Transforming the county's landfill site into a wildlife haven has scooped the Council a top national environment award.
The Black Devon Landfill project was recognised at the annual Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) awards as the environmental project of 2006.
The award was presented to Council leader Margaret Paterson, Director of Development and Environmental Services Garry Dallas and Head of Environmental Services Ewart McAuslane at the Association's annual dinner which was held in London on Thursday 7th September and attended by 600 local authority representatives from all over Britain.
Councillor Paterson said: "I am delighted that our ground-breaking scheme to restore the county's landfill site into an area of natural beauty has been recognised at these UK-wide awards. My congratulations go to all the council officers involved. I was particularly proud to be able to accept the award during my last term on the National Executive Committee."
The Black Devon site operated as a landfill for 25 years. When the licence expired in April 2004 a team from the Council's environmental services identified an innovative approach to restoration which complemented the recently created Black Devon Wetland, which adjoins the site.
The project involved buying the land next to the existing wetland and the landfill site, stripping the soil and using it to cover the liner of the landfill site. The resultant depression became an extension of the existing wetland. The Black Devon Wetland, which was launched in 2001, was the first known 'managed retreat' project in Scotland, increasing bio-diversity in an area of international ornithological importance.
Garry Dallas said: "I am very pleased with this latest boost to Clackmannanshire's green credentials. This prestigious award comes on the back of a number of environmental successes, including having the top recycling rate in Scotland of over 40% and the news that the drinking water here is the cleanest in Scotland. Although we now officially have the best environmental initiative in the UK, we will not be resting on our laurels. We hope to achieve so much more with our Sustainability Strategy and Green Office campaign, so watch this space."
The beauty spot is on the edge of Alloa South and East and is close to new housing developments and the site of the new Alloa Academy. The wetland now covers some 21 hectares - a substantial habitat for flora and fauna.
Ewart McAuslane said: "This enlarged wetland area, together with the area of the restored landfill itself, has made a significant positive environmental impact, making a huge area available for public access and recreation and opening up the shores of the River Forth to local residents and visitors alike."
Plans for the future include erecting bird watching hides, interpretation boards and perimeter pathways in the wetland, with woodland, dry grassland and wetland habitat to be created on the landfill site.
The APSE service awards are an annual event for local government front line service providers. The awards are open to local authorities across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
The awards attract over 300 different submissions and are fiercely contested. The other finalists in Clackmannanshire's category were Blackpool, City of Edinburgh and West Dunbartonshire. The awards are designed to recognise innovation, service improvements and excellence in service delivery.
APSE is a not for profit local government association working with over 300 authorities throughout the UK and specialising in the delivery aspects of Local Government front line services.
APSE Chief Executive Paul O'Brien said: "I am delighted that we are able to showcase the very best in local government talent here tonight. Over 300 submissions were received for the service awards and the finalists have battled to get through to this unique and prestigious event."
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