Posted by: ed | March 12, 2013

Foreshore now local nature reserve

1-IMG_2718THE Kinneil Foreshore is now officially a local nature reserve.

The move aims to give greater protection to the site and also potentially attract new funding to the area.

Approval, by Falkirk Council, came after Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) indicated their support. The new reserve – to be called “Kinneil Nature Reserve” stretches from Bo’ness Harbour in the east to Snab Lane  in the west.

A large part of the site was once dominated by the former Kinneil Colliery, and local industry – now all gone.

The site is significant as it is now home to a wide range of plants and species. The mudflats and “island” off the site are internationally important for seabirds and are already designated as a Special Protection Area for their conservation value.

Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Falkirk Council’s convener of Leisure, Tourism and Community, welcomed the new status for the Kinneil foreshore.

“This year marks the 30th anniversary of the closure of Kinneil Colliery – the last pit in the area, which once dominated the local foreshore. The closure of the pit and the dismantling of buildings in 1983 was a terrible blow for the local community, with the resulting loss of jobs and investment in the local economy.

“But out of a bad situation came an opportunity to create a new space for local people and visitors to enjoy. Thirty years on, there’s very little trace of the mine-workings, apart from a cap on the pit shaft. The site has been transformed with trees and shrubs and become a haven for local and visiting wildlife.

“I’m delighted the site has been formally designated a local nature reserve. At the request of the community, it will be called ‘Kinneil Nature Reserve’ – and hopefully attract even more visitors – and new funding – to this regenerated site in the years to come.”

Councillor Mahoney said he was particularly pleased to see new signage installed at Kinneil Halt – a stopping off point for the Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway, which attracts between 60,000 and 70,000 visitors a year. The line goes right through the nature reserve and connects Bo’ness with Manuel, just off the Edinburgh-Glasgow main rail line.

“Many people used to go through Kinneil Halt and not get off the visiting steam trains,” said Cllr Mahoney. “The new signage will hopefully tempt people to visit the new Nature Reserve – or take the short walk to Kinneil Estate, which boasts the wonderful Kinneil House and Museum.

“I hope, though, that visitors will be responsible and take home litter from this important natural site. Working with the community we want to enhance the area and make it even better for future generations. Hopefully responsible visitors will play their part in this.”

Throughout the 19th and most of the 20th centuries much of the area was used by heavy industry but all the building and structures associated with the former colliery are now gone.  The area is now a public open space of grassland, wildflower meadows and woodland, with a good network of paths already in place.

A steering group, involving members of The Friends of Kinneil charity, has already organised a number of projects along the foreshore including litter picks, woodland management and clearing scrub. It has also worked with Falkirk Council staff to improve the linkages between the foreshore and Kinneil House and Estate and to improve car parking. New direction signs have been installed between Kinneil Halt and Kinneil Estate.

Plans for the future include footpath creation and management, wildflower meadow management and thinning of the woodlands.

Information boards describing the industrial heritage and wildlife of the area will also be installed.

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Posted by: ed | September 5, 2012

Greenspace work wins national award

THE FALKIRK Greenspace initiative – which included work to improve the Kinneil Foreshore in Bo’ness – has won the overall winner’s trophy in the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning.

The project has comprehensively improved the landscape and recreational use of the green belt and urban fringes of the Falkirk Council area. Falkirk Council worked closely with Central Scotland Forest Trust, local businesses and the community to deliver the project.

Watch a film about the project here:

Posted by: ed | July 23, 2012

Kinneil bids for share of £2 million funding

KINNEIL Foreshore and neighbouring Kinneil Estate could benefit from a new funding package from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Lottery distributor has set aside nearly £2 million to invest in projects in the Inner Forth area. The Kinneil sites are located within the Inner Forth project area. Supporters, including Falkirk Council, will now have to come up with projects to release the money from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Councillor Adrian Mahoney, the convener of leisure, tourism and community at Falkirk Council, said: “The money could be spent on a variety of heritage-linked projects, such as improving paths, better interpretation and running training schemes – as well as other initiatives. It could provide a real boost for local people and visitors to this area. As of now, the partners have secured development funding of nearly £76,000 to prepare final proposals to HLF. However, with the right ideas, and the support of local communities and the partners, we could attract £2 million of Lottery funding, plus additional monies from other sources. Hopefully Kinneil and other coastal areas in the Falkirk Council area will benefit.”

Read More…

Posted by: ed | May 10, 2012

New Kinneil railway website

imageTHE Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway – run by the Scottish Railway Preservation Society – has a new website. Visit http://www.bkrailway.co.uk/ You’ll also find a link on the right hand page of this website under “Useful links”.

