In the middle of industrial Grangemouth, Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre is a fantastic demonstration of how urban green spaces can be created from wasteland. Besides the surprising variety of wildlife, the reserve is a valuable educational and community resource.
Working for Scottish Wildlife Trust, Forth Valley Enterprise and ICI, Christopher Palmer Associates were appointed Landscape Consultants responsible for design and detailing of a major wildlife garden initiative involving a partnership between the Scottish Wildlife Trust and ICI in 1990. The garden occupies former derelict land between timber yards and the ICI Fine Chemicals complex and includes an indoor teaching facility, demonstration gardens, plant nursery and a series of created habitats including open water, marsh, wet and dry meadows and a range of woodland types. Before works commenced, trial pits were dug to establish that the water table was sufficiently high that all of the open water habitats would fill from ground water thus avoiding the need for pond liners and a water source. Excavations from the ponds and linking ditches was used to create some low south facing hills to provide drier grassland habitat.
Responsibilities included design layouts, specification of soil types for different habitats, monitoring spend for the grounds work contract, and work carried out by training groups and volunteers
Today, jupiter is one of Scotland’s finest examples of the reclamation of disused industrial land for wildlife and people. This urban nature oasis is right in the middle of industrial Grangemouth and is a haven for birds, butterflies and wildflowers. Visit the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s website for further details: http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/reserve/jupiter-urban-wildlife-centre/