The historic Kennetpans Distillery, near Kincardine, will be the focus of a whole weekend of free activities organised by the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative next week.
Whether you’re interested helping discover more about the building’s rich history, recording some of the wildlife that now makes Kennetpans its home, or capturing the site in sketches, there will be an activity for you.
Built in the early 18th century, Kennetpans was once one the country's largest and most technologically advanced distilleries, producing vast quantities of spirit, which was exported far and wide. Before shipping, the spirit was stored in a large warehouse behind the main distillery building.
The primary focus of IFLI's Wee Dram at Kennetpans project, led by Historic Environment Scotland, is this distillery building, which is undergoing extensive clearance and consolidation to preserve it for future generations. But IFLI would like to know more about the wider site, and has teamed up with AOC Archaeology to work with volunteers to undertake a weekend project focused on the warehouse building. On Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July you can join the IFLI team to help survey the building and produce an accurate record of its current condition. There will be a whole host of activities, from archaeological survey and drawing through to photogrammetry and laser scanning.
These days the whole site is quieter with much of it being reclaimed by nature. Stonework is covered in ivy, the warehouse now ‘stores’ woodland and the mudflats by the pier provide food for wading birds.
As part of the Kennetpans weekend, IFLI and Buglife will be carrying out a free Bioblitz on Saturday 9 July – a rapid survey of wildlife of all types – and local people are invited to take part. Whether they are experienced naturalists, students looking to develop identification skills, or a family with an interest in nature, there will be something for them. IFLI will be aiming to explore the site and create as many new wildlife records as they can. IFLI plans to add these new records to the Inner Forth Nature Counts iRecord form which is helping to build a better picture of wildlife in the landscape.
On Sunday 10 July people can learn speed sketching skills and tips from Mark Kirkham, the Edinburgh Sketcher. During the sketch tour you can learn or improve speed sketching skills and pick up new tips which will allow you to document and survey the world around you in ink on paper. All ages and abilities will have the chance to draw in ink and watercolour, and take away a mounted piece of work, following a sketching tour around the Kennetpans Distillery.
Surveying the Warehouse: Sat. 9 July, 9:30am - Sun. 10 July, 4:00pm
Kennetpans Bioblitz: Sat. 9th July, 10:00am - 4:00pm
Sketch Tour with the Edinburgh Sketcher: Sun 10. July, 10:00am - 3:00pm
All the events are free to attend thanks to the way IFLI is funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.
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.