TWO ash lagoons created during the life of Cockenzie Power Station will be restored to extend a wildlife haven on industrial land.

The lagoons at Levenhall Links were used to dispose of ash produced by the coal-fired power station during its lifetime.

The power station closed in 2013 and work has been carried out to convert the ash lagoons into areas for people to enjoy as per the Musselburgh Agreement drawn up between the local authority of the time and South of Scotland Electricity Board in 1963.

The area was taken over by ScottishPower following privatisation in 1991.

A large part of the 120-hectare ash lagoons has already been restored and handed over to East Lothian Council and has become a rich habitat for wildlife.

This month the local authority’s planning committee gave the go-ahead for work to continue on the two remaining lagoons before they are also handed over.

The entire site is a Scottish Wildlife Trust listed wildlife site, is part of the Firth of Forth Site of Special Scientific Interest and considered an important roosting site for wading birds.

The area attracts bird watchers from all over the country and played host to the RSPB Big Nature Festival in 2015 and 2016.

Councillor Willie Innes, council leader, welcomed the final part of the restoration, which will see wetlands and roosting areas created, along with footpaths and bird hides on the site.

He said: “The restoration of the lagoons has been a success story, built over a number of years.

“It is a valuable open space in Musselburgh and it will be great to get it completed.

“There is a huge diversity in wildlife which the public can access right on their doorstep.”