Not really goodbye! Since 2012, a partnership of eight local authorities, public bodies and charities has been working successfully together with local community groups, individuals and organisations to deliver an ambitious programme of work centred on the Inner Firth of Forth from Stirling to Blackness – the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI). On completion at the end of September 2018, this £4 million HLF-funded Landscape Partnership scheme will have delivered 54 interlinked projects ranging from habitat creation, footpath installation and historic building conservation projects to the provision of traineeships, volunteering schemes and a wide range of skills training opportunities. By combining these with pan-landscape interpretation, events and promotion, IFLI has gone a long way to leaving an incredibly positive legacy in the area. The infographic above shows some of IFLI's key achievements.
However the end of IFLI does not mean the end of the partnership. From 1 October 2018 the partners will continue to work together to deliver a strong legacy from the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative that maintains and builds on the success of this previous project. The new phase will oversee delivery of the IFLI management and maintenance obligations, to make sure the projects that were completed during IFLI are cared for, supported and enhanced over the coming years. The partners have appointed a new project manager, Kate Fuller, to help administer the funding that was provided as part of the HLF grant to ensure that this takes place.
In addition to helping the organisations who delivered the projects to maintain the on-the-ground works that they put in place over the four-an-a-half years of IFLI, the funding will also help to train more people to look after and monitor the area’s natural and historic heritage, through apprenticeships, workshops and courses aimed at local people and community groups.
Our communications officer, Sue Walker, will also be staying on for the time being. As there are one or two IFLI pieces of work still to complete, in particular the suite of area-wide interpretation and the Explore the Forth app that made up the Telling the Inner Forth Story project, Sue will be making sure they get the publicity and recognition they deserve once they are in place. She will also be maintaining our Facebook and Twitter feeds and website, so that our supporters continue to be the first to know what is going on as we move into the next phase.
So the message is, watch this space!