I became aware of a proposed development for Springbank Quarry, south of Plains. The quarry consists of three pits which are now filled with water. Over the years nature has reclaimed the area, and once you get past the mountains of rubbish dumped on the main road you enter a different world. The waters have at some point been stocked with fish. Almost thirty years ago I used to fish here and at the time there were good sized rainbow trout in the water, and perch around the pound mark. The area is also home to bird life. I visited today and saw coots nesting, a pair of buzzards and kestrels.
These quarries have suffered greatly from fly tipping over the years, with much rubbish ending up in the water. It would be wonderful if these quarries could be sympathetically cleared, with the old cars, industrial waste and refuse being removed while retaining the natural habitat which has developed here.
The proposal, which is still at an early stage, is to partially fill in the three pits to make the water shallower, to stabilise some of the rock work, and to make the area into a more accessible area for recreation. If this were being done for these reasons alone I’d be over the moon. Cynic that I am though, I have a concern that it’s simply a way of dumping excavated material, and the other proposals will be the usual half-hearted efforts, which will quickly be vandalised, never to be repaired. There is an interesting article on the Scottish Federation for Coarse Angling website which explains the whole topic in more detail. The actual application can be found on the NLC E-planning site. If you have any comments, now is the time to make them.
Not far from here, near Turdees Farm is another quarry. This one is smaller, and is well used by anglers, but is in a pitiful state.
I paid this one a visit a few weeks back. Despite being full of junk, old cars and other rubbish, this place is teeming with life. I saw numerous pike, frogs, other small fish and some decent carp here. I counted over a dozen cars in here, along with some huge monster truck size tyres. If any quarry was crying out for some work to be done on it, it’s this one.
Cleared of the rubbish, this could be a great place to fish. At a fraction of the cost of Cumbernaulds neon waves, this could be a fantastic spot. I’ve visited here on summer weekends and it’s a busy place, although it’s beyond me how anyone can sit for any length of time surrounded by this amount of rubbish.
Should the plan to clean up Springbank Quarry go ahead, they should add this in at the same time. Airdrie is surrounded by old quarries, some of which could be great areas for recreation. You only have to look at Auchinstarry to see how it should be done. Rock climbing, angling, picnic tables and decent parking. These quarries should be assets to Airdrie. Instead they are left to rot and drown in filth. I can always hope things will get better.