Last weekend (24 March) Forth Rivers Trust’s Assistant led a guided walk at Muiravonside Country Park, where we met with around 10 participants at the car park where we started the walk. The first thing we talked about was the river Avon, its source at Fannyside Loch and its mouth at Grangemouth oil refinery, plus its industrial past that still affects the river today.

The first bit of heritage we came across was what remains of the old estate house. Originally built by Lord Ross, who added to the house in the 17th century and living there until the 1800s, and later owned by Charles Stirling made the estate self-sufficient with lime Kilims, a coal mine etc. Much of the heritage we saw was as a result of his industrial legacy. After his death the estate was given to Falkirk Council and its aims changed from that of individual and local gain to that of a wider regional asset. We also saw the old dovecot, built in the 19th century, when doves were valuable not only for food but also their droppings, an important ingredient in the production of gunpowder. Next was the old sawmill, then a good view of the towers at Grange Mouth oil refinery, one of the last industrial sites on the banks of the Avon. On route to the Aqueduct, the largest in Scotland, we came across the small Stirling family grave yard around which there were some beautiful Yew trees. After marvelling at this feat of engineering we made our way to the final site, the limekilns.

Muiravonside park has an abundance of heritage which me and the 10 participants of the walk enjoyed learning about. The scavenger hunters had fun finding static some of the static natural items such as tree species and even with the lack of wildlife on the day I had a great time on the walk and I’m sure the participants did too.