A visit to Fife’s very own ‘eco-paradise’

Lesley Laird MP has praised the work of The Ecology Centre after a visit to the project in its 20th anniversary year.

The Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP was welcomed by Tony Payne (chairman) and David Stockwell (general manager) and given a guided tour around Kinghorn’s ‘eco-paradise’.

The visit took in the new centre, a walk through the gardens and even a quick trip to see the project’s quirkiest addition: the ‘Loo With a View’!

Lesley said: “What struck me most about the ecology centre was how much the project is grounded in people values as much as environmental values.

“The sense of community is so inspiring and shows the best of what can be achieved when people pull together and work together for a common cause.

“The centre builds people’s lives through new skills, friendship and purpose  – and the benefits are plain to see.”

The Ecology Centre’s new single-storey building on the banks of Kinghorn Loch was built in 2015 and epitomises the project’s eco-values with its growing sedum roof and sustainable wood construction.

Adjacent workshops – made from recycled shipping containers – are used for the many volunteers at the centre, to develop skills or simply meet like-minded individuals.

They include the Tool Shed, where Lesley met Lee Brown and learned about how volunteers restore old tools and donate them to good causes.

The Tool Shed can only operate with the continued generosity of the community and are always looking for all types of unwanted items including; carpentry, workshop, gardening tools and Singer sewing machines.

Lesley also heard about the centre’s many educational projects – both outreach and on-site – including its popular pond-dipping sessions.

Speaking afterwards, she said: “I’d especially like to thank the team for such a warm welcome, not least those talented volunteers in the kitchen who made the best coleslaw I think I’ve ever tasted!”

“The atmosphere at The Ecology Centre is a special one and I wish the team a very happy 20th anniversary and all the very best for the future.”

David Stockwell added: “We were delighted to welcome Lesley Laird to our site, show her around, talk to her about all our projects and be part of our 20th anniversary celebrations!

“It was also great to introduce her to our amazing group of dedicated volunteers and for her to see all the work they are involved in and how much of an integral part of our team they are.”

To donate tools, drop them off at The Ecology Centre or contact Lee Brown on 01592 891567 to arrange collection.

Pictured from left to right are: Tony Payne, David Stockwell, Lesley Laird and Lee Brown.