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Visitors to Kinneil Estate are set to benefit from an enhanced experience at the historic destination, with work starting on 1st December to safeguard the future of the large woodland area on the estate.
The work at the Kinneil Woods site in Bo’ness – which will be completed in the spring - includes restructuring of a 26 hectare woodland area, which has slowly declined due to its age and areas being blown down in high winds.
The replacement planting project will include felling, thinning and clearance of trees which have blown down and which will be replaced with the planting of 25,000 new trees.
The project also involves the management of areas of broadleaf trees and the installation of deer fencing which will protect the young trees until they become established. It will mark phase one in a long term forest plan for the area to conserve and enhance the landscape for generations to come.
The work has been timed to cause the least disturbance to the local badger population in the short term whilst the long term aim is to improve the quality of their habitat.
The £160,500 project has been developed on behalf of Falkirk Community Trust by the Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) in partnership with Falkirk Council, Falkirk Environment Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund and Inner Forth Landscape Initiative, with the aim of protecting the woodland resource and improving the biodiversity value of the site.
Alan Rodger, on behalf of Falkirk Environment Trust said: “I am delighted that this project came together between Falkirk Community Trust and a broad range of funding partners to the benefit of the local community and visitors to Kinneil Estate. This project will ensure the long-term future of the woods, while also improving visitor safety as well as ensuring a future home for all the wildlife that inhabit the woodland.”
Simon Rennie, Chief Executive of CSGNT, said: “The Kinneil Estate is important culturally, recreationally and locally and contains a large area of coniferous woodland, mostly planted between 1929 and 1949, which is at risk of blowing over.
“This sustainable management project will allow us to navigate the process of change in the mature woodland area as the trees reach the end of their natural life cycle, to ensure the historic landscape is secured for the future, as well as boosting biodiversity and safety.”
Claire Mennim, Team Leader for Parks and Sustainability at Falkirk Community Trust, said: “We really appreciate the support of residents and visitors to the site whilst this project is carried out, the short term disruptions will be greatly outweighed by the recreational and environmental benefits secured for the future as the woodland is made safe and brought back to health.”
Path diversions will be in place while forest operations are underway for safety. In line with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code, visitors to the site are urged to exercise their access rights responsibly and follow instructions and safety signage. Information will also be made available for other local areas that people may wish to visit during the period of works.
The car park off Provost Road will be closed and Falkirk Community Trust will provide alternative car parking on the grass area at the west end of the road leading to Kinneil House. There may also be noise disruption caused by the works.