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New ecological project under way at Lynebeg to offset impact of A9 dualling in Highlands

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Work has now begun on a new ecological project at Lynebeg in the Highlands as engineers create a new pond as part of the new phase of the A9 dualling project.

The work, undertaken by Network Rail on behalf of Transport Scotland, will create a new pond and cultivate the landscape to improve the ecology of the site.

This is to offset the impact of the A9 dualling project due to begin near the site as it widens a six-mile stretch of the Inverness to Perth road between Tomatin and Moy.

Over the next eight weeks, workers will create a massive 60×20-metre pool that will be left to mature over the next year to create a better living space for local wildlife.

It follows earlier work in autumn 2021, where a 33-metre long tunnel was created to act as an overflow for the pond.

‘Promoting positive environmental impacts and supporting biodiversity’

While assessing the site for development, a new sub-species of the caddisfly was discovered.

The new pond and landscaping will help protect the habitat that supports this rare species and enable its future translocation to this location.

Malcolm Mcgowan, Network Rail project manager at Lynebeg, said: “The construction of this pond will recreate the existing caddisfly habitat and, following a period of establishment, will support the relocation of the existing caddisfly to the new pond, which is considered to bring significant environmental benefits to the A9 project.

“Promoting positive environmental impacts and supporting biodiversity is an important element of the overall A9 dualling project and the work we will do in the coming weeks will continue to benefit the local ecology for generations to come.

“There will be a range of construction plants involved in the creation of the pond and though the location is relatively rural, we are advising local people to be aware of the additional activity and vehicle movements during this important work.”

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