Bo'ness foundry totems will point to Forth Valley's historic sites

An iron foundry has been commissioned to cast steel totem poles to point to the history of Forth Valley.

Derek Midleton and Shaun Young of Ballantines with Sue Walker of Inner Forth Landscape
Derek Midleton and Shaun Young of Ballantines with Sue Walker of Inner Forth Landscape

Ballantine’s Castings of Bo’ness, which is one of the last working foundries in the UK, was selected by the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) to create 11 ‘markers’.

These will be used to help guide visitors to unique heritage sites around the Inner Forth estuary.

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The markers will complement a suite of seven interpretive installations, called Beacons, which are being constructed at key sites within the Inner Forth and both will form part of a project called Telling the Inner Forth Story, funded by the National Lottery.

Higgins Neuk, near Airth, Skinflats Nature Reserve and Kinneil Local Nature Reserve in Bo’ness are among the chosen locations for the totems. Others will be at Torry Bay, Charlestown Limekilns, Valleyfield, Clackmannan, Kennetpans Distillery,

Black Devon Wetlands, Cambus Pools Nature Reserve and Cambuskenneth.

Founded in the 1820s, Ballantine’s has made some of the country’s most iconic ironwork, including the replica cannons at Edinburgh Castle.

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Its latest products will not only highlight the links between each historic location, but also serve to promote travel around the area.

The aim of the totems is to encourage people to value and celebrate the natural heritage on their doorstep.

Their designs, led by Edinburgh firm Bright 3D, capture the shapes and textures of the estuary and each will carry messages about the area’s history and wildlife.

Tom Churchyard, IFLI programme manager, said: “Our challenge of delivering 54 separate projects during the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative has been how best to pull them all together and tell the story of the landscape.

“These 11 markers along with seven larger beacons will be dotted around the IFLI area, pinning the landscape together.

“Each one will tell stories about the place you are standing whilst connecting you to the wider landscape.

“We hope that by finding one marker people will be inspired and encouraged to explore more of the nature and history that the landscape of the Inner Forth holds.”

The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative is a partnership of RSPB Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Falkirk Council, Stirling Council, Clackmannanshire Council, Central Scotland Green Network, Historic Environment Scotland, and Sustrans.