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Levenhall Links

An area much extended through land reclamation, Levenhall Links is located on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth, a mile (1.5 km) northeast of Musselburgh in East Lothian. This was where the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club began in 1774 and was also home to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (1836-91), Royal Burgess Golfing Society (1874-94) and Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society (1839-97).

The area became a disposal ground for ash from Cockenzie Power Station which opened in 1968. The ash was liquefied and pumped through a pipeline from the power station, which is located 2½ miles (4 km) to the east northeast. The ash was then deposited in a series of lagoons - several of which remain active to the west of the site. As the lagoons filled, the areas was landscaped and returned to East Lothian Council to form a nature reserve and recreation area which now extends to 134 ha (331 acres).

The facilities include a series of sports pitches, a boating pond and as well as the sizeable nature reserve which is included within a Special Protection Area (SPA) owing to their significance for bird-life. There are also areas of woodland, managed grassland and natural meadow which are also of value to nature. Reed Buntings nest in the woodland, while the meadow attracts butterflies and brown hares. The nature reserve is popular with ornithologists and comprises a series of shallow ponds and wetland, together with tracks and hides constructed by East Lothian Council and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). Species include wading birds such as bar-tailed godwit, dunlin, redshank, and lapwing, together with duck, widgeon, gulls and tern.

The John Muir Way passes through the site.


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