs contain a recess allowing animals to follow the lower edge of the kerb while keeping them clear of the drains.

Wildlife rangers will monitor them to assess the scheme's success.

The kerb pilot follows the results of a series of surveys on roads carried out over the past two years in East Perthshire by the authority's Countryside Rangers.

Trapped animals

In 2010, the council examined 322 road gullies - 69% of those examined contained wildlife, comprising 641 amphibians and 56 mammals (mainly voles but also mice and shrews).

In 2011, 636 gullies were checked - wildlife was trapped in 63 of them. The rangers found 1,087 amphibians and 114 mammals.

The council was concerned that when animals were moving en masse, such as during the breeding season, the gullies became very hazardous, as once an animal became trapped it was unlikely to escape or survive for any length of time.

The Elm Drive site was chosen for the pilot as it is close to a local pond already included in the biodiversity survey, allowing the site to be compared before and after the installation of the kerbs.

Exciting project

Previous use of similar equipment elsewhere in the UK has shown a major reduction in the number of creatures getting trapped in road drains.

Environment convener Alan Grant said: "This is an exciting and innovative project which has been made possible through a landfill tax grant and has received a national award from the animal charity Peta.

"It will help us determine whether using these special kerbs can make a difference to local biodiversity by giving wildlife a safer route when on the move."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites