Work is underway to ‘rewild’ a 675-metre man-made channel at the Shewalton Wood reserve.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust hopes to transform the channel of water into a gently meandering burn rich in wildlife, with artificially high and straight sides of the Dundonald Burn a poor habitat.

Following heavy rain flood water flushes young plants and silt from the burn stopping nature gaining a foothold and channels dirty water into the River Irvine.

Contractors are currently digging out new meanders with the gentle bends and shallow slopes they create will moderate the flow, reducing the risk of floods downstream and creating the right conditions for nature to thrive.

Next year volunteers will scatter native wildflower seeds on the banks of the burn and plant locally-sourced native trees nearby.

Reserve Manager Gill Smart said: “This realignment project is a key part of our work to rewild Shewalton Wood and make it better for threatened wildlife. By tempering the flow when it rains hard we will be creating lots of wetland habitat for endangered species, including eels and water voles, and make the reserve an even nicer place for people to visit.”

“This is a really exciting project for the Trust and our volunteers to be involved in. We’re very grateful for the support of both the FCC Communities Foundation and National Lottery players, which has allowed this work to happen.”

Ian McNab, Garnock Connections Project Officer: “It’s a wonderful place to experience nature right on Irvine’s doorstep, and it will be even better once the burn has been transformed into a haven for wildlife.”

Meandering the Dundonald Burn is one of 25 projects with Garnock Connections, a Landscape Partnership Scheme which is restoring a network of wildlife habitats and historic sites.