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Community group aims to restore the Dighty Burn

Community group aims to restore the Dighty Burn

There is a thin blue line that snakes around the back of Dundee city, running from east to west, until it meets the Tay somewhere between Broughty Ferry and Monifieth.

The Dighty Burn might not be as famous as the Tay River, but it offers a little-known history which is equally as fascinating.

The small river, which began as a trickle several millennia ago, goes back all the way through the ages and existed long before Dundee did.

It has been described by geology experts as a miniature Grand Canyon. You can read more about the geological qualities of the Dighty Burn in an article from the Evening Telegraph below.

In recent years however, the significance of the waterway was lost on its neighbouring residents and several stretches along its banks became eyesores in the community. Luckily for Dundee there is a group of volunteers aiming to change all that.

Meet Dighty Connect, a group aiming to bring community pride back to the green spaces along the Dighty Burn through creativity and conservation.

The group was formed last year and now has a thriving membership spanning many of the Dighty communities. It is led entirely by volunteers, and the varied projects they undertake have come from the skills and passions of the members.

As such, they have done everything from planting wildflowers, writing poetry, making mosaics, building amphibian habitats and community archaeology to outdoor art performances.

Project Coordinator, Anne Lolley, recently spoke at a Pecha Kucha night to explain a bit more about the project to the Dundee creative community.

Creative Dundee
Creative Dundee

She said: "The interesting thing for me is that when you start speaking about the project, everybody has a story about that burn. Whether they've been kissed by it, fallen in it, accidentally backed a digger into it, everybody knows it.

"In a strange way it's more accessible than the Tay as it's always within a stone's throw of peoples houses. We've worked out that over the years there's been between 60 and 70 mills operating along the banks of the Burn. But it's not always looked after and there's been various problems with rubbish getting dumped there, graffiti and other things.

"Originally we were a small environmental group in Broughty Ferry but increasingly as we got more members and more project going we put a trawl out for ideas and doing a project along the Dighty was the next one that came up.

"We managed to get funding so it's just gone from there. All of the projects start with local people's ideas so they can get involved with whatever they like and we try to work alongside them to benefit the community, or the group or themselves.

"It's accessible to all ages and all abilities. One of the current groups has members whose ages range from 11 to 75 so it's inter generational."

If you would like to join Dighty Connect and follow its progress then check out their Facebook page.

Many events are held on a one-off basis but the weekly schedule is below and all new members are welcome. Most events take place at the Douglas Community Centre.

Monday

1-3pm: Gardening Group: Growing a variety of fruits, vegetables and flowers; creating a wildlife friendly garden.

Tuesday

9.30am-12pm: Conservation Group: Planting wildflowers, making ponds, removing invasive species and creating wildlife habitats.

On the first Tuesday of the month there is also an Eco-Poetry group. Members are encouraged to take inspiration from the natural environment at different locations along the Dighty burn.

Wednesday

10am-12pm: Wildlife Surveying: Conducting wildlife and water surveys to monitor the health of the Dighty and surrounding areas.

Thursday

1-3pm: Mosaic Group - Creating gorgeous mosaic pieces such as benches and plaques. We are currently making a series of milestones to be situated along the length of the Dighty.

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