A semi-enclosed shelter for visitors to Scotland’s newest nature reserve, on the Inner Forth just SouthEast of Alloa. The 38-hectare site, known as Black Devon Wetlands, is a mosaic of untouched wet grassland and wetland habitats behind the sea wall. The reserve is an important refuge for large flocks of breeding and wintering wildfowl, special to the Firth of Forth SPA.
The brief was to deliver a viewing structure with a budget of just £24,500. The structure screens people from birds on the wetlands, while providing visitors with excellent views of the reserve and shelter from the elements. The screen sits on screw-pile foundations minimising contamination in the ground. Above foundation level, the screen was entirely constructed by civic’s Andrew Siddall with RSPB staff and local volunteers.
Seared and rough sawn Larch cladding from Perthshire lends a ‘feathery’ pattern to the screen’s wall while 12 laser cut steel panels depict an interpretive calendar of typical migrating and resident bird species set against local cultural landmarks. The screen frames extraordinarily beautiful views of the reserve, but it also punctuates this remarkable landscape, drawing people into focus with wildlife, pylons and medieval towers alike.