Wanderings and Windings

Inner Forth Futures has received a National Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £47,000 for an exciting heritage project, called Wanderings and Windings. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project will enable the creation of eight heritage trails around Stirling, Falkirk, Fife and Clackmannanshire, encouraging people to explore the wildlife and history of this unique landscape at the heart of Scotland.

The project, with a total value of £67,000, aims to work closely with local communities around the Inner Forth to develop a suite of eight, day-long, waymarked and promoted walks and cycles. They will use existing paths and tracks to encourage local people and visitors to the area to explore the landscape and discover some of the many hidden gems to be found around the Inner Forth. These might include nature hotspots, historic buildings, riverside views, cultural landmarks or simply places to escape from the bustle of urban life.

Over the last few months we have worked with local people, communities, walking and cycling groups, local authorities and a host of other organisations to help us develop eight day-long walking and cycling routes around the Inner Forth, as part of our Wanderings and Windings project.

Working with consultants Ian White Associates, Landscape Architects (IWA), we have held 12 co-creation sessions in 10 locations around the area. Nearly 100 people have attended the sessions, giving up their time and energy to share their knowledge and experience of the area. They’ve told us about their favourite places, routes, views and pitstops; the muddy paths, overgrown tracks and busy rat-runs to avoid; and how Wanderings and Windings might work together with existing and new trails around the area to help create a network of routes that could make the Inner Forth one of the best places in Scotland for walking and cycling.

People have also helped feed into the process by joining our Wanderings and Windings Facebook group, which now has over 160 members. We’ve posted all the information about the project on the group, and invited people to comment on suggested routes and ideas as they have developed.

Sam, Nick and Lisa from IWA are now working to finalise the eight suggested routes, taking into account all the comments we have received. Landowners are being contacted and routes tested on foot and by bike to make sure they will work for everyone, before we start the task of waymarking them and creating online trail guides and maps. The trails are due to go live in the autumn – and we have eight launch events to celebrate. You an find out more and book your space via our events calendar.

You can also view the provisional proposed routes here. Brief route descriptions showing some of the key highlights around the routes can be viewed here.

Our thanks go to the many, many people who have helped us get to this stage. Their input has been crucial to the project, and we are extremely grateful to all of them!

Engaging School Pupils in Hidden Heritage

We have also appointed film makers D Fie Foe to deliver a collaborative arts project aimed at High School pupils within the Inner Forth landscape area. This bespoke collaboration is engaging young people in heritage (natural, built and/or cultural) and allowing them to share their interpretation through creative methods. D Fi Foe is working with Falkirk High School, where pupils involved in a collaborative moving image education project, and producing a film in their local area. The sessions have been led by the film experts to help students explore the Inner Forth local area, design micro natural animations, develop pixillation skills and have fun outdoors! The project has a strong environmental awareness component and will also be valuable for students enthusiastic about digital production.

Over six sessions, some indoors, some on location on parts of the new Wanderings and Windings routes, the young people have learned more not only about film making, but of course about their local area. Once the film has been made we aim to work with the school to showcase it, and also show it at a number of venues around the Inner Forth, to help celebrate the launch of our eight Wanderings and Windings routes.

Work with the school began in August. and is due to be completed by the end of September.

Inner Forth Micro-Adventures For All

Once the trails have been developed we will be featuring them here on our website, with information and maps telling you about each one. During October 2019 there will be a mini festival of events for help launch the Wanderings and Windings and encourage as many people as possible to enjoy a micro-adventure here in the Inner Forth. We hope you can join us!