A celebration of a man who loved nature

Bo'ness lantern walk
Bo'ness lantern walk

Six weeks of celebrations to mark the opening of the John Muir Way kicked off in style this week with a lantern procession and flag relay.

Children took part in lantern-making workshops on Easter Monday in Bo’ness, while yesterday (Thursday) school pupils gathered at the Peel for a host of activities.

These included making seed bombs and a performance by Mischief la Bas. There was also the launch of a new John Muir ale at the Corbie Inn in Bo’ness.

The John Muir festival officially lasts until April 27 but commemorative events will also be staged throughout May and June.

Kinneil House will open its doors for free this weekend from noon to 3 p.m. and special films will be shown at the Hippodrome.

Next month will see Kinneil Estate host ‘Your Adventure Starts Here’ – a special evening event affording a night-time tour of Kinneil House or a nature walk at dusk on May 16.

Maria Ford, of Friends of Kinneil, said: “Kinneil House is a wonderful place to visit and I’d encourage people to go along and enjoy the free tours.

“This weekend will see the appearance of a costumed interpreter playing Anne, Duchess of Hamilton.

“John Muir may be the father of America’s national parks – but Duchess Anne was surely the ‘mother’ of Kinneil Estate.

“She re-shaped the look of Kinneil House and its parkland 300 years ago.

“An enthusiastic decorator, shopper and gardener, she delighted in making her homes the most fashionable in Scotland.

“Her gardens were her pride and joy, producing wonderful food and medicines for her family.

“We hope people will come along and hear her story this weekend.”

Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway is also joining in the fun with a John Muir Express on May 17 while on June 8 Blackness Castle will host the Quidsin Theatre Company’s Mad About Muir.