Black Devon Wetlands
The area known as Black Devon Wetlands lies to the south-east of Alloa, occupying 38ha of wet and dry grassland behind the sea wall. RSPB Scotland has now signed a lease with Clackmannanshire Council to manage this site. They aim to restore the wetlands and surrounding grassland into a suite of habitats rich in wildlife, accessible to people and for visitors to engage with the wildlife found in this remarkable part of the Inner Forth. The mosaic of pools and wet and rough grassland will be managed to ensure they are appealing and suitable for the assemblage of breeding and wintering wildfowl, waders and other birds for which the Firth of Forth SPA is designated.
Over 2016 and 2017 works are taking place to help visitors get closer to the range of wildlife found at RSPB Black Devon Wetlands including a new boardwalk, raised viewing area, viewing screen and a new area of wetland. We apologise for any inconvenience whilst these works are taking place and hope that you enjoy the changes once they are complete!
Historic maps show that in the 1920s, the Cauldron Aeroplane Factory occupied the site, followed by mine workings. More recently the south eastern corner just outwith the site was used as landfill. The pools found on the site are artificially created. The brackish pool adjacent to the River Black Devon was the first-known ‘managed realignment’ project in Scotland and was implemented by Clackmannanshire Heritage Trust in the 1990s. This was later awarded a SEPA Enhancement Award. The more expansive wetlands towards the Forth were created when the clay was extracted and used to cap the adjacent landfill between 2005 and 2008.
A board walk, pathing and a viewing screen was installed, as well as improved habitat for the birds that make Black Devon so important.
Photos: David Palmar www.photoscot.co.uk
As part of World Wetlands Day IFLI and the RSPB hosted an event with 3rd year students from the nearby Alloa Academy. It involved a presentation by RSPB Futurescapes Officer David Anderson on the importance of wetland habitats and their ecosystems, as well as practical work where groups cut down willow trees from the site and used them to make cover for the path up to the viewing screen. This will allow visitors to access the viewing screen without scaring away the birds.
Photos: Alan Moore/Alloa Academy
Find out more about the RSPB.
Click here to visit the RSPB Black Devon Wetlands page on the RSPB website, where you can also find directions to the site itself.