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There are over 50 miles of shoreline within the Inner Forth area, which means there are loads of places where you can find a whole range of wildlife that enjoys coastal habitats. These include rocky shores, sandy beaches, saltmarshes, mudflats and river banks. The Forth Estuary is internationally important for the thousands of wildfowl and waders, like pink-footed geese and curlew, that come here, and you can get great views from places like Torryburn, Bo'ness and Blackness. Grey seals sometimes make it all the way up the river as far as the Devon at Cambus, and even Stirling Old Bridge. Click on the tiles to find out more about some of the wildlife that makes this place so special.

Many of the Inner Forth's woodlands are to be found around the historic Estates that once housed rich and titled landowners. Valleyfield Woodlands, Kinneil Estate and Alloa Park are now open for everyone to enjoy. They can be spectacular in spring, carpetted with wild flowers like bluebells, wild garlic and snowdrops. Later they are full of birdsong as summer birds like warblers and cuckoos arrive to breed. In winter the conifer woodland at Devilla Forest, on the edge of our area, is a great place to go to spot red squirrels and maybe even a pine marten!

As part of the Initiative, organisations like Buglife Scotland and the RSPB have been creating new wildflower meadows around the Inner Forth, at places like Grangepans Meadows, Kinneil Estate and Fallin Bing. Meadows like these are vital for many invertebrates, like butterflies, bees and hoverflies, which are so important for pollinating our own food crops. We also have many areas of rougher grasslands around the Forth, like those at Black Devon Wetlands Nature Reserve, where you may spot tiny voles scurrying through the long grasses, or see a hunting short-eared owl quartering the fields to find them.

While the Forth itself is tidal up to Stirling, the rivers and streams that feed into it, like the Devon and Black Devon in Clackmannanshire, and the Bluther Burn in Fife, and the pools that surround it, like those at Black Devon Wetlands, Cambus Pools and Bothkennar, provide freshwater habitats for a whole range of birds, amphibians and plants. 

Our towns and villages can be surprisingly good places to spot wildlife. Animals like foxes and jackdaws have learnt to adapt to the busy streets and shops, where they can find easy pickings from food scraps, and where gardens and parks offer some birds and mammals, for example house sparrows and hedgehogs, just the right places in which to raise their families.

Much of the valley of the Forth used to be peatland. Although we have now lost most of it, there are still vestiges of this rare and important habitat in the Inner Forth, at Wester Moss, near Fallin. The Moss supports a small but precious range of plants and animals that can only survive on a healthy bog, including sundews, cotton grass, large heath butterflies and argent and sable moths.

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