Retro news 2000: Housing firm say sorry after gaffe

A green campaigner is demanding action after a major housebuilder dug up precious heathland bordering a proposed new housing development.

Stewart Milne Homes started preparatory work on the site of the former Lochgreen Hospital last month.

But workmen mistakenly moved heavy machinery into the delicate eco-system, a designated local wildlife area, damaging a large part of the site.

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Environmental campaigners say the rare heathland may take centuries to recover.

Kieran Sheehan (left) said: ‘‘Lowland heathland is a real rarity in Scotland.’’

The site is home to around 20 grass species as well as orchids and heathers.

Stewart Milne apologised for the mistake and blamed a sub-contractor’s error.