Skinflats OS

E-zine sign-up

RSPB Skinflats managed realignment

We have been commissioned by RSPB Scotland to provide the technical design and prepare the associated Environmental Statement for their proposed managed realignment at their Skinflats Reserve on the Firth of Forth.


We have been commissioned by RSPB Scotland to provide the technical design and prepare the associated Environmental Statement for their proposed managed realignment at their Skinflats Reserve on the Firth of Forth.

In 2001 RSPB purchased the 10 ha Bothkennar Field on the southern shore of the Firth of Forth near the Kincardine Bridge.   RSPB Scotland’s long term aspirations for the site are to connect it to the Forth and create more inter-tidal habitat to offset some of the losses that have occurred as a result of land claim and to provide safe high tide roost areas for birds.  Currently a Regulated Tidal Exchange (RTE) is in operation, but does not function as required.

In early 2017, ABPmer was contracted to carry out a feasibility study and consider the potential impacts removal of the RTE and creating a managed realignment would have.  We also produced a high level conceptual design using baseline information together with an existing hydrodynamic model previously applied in this area.

Working with Arup who will provide planning design and engineering advice, we will now undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment, including Habitat Regulations and Water Framework Directive assessments.  Planning and licensing applications support will also form part of this commission, including attendance at a public exhibition and preparation of relevant design and access as wells as public consultation reports. 

The inter-tidal habitats of the Inner Forth are spectacular places for nature, recognised both by national and international designations.  These habitats, however, are under pressure.  In response RSPB Scotland established the Inner Forth Futurescape, a landscape-scale conservation project that aims to restore and create new inter-tidal habitat across the Inner Forth in partnership with others.  RSPB Skinflats is a key site in this project as it provides the opportunity to deliver new inter-tidal habitat, whilst also demonstrating the effectiveness of managed realignment to other land managers.

This project is being realised with monies from the Heritage Lottery Fund and through European LIFE+ funding.

Image contains OS data © Crown Copyright and database right 2017