Work has started on a four year programme of habitat improvement on the site of the former Kinneil Colliery.
Trees in the woodland at Kinneil Nature Reserve on Bo’ness foreshore are to be pruned and thinned and large areas of grass currently cut short are to be allowed to develop into wildflower meadows.
The new works have been co-ordinated by Falkirk Council and The Friends of Kinneil.
They are being carried out as part of the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Falkirk Environment Trust and Falkirk Council.
Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Falkirk Council’s spokesman for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “The woodland in the reserve was planted in the 1980s on spoil material from Kinneil Colliery.
“Since then the trees have grown well but now need to be thinned. The site is also very exposed and some of the larger trees are blowing over.
“During the next four years, trees in eight different areas are to be coppiced. These will be more resistant to being blown over.
“In the most exposed areas the pine trees will be felled and the timber left to decay. This will provide a home for fungi and insects.”
Once the trees have been felled, woodland shrubs and wildflowers will be planted by volunteers to provide food and nesting sites for birds and mammals.
Wildflower meadows will also be developed close to Snab Lane and Corbiehall.
Councillor Mahoney added: “We are grateful to our partners at the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative and Falkirk Environment Trust for backing this project.”
The meadows will be the largest areas of grassland managed for wildlife in the Falkirk area.