Tayside and Central Scotland

Former colliery near Bo'ness given official local nature reserve status

Kinneil Nature Reserve
Image caption The site at Kinneil has been given official local nature reserve status by Scottish Natural Heritage

An abandoned colliery site near Bo'ness has been given official local nature reserve status by Scottish Natural Heritage.

An area of land stretching from Bo'ness Harbour to the former Kinneil colliery is to become a haven for wildlife and plants.

It is the second Local Nature Reserve created in the Falkirk Council area.

The local authority now plans to use the reserve status to attract funding to the area.

The new status marks the end of an era for the site, which until the closure of its central colliery in 1983, spent almost 200 years being used for heavy industry.

Parts of the area already had been recognised for their environmental importance. The mudflats and "island" off the foreshore are designated as a Special Protection Area for their conservation value.

New life

Councillor Adrian Mahoney, convener of leisure, tourism and community welcomed the new status for the Kinneil foreshore.

He said: "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."

He added: "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."

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