Become a citizen scientist by ‘Mothing Around the Forth’

Would you like learn more about the moths of the Forth estuary area, practise your identification skills and contribute to a national species recording scheme this summer? The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) has teamed up with local moth enthusiast Professor David Bryant to run a series of seven fun, free workshops called ‘Mothing Around the Forth’ which will give people of all ages a chance to discover more about this declining species, have a go at moth trapping and generate wildlife records for Butterfly Conservation’s UK wide survey of moth numbers and distribution.

On 14th May from 08.30am to 12 noon, the first workshop will introduce the range of moths found at different times of year; give you a chance to get started on moth id and using identification guides as we open moth traps left out overnight at the RSPB Skinflats Reserve near Falkirk; and enable you to build and take home your very own simple moth trap. All materials will be provided free of charge thanks to IFLI’s funding from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. We ask that attendees of the first session can commit to attending at least three additional sessions, but ideally more so that you can build your moth identification confidence and see the different species of moth found in a range of locations.

Spaces on all sessions are openly available to all and free of charge, but priority for sessions 2-7 will be given to those who attended the first session on 14th May. Sessions two to seven will be held at a range of sites throughout the Inner Forth area during summer 2016 on the following dates:

·         Session 2: Saturday 18th June, 08:30 – 10:30, RSPB Black Devon Wetlands Reserve, Clackmannanshire

·         Session 3: Sunday 3rd July, details TBC

·         Session 4: Thursday 14th July, 08:30 – 10:30, FCS Devilla Forest, Fife

·         Session 5: Sunday 14th August, details TBC

·         Session 7: Saturday 17th September, details TBC

Kate Fuller, IFLI Community Engagement Officer says: “As part of IFLI’s Forth Nature Counts project, the ‘Mothing Around the Forth’ series is a fantastic opportunity to visit a range of locations to uncover the different moths that call this corner of central Scotland home. Participants will see their identification skills and confidence build as the sessions go by and in addition to common species we hope to find some less-recorded moths. By either building a moth trap during the first session, or borrowing equipment from the IFLI team we will support attendees to have a go at moth trapping in their own time and garden or local greenspace. All records generated will feed into Butterfly Conservation’s upcoming Moth Atlas and be a valuable contribution to nature conservation and understanding.”

David Bryant commented on how moths can help indicate the health of the countryside: “Moths fly at night so are unknown to most of us. Nevertheless, many moths are brightly coloured and appealing once seen closely, and at the same time they and their ‘duller’ cousins play a vital role in the natural world. Not least, a very high proportion of our summer-visiting birds, from warblers to Cuckoos travel from Africa each year to feast on ‘our’ moth caterpillars (they don’t come for the weather!). For this and other reasons, it is important to know what moths are present and whether they are thriving. Sadly, a recent report showed that most of our moths are in decline and this is part of the explanation for parallel declines in farmland and woodland birds. By recording the variety of species and number of moths found in different areas you will be helping build a better picture of moths presence and/absence throughout the landscape.”

Like all IFLI events, each ‘Mothing around the Forth’ session is free of charge, thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the National Lottery.  No previous knowledge or experience is necessary, but under 16s should be accompanied by an adult. As sessions are mostly outside, we advise that you wear sensible outdoor clothing and footwear for the weather forecasted and for walking off footpaths. Advance booking is essential as places are limited.  Contact Kate Fuller, 01324 831568, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information and to book your place.

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.

IFLI welcomes new Programme Manager

 

On 22 March our IFLI Programme Manager Kate Studd left to start her maternity leave. Kate has played a pivotal role in IFLI, leading it through the development phase, and for the last year making sure we stayed on track to deliver our many projects.

Whilst Kate is on maternity leave, Alex Page has taken up the role of Programme Manager. Before coming to us, Alex was Programme Director of Raleigh International in Tanzania, and was also involved in the development of the Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership, so he has lots of great experience to bring to the role. We hope everyone will join us in welcomming Alex to the team and look forward to working with him during his time with us.

IFLI is hiring!

 

IFLI is looking for two enthusiastic people to join the team here at RSPB Skinflats Nature Reserve, near Grangemouth.

We are looking for one person with creativity and a passion for engaging people in their natural and historic environment to join the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) team for a unique 18 month opportunity to gain skills and experience in event organisation, interpretation and community outreach, as our Events and Outreach Assistant.

For the second vacancy, as the Inner Forth Futurescape Project Assistant, we are looking to recruit a passionate and committed individual who can inspire local people about the amazing wildlife of the Inner Forth, and who is also eager to learn new skills to progress their career in conservation.

These posts are part of our IFLI Training Tomorrow’s Talent project. So far we have employed 12 people, both directly through IFLI and through partner organisations. We are proud to say that a number of them have now gone on to find other jobs partly as a result of their time with us.

As a trainee, you will have access to a range of training and development opportunities. If you would like to find out more detailed information, and download an application pack, follow the link for the Events and Outreach Assistant and the Inner Forth Futurescape Project Assistant.

Image: Some of our previous Training Tomorrow's Talent trainees. Photo by Robert Trevis-Smith/IFLI

Work starting on new access routes to nature

 

Work has just started on two new access improvement projects in Clackmannanshire, which will help people get closer to the wildlife and wild places on their doorstep.  Local people and visitors to Cambus and Black Devon Wetlands are set to benefit from an investment of £116,000 through IFLI to improve path network links. The projects are a partnership between Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT), Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) and Clackmannanshire Council, and are both due for completion in the spring

The Cambus Whisky & Wetland Wanders project will upgrade the existing path network around Cambus which links the eclectic mix of wild and industrial landscape and connects local people to the Forth estuary.  The scheme will create over a kilometre of new paths, as well as new linking sections created where required.  New seating and signage will also be installed.   

The second project – Walk to the Wetlands - will take advantage of the fantastic wildlife resource on the doorstep of local people in the area around Black Devon Wetlands between Alloa and Clackmannan.  The work aims to provide a comprehensive path network to access the Inner Forth landscape, and will also link with the new RSPB Black Devon Wetlands Nature Reserve.  A kilometre of new paths are being installed, and a further 500 metres will be upgraded.  Signage and waymarking will help people discover the new routes.

To find out more about these two projects visit our website project pages at Walk to the Wetlands and Cambus Whisky and Wetland Wander.

Black Devon Wetlands/David Palmar/www.photoscot.co.uk

IFLI Programme Manager (maternity cover)

Would you like to work for the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative to help us achieve our vision? We are advertising for an IFLI Programme Manager to work with us for up to a year while our existing manager Kate Studd is on maternity leave. Working with colleagues in a wide range of organisations, the successful candidate will be managing the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (www.innerforthlandscape.co.uk) during the third year of delivery. They will oversee our 50 projects, and manage scheme staff, trainees and volunteers.

If you would like to apply for the post you'll need to be well organised and methodical, with strong skills in partnership working, communication, project and budget management, and have the drive and vision needed to deliver. This is a maternity cover post, reporting to a partnership board, and secondments will also be considered.

To find out more about the job please go to the RSPB's vacancy page: http://www.rspb.org.uk/vacancies/details/411609-inner-forth-landscape-initiative-programme-manager-maternity-cover

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