What is IFF?
What is Inner Forth Futures?
Inner Forth Futures is a Partnership of nine organisations including RSPB Scotland (lead agency), Scottish Natural Heritage, Clackmannanshire Council, Stirling Council, Falkirk Council, Fife Council, Central Scotland Green Network Trust, Historic Environment Scotland and Sustrans.
As a partnership of local authorities, public bodies, charities and community groups, our organisation is inclusive, cooperative and listening, but also decisive, and able to make things happen. The Partnership is working together on a series of projects. You can download our information leaflet here.
Where we work
Our project area includes the parts of Stirling, Falkirk, Clackmannanshire and Fife that surround the Inner Forth. This landscape defies the rules. Spectacular flocks of waders and wildfowl feed against a backdrop of steel towers and chimneys. Ancient castles gaze down on factories and warehouses, while the relics of past industries are now surrounded by woodlands and wildflowers. At the heart is the tidal River Forth and the dramatic mudflats and saltmarshes along its shores.
Sadly, many people only see the industry and commerce, while the area’s rich natural, cultural and historic heritage is often overlooked or neglected. We aim to create a greater appreciation and awareness of this rich heritage.
Our Vision and Objectives
Our vision is that the sense of connection, purpose and place that put the Inner Forth at the forefront of the industrial development of Scotland will be revitalised. We aim to achieve this using a landscape-scale approach with heritage at its core to engage people in new ways in its future management.
The partnership will achieve this vision by delivering four objectives:
- Deliver a strong legacy from the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative that maintains and builds on the success of this previous project
- Make the Inner Forth a better area to live, work, visit and invest in by stimulating the promotion and awareness of its natural and cultural heritage assets and sustainable transport options.
- Support communities so that they feel confident and empowered to take a greater role in management and promotion of the area’s heritage
- Pilot partnership approaches to delivering habitat networks and climate adaptation.
Inner Forth Wanderings and Windings
Inner Forth Futures has received a National Lottery 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.
We are in the process of commissioning two pieces of work to help us deliver this exciting new project:
A commission for the development of eight ‘Wanderings and Windings’ (trails) of the Inner Forth. These will be micro-adventures designed to take up to a day to complete. The successful contractor will support the Inner Forth Futures team to develop and deliver the ‘Wanderings and Windings’. Initially this will be through co-design volunteering sessions that will ensure that routes are developed with and for local communities. Each trail will guide people around the landscape using and linking pre-existing routes, networks and transport options with stops at interpreted heritage features. Each trail will ‘join the dots’ between heritage features and be waymarked on the ground by simple bespoke roundels. Bespoke printed and digital trail guides will enable users to explore the routes and learn about, experience and interpret the heritage of the Inner Forth.
A commission 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). Depending on the selected artist/collective, the output might be drama, photography, light, film, word or other media focused and is likely to result in a temporary installation and/or performance that participants and wider communities, visitors and residents can enjoy (open to public view) from October 2019.
What was the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative?
Our vision was of an Inner Forth landscape where the natural, cultural and historical wealth of the area is revealed, valued, enhanced, and made accessible to both the people who live here and visitors. Its important historical and natural landscape would be in good condition, and the future is embraced by a landscape better-able to cope with change.
The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) was an exciting programme of work that conserved, enhanced and celebrated the unique landscape and heritage of the upper reaches of the Firth of Forth. Between May/June 2014 and April 2018, 54 discrete but inter-related projects took place around the Inner Forth area. Throughout our projects there were many ways that people could take part. This infographic booklet tells you more about some of our achievements.
Through our projects, we were;
- Conserving and restoring the built and natural heritage features that define the Inner Forth Landscape
- Increasing community participation in our local heritage
- Increasing access to the landscape and learning about its heritage
- Increasing training and development opportunities in heritage skills
The Firth of Forth is the central and dominant feature of the landscape. Not only is it at the centre of the IFLI partnership scheme area, but the cultural history, land use and landscape of the area are physically, visually and strategically linked with the River Forth.
This Heritage Lottery Funded, Landscape Partnership Scheme covered an area of 202 km2 including: the river, estuary and inter-tidal zone; the floodplain and coastal margins; and the settlements on both sides of the Forth from the historic Old Stirling Bridge to Blackness Castle and Rosyth.
Together, projects developed and delivered through IFLI aimed to:
- turn perceptions of the Inner Forth around and increase local pride in this place,
- connect disparate habitats to create a landscape flourishing with biodiversity,
- celebrate, protect and improve access to important historical and natural features,
- train and support committed and motivated local community groups, individuals and organisations to take action to conserve their area’s heritage, and
- increase physical and intellectual access to the area’s important heritage.