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Ash Lagoons

Cockenzie Power Station from the Musselburgh Ash Lagoons
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Cockenzie Power Station from the Musselburgh Ash Lagoons

Lying on the seaward side of the Musselburgh Race Course, next to the mouth of the River Esk in East Lothian, the ash lagoons were created as a repository for the coal-ash from Cockenzie Power Station, 3 miles (5 km) to the east northeast. Pumped from the power station as a slurry, the ash settles out in these lagoons, which are managed by Scottish Power, a privatised utility which now forms part of a multi-national energy group. Constrained within a concrete sea-wall, the deposited ash has permitted the reclamation of around 94 ha (230 acres) of land which has been returned to East Lothian Council to become the recreation area of Levenhall Links. This includes a nature reserve, popular with ornithologists. Despite the sterile environment, the active lagoons provide a roost for wading and sea-birds.


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