About IFLI

Our Work

The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative or IFLI is where it all started for our partnership. IFLI was developed by a partnership of eight organisations who came together to take coordinated action to conserve the important heritage assets within this landscape through an exciting programme of work. The work was supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund's 'landscape partnership scheme' funding stream.

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.


Between May 2014 and September 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. IFLI was supported and co-delivered by a wide range of supporters to our formal partnership and staff team. This included local groups and volunteers, landowners and schools, species specific charities and contractors.

Our Research, Resources and Successes

This infographic booklet tells you more about some of our achievements. You can read what our external evaluators, Countryside Training Partnership had to say through their final scheme evaluation report.

In our Resources Library, you can browse the studies and research that were commissioned as part of the IFLI development phase, and the research that arose through the IFLI delivery phase.

On the IFLI Resources section below, we have collated a wealth of information from IFLI conferences, events, and activities that took place between May 2014 and September 2018, as well as educational resources, and reports and our programme-wide evaluations

IFLI's Location

 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.Through our projects, we were;

Our Aims

 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.

Our Funders And Collaborators

 The development and delivery phases of the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (2014-2018) were primarily funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, via a Landscape Partnership Scheme grant.

 Additional development funding was secured from Inner Forth Landscape Initiative partners and grants from the Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER, Heritage Lottery Fund and CSGN Development Fund. The production of the IFLI Landscape Conservation Action Plan, much of which is shown on this website, was part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER 2007-2013.

 In addition, we were generously supported by the IFLI partners, many volunteers and a range of other national and local organisations, community groups and funders. You can find out more about each of the 54 projects and how they were funded and delivered through the individual project pages, best reached via the Project Explorer.
The IFLI section of our website is no longer being updated (2019). Whilst we have tried hard to make sure that it is as accurate as possible, some errors may occur and links to external websites may be out of date. You can report any broken links to info@innerforthlandscape.co.uk.
 In July 2012 the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative was awarded a Stage 1 pass and Development grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) under the Landscape Partnership Scheme programme. The development phase ran from November 2012 to November 2013 and led to the fifty projects that were part of the Inner Forth Landscape partnership’s Stage 2 bid and Landscape Conservation Action Plan, submitted to HLF in November 2013. The partnership was awarded a grant in March 2014, and the scheme was delivered between May 2014 and September 2018.  Browse our projects via the project explorer.

 To oversee the development then delivery of the IFLI programme a Board, Steering Group and Working Groups were established in 2012. The Working Groups included our partners and other organisations with specialist knowledge. Each of these groupings assisted the project team by guiding the IFLI development process and rigorous selection of projects, supporting a successful application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, plus delivering and evaluating project activity.

 Studies and Research

 A series of studies and maps were commissioned by the IFLI partnership as part of the development phase (2011-13). The research undertaken through the studies improved our understanding of the landscape and heritage of the Inner Forth and the development of specific projects.

Browse our Resources Library to access the studies, reports and mapping.

 Project Review and Selection

 Between December 2012 and August 2013, the IFLI Steering Group went through a thorough project review and selection process in order to decide which projects should be included within the IFLI programme, and to ensure that projects had been designed to a suitable level of detail and quality.

 Projects went through a three stage process of development and review, starting with the collection of initial Project Ideas (December 2012), the production of Draft Project Plans (submitted and reviewed in May 2013), and final Detailed Project Plans and Budgets (submitted at end of August 2013). This allowed an iterative process of filtering, reviewing and checking projects, whilst providing sufficient time for problems to be identified and resolved.

Capturing Community Priorities

 The following activities were organised and facilitated by the IFLI team between 2012 and 2013 to capture the priorities, ideas and knowledge of local communities living in and around the Inner Forth. The purpose of these activities varied according to the stage of development of the project ideas:

