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 two 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 will be 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 – so watch this space for news of our launch events.

You can 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 will engage participants in heritage (natural, built and/or cultural) and allow them to share their interpretation through creative methods. We anticipate that the collaboration will focus on links between two or more heritage features, sites and/or stories from the Inner Forth as highlighted through the National Lottery Heritage Fund funded Inner Forth Wanderings and Windings heritage trails (details to be provided, trails in development February to July 2019).

D Fi Foe will work with Falkirk High School, where pupils will be involved in a collaborative moving image education project, and produce a film in their local area. The sessions will be 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 will learn 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 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 begins in August. In the meantime, D Fi Foe are busy getting to know the area better, and doing some initial location filming. Do say 'hi' if you come across them on a path near you!

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!