Are you interested in nature? Would you like to discover a new wildlife haven and learn more about the species that live there? The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) is hosting a series of walks in Falkirk, Fife, Stirling and Clackmannanshire to showcase its project sites and explore the wildlife in more detail. Local people are invited to come along, enjoy the walk and use some simple wildlife identification techniques to unlock the secrets of each unique location.
The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative is responsible for six Survey Walk routes in a range of locations with a team of registered volunteers who have been walking these routes on a regular basis, identifying wildlife and recording their sightings. These upcoming events are an opportunity for existing volunteers to share the experiences and knowledge they have gained in the process of getting to know their adopted Survey Walk, and to encourage new people to get involved.
The sessions will consist of a guided walk where established volunteers and newcomers can share their observations and work together to record new species. With the help of IFLI’s Wildlife Recording Assistant, attendees will walk the route and spend some time identifying plants, birds, mammals and insects. Results will be contributed to the National Biodiversity Network recording scheme, which will help future conservation work and research. IFLI is keen to encourage people of any experience level to join in the walk and learn more about the area, the wildlife and the ongoing work of the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative.
Commenting on the events, Adam Ross, IFLI Wildlife Recording Assistant said:
“This is an excellent opportunity for our volunteers to regroup and share their experiences of recording wildlife in the Inner Forth area. Our volunteers have been surveying these sites for a while now, monitoring seasonal changes and improving their knowledge with every visit, so I’m looking forward to hearing about their observations. I hope newcomers will be inspired to explore these locations and consider getting involved with recording and volunteering themselves. These events compliment the other work being done as part of the Forth Nature Counts project which aims to increase the level of wildlife recording in the area. We’re running 21 different Wildlife Identification workshops this year and our Survey Walks also offer people the chance to put new knowledge into practice.”
The free sessions will take place in a variety of locations, including historic estates in High Valleyfield and Bo’ness, RSPB’s newest nature reserve in Alloa, the sprawling Devilla pinewood forest and the former coal mining bing in Fallin, which has now been re-designated as a wildflower meadow. Each site has its own unique personality, with a range of fascinating habitats and species. Here is the full list of dates:
· Friday 17th June, 5pm – Kinneil Estate, Bo’ness.
· Friday 24th June, 10am –Valleyfield Estate, High Valleyfield.
· Wednesday 27th July, 1pm - Fallin Bing, Fallin.
· Friday 19th August, 1pm - Devilla Forest, Kincardine.
· Thursday 15th September, 4.30pm – Kinneil Local Nature Reserve & Foreshore, Bo’ness
· Saturday 24th September, 2.30pm – Black Devon Wetlands Reserve, Alloa.
These workshops are part of a suite of activities and events that will be organised over the next two years as part of IFLI’s Forth Nature Counts project. The project aims to generate wildlife records and give people the confidence and skills to record nature throughout the Inner Forth, and is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the National Lottery.