  • 17 workshops exploring values, what’s special and what needs fixing within the landscape, working with a PhD student
    • When: December 2011 – July 2012 / Target Group: Community councils
  • Baseline phone survey of 600 randomly selected people, exploring their attitudes and use of the Inner Forth Landscape. (part of Audience Analysis study)
    • When: July 2012 / Target Group: Local residents 
  • Web survey of 111 peoples’ attitudes and use of the Inner Forth Landscape (part of Audience Analysis study)
    • When: August 2012 / Target group: Local residents, members of partner organisations
  • 4 workshop events to raise awareness of IFLI and gather project ideas, involving 89 participants 
    • When: November 2012 / Target group: 3rd sector organisations, community groups, councils
  • 6 workshops to share and get community input into the design of projects, involving 79 participants
    • When: June 2013  / Target group: Community councils, local community groups, local residents
  •  Targeted engagement with ex-mining communities and heritage groups to inform design of community led mining and trading heritage projects
    • When: June – July 2013 / Target group: Community councils, local heritage groups
  •  "Back and Forth: An evening exploring the heritage of the Inner Forth". Talks and showcasing IFLI projects and partners.
    • When: November 2013 / Target group: Interested local residents, community groups, local heritage organisations, university students 
 In addition to the above activities, relationships were strengthened with specific communities and groups to raise the profile of the initiative. This included; attending local events with stalls, participating in a volunteer workparty, providing illustrated talks, attending local group meetings, seeking opportunities to discuss partnership with local groups and organisations and supporting community groups who proposed project ideas to the initiative.

 Engagement with Business and Scottish Government

 Specific efforts were made to engage with local businesses and industry operating within the landscape. Presentations and regular updates were made to the NPF2 Grangemouth Freight Hub Action Group, and specific meetings were held with Diageo, Forthports, Ineos, Calachem and Scottish Power to inform them about the scheme and explore opportunities for engagement. In addition, several meetings were held with Scottish Government, a parliamentary question asked, and briefings produced for the government and council committees. 
This section collates a wealth of information from IFLI conferences, events, and activities that took place between May 2014 and September 2018, as well as educational resources, and reports and our programme-wide evaluations. For documents relating to the IFLI development phase between 2011 and 2014, please visit our Resources Library.

A wide range of films and animations produced during the four years of the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative can be found on our YouTube channel. Please watch, enjoy, share and use!

Note: Most of the resources listed below are also available in our Resources Library.

External Evaluation

The Countryside Training Partnership undertook two Monitoring & Evaluation Reviews of the IFLI Programme and Partnership. They looked at the outcomes and outputs that were achieved thanks to our HLF funding and support from partners, project leads, volunteers and communities around the Inner Forth. Each report provides a friendly 'critical eye' and identifies both where we exceeded or met expectations and where additional work or improvements would be of benefit.

  • 2016: A Mid-Term Learning Review undertaken between April and June 2016.
  • 2018: An IFLI Programme & Partnership-wide Monitoring & Evaluation Report undertaken over the summer. The full report or summary report showcase the combined successes and achievements of IFLI. This report also supported the IFLI partnership as it moved into a new phase with the completion of the four-year HLF funded programme of works. This new phase is called Inner Forth Futures.
  •  IFLI - The Power of Partnership, infographic booklet summarises our achievements. 
  • At our Visions to Actions conference in 2018, we asked participants "what makes a good partnership?" A short report on this workshop is downloadable here
In 2018, our external evaluators said: "Since 2008, the Countryside Training Partnership has been lucky enough to work with over 30 different landscape partnerships at different stages of development and delivery throughout the United Kingdom. From our observations, discussions and assessment of the information presented within this evaluation, the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative demonstrates one of the best, if not the best, example of a partnership working together that we have encountered."

IFLI Project Resources

There were 54 projects that were part of IFLI programme. You can browse these via the Project Explorer, which contains links to the individual project pages. An end of project report for each project can be found within the 'downloads' section of the relevant project page, as well as in our Resources Library.

In 2015 we produced a leaflet that detailed the projects within our portfolio at that point in time - please be aware that projects have been added or removed from the portfolio since this leaflet was produced and this website is the most accurate record of project activity.

Educational Resources for Schools

  • Looking to learn about the landscape with primary aged children? The Future Tides education resource box’ contains fifteen lesson plans (download available on the Future Tides Legacy page of this website), a large-scale magnetic map of the Inner Forth areas and four resource packs themed around: mapping; wildlife; heritage; and problems and solutions. These resources are free to borrow, but we ask that you please replace any items that are lost or broken whilst in your care, thank you.
  • To view or borrow a Future Tides Education Resource box for your school or youth group please email Allison Leonard, RSPB Forth Reserves Warden innerforthreserves@rspb.org.uk
  • Additional lesson plans can be downloaded from the Future Tides page of this website. This project engaged school children and their teachers with the changing landscape and wildlife of the Inner Forth in order to build a greater understanding of why the landscape is shaped like it is, and how it may change in the future.
  • Activities and resources from the Love Our Ladybird and Plant a Mini Orchard campaign, aspects of the Action for Nature project can be found on the Action for Nature page of this website.

Archaeology, Local History & Built Heritage of the Inner Forth 

Wildlife, Nature & Natural Heritage of the Inner Forth

Inner Forth Landscