An Industrious LNR
A 55ha area of the Bo’ness and Kinneil Foreshore at the ex-Kinneil Colliery site was designated as Falkirk Council’s second Local Nature Reserve in March 2013. Until its closure in 1983, the colliery was a significant provider of local employment and economy for large parts of the 19th and 20th centuries.
This area of open space, grassland, meadows and woodland adjacent to the Firth of Forth SPA, is now extensively enjoyed by local people via a network of paths and a halt on the heritage line of the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway. The variety of habitats provides an ideal greenspace for recreation and a valuable stepping stone for wildlife to move along the industrialised shoreline of the Forth.
Falkirk Council and Friends of Kinneil Foreshore volunteer group have been working on the site, creating a wildflower meadow over 3 hectares in size, and managing an area of woodland to ensure it's continued use for wildlife. The LNR also provides a direct link from Bo'ness to the Kinneil Lagoons, which are slightly further to the west along on the Forth. This is a habitat hugely popular with birds, especially during the winter, when thousands (including knot, dunlin and black-tailed godwins) can be seen feeding and roosting in the area. IFLI and RSPB also carried out work at this location as part of the Boost the Roost project.
At the start of the project, Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Falkirk Council's spokesman for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, said: "The woodland in the reserve was planted in the 1980's on spoil material from Kinneil Colliery.
"Since then the trees have grown well but now need to be thinned so those that remain have more space to grow. The site is also very exposed and some of the larger trees, particularly the pine, are beginning to blow over.
"Over the next four years trees in eight different areas are to be coppiced to encourage smaller, multi-stemmed trees to grow. These will be more resistant to being blown over.
"In the most exposed areas the pine trees will be felled and the timber left to decay. This will provide a home for fungi and insects that live in rotting wood."
Once the trees have been felled, members of The Friends of Kinneil group will plant woodland shrubs and wildflowers to provide food and nesting sites for birds and mammals. Meadow creation will follow, which will benefit bees, butterflies, moths, other invertebrates and birds. This green space will become a haven for wildlife and showcase how ex-industrial land can be reclaimed for nature.'
The IFLI funded project closed in 2018, but the Friends of Kinneil, supported by Falkirk Council will continue to work in this area. Between 2014 and 2018 3.6ha of wildflower meadow area was created and 1.57ha of woodland was managed.
Woodland management (felling and chipping) in block 2, 2018.
Meadow management (raking cuttings) in 2015.
Woodland management (felling & chipping) in block 4, 2018.
Find out more about the Friends of Kinneil.
Find out more at www.falkirk.gov.uk.
This project was part funded by Falkirk Environment Trust.