The Railway – which attracts aroung 60,000 to 70,000 people to the area each year – makes regular stops at Kinneil Foreshore, allowing visitors to get off the train and explore the local coastline – or head up for the short walk to Kinneil Estate. Working with Falkirk Council, there are now new direction signs on the Foreshore. The Friends of Kinneil has also been planting wild flowers at the “Kinneil Halt”.

What do you think of OUR website – www.kinneil.org.uk? Can we improve it? Let us know. Email: info@kinneil.org.uk

Posted by: ed | May 9, 2012

Help clean-up Kinneil foreshore!

RESIDENTS are being encouraged to come along and help out at a weekend litter pick.

The Friends of Kinneil has joined forces with Bo’ness Community Council and Bonnie Bo’ness to run the clean-up at Kinneil Foreshore this Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Falkirk Council will supply gloves and bags – all you need to do is come and help. Children are welcome but must be supervised by an adult.

Please were suitable footwear and clothes – it can get mucky in places!

The groups ran a similar litter pick in Kinneil Estate recently, and also ran a successful clean-up at the Foreshore last year. Last year’s volunteers are pictured above.

Posted by: ed | February 28, 2012

Nature reserve bid for colliery site

kinneilforeshorepic1THE KINNEIL foreshore could have formal “local nature reserve” status by this summer.

The site – just north east of historic Kinneil Estate – was once home to Kinneil Colliery, the last pit in Bo’ness.

Falkirk Council has agreed to start talks with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) in a bid to win the new status for the site. If approved, the reclaimed site – already supported by The Friends of Kinneil charity – would get better protection for its plants and wildlife and have better opportunities to access new funding.

Councillors backed the plans at a meeting this week. The Council’s leisure convener, Bo’ness  Councillor Adrian Mahoney, said: “Just over 30 years ago this site looked very different. It was dominated by the massive Kinneil Colliery complex and other industrial buildings. The closure of the pit – in 1983 – was a huge blow to the local community. The one positive thing to come out of this has been the way the colliery site, and the surrounding area, has been transformed into a natural parkland, popular with cyclists, bird-watchers and walkers. Already some local maps describe the site as a ‘nature reserve’ but it would be good to achieve official status for the area, and hopefully attract new levels of funding into the site.”

The mudflats and “island” off the foreshore are internationally important for seabirds and are already designated as a Special Protection Area for their conservation value. If approved, the new “Local Nature Reserve” area would stretch from Bo’ness harbour in the east to the site of the former Kinneil Colliery and Snab Lane in the west.

Throughout the 19th and most of the 20th centuries much of the area was used by heavy industry but all the building and structures associated with the former colliery are now gone. The area is now a public open space of grassland and woodland, with a good network of paths already in place. Funding was secured from the Woodlands in and Around Towns (WIAT) initiative in 2006 to carry out a wide range of environmental improvements including woodland management, path maintenance and new interpretive panels.

In September 2010, a public meeting was held to set up a group to help manage the Foreshore site, in conjunction with staff from the Council. This group has become part of The Friends of Kinneil, a charity which already works to promote the neighbouring Kinneil Estate, which borders the Foreshore area.

The group has already organised a number of projects along the Foreshore including litter picks, woodland management and clearing scrub. It has also worked with Council staff to improve the linkages between the Foreshore and Kinneil House and Estate and to improve car parking. New direction signs at the Foreshore are to be installed later this year.

Peter Mole from The Friends of Kinneil said: “Already a lot has been achieved on the Foreshore, but there’s lots more we can do. I understand that once a site has local nature reserve status it will be eligible for grants from SNH for a variety of activities. There’s also enhanced opportunities to win partnership funding from other sources, too. We welcome the bid for local nature reserve status and hope the Council is successful in gaining this status for the Bo’ness and Kinneil Foreshore.”

The site will be the Falkirk Council’s second Local Nature Reserve – Bonnyfield in Bonnybridge became an LNR in 2008.

The Foreshore site was recently featured in the community film “The Coal Road”. This can be viewed, for free, online. Visit http://www.bonessmining.org.uk/

Posted by: ed | May 18, 2011

Volunteers help clean-up Kinneil Foreshore

VOLUNTEERS from The Friends of Kinneil and Bo’ness Community Council made a clean sweep across Kinneil Foreshore on Saturday (May 14) and collected nearly 20 bags of rubbish. The residents were joined by Falkirk Council ranger Lesley Sweeney, who helped organise the community litter pick. The groups organised a similar clean-up in Kinneil Estate at the start of April.

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Posted by: ed | February 27, 2011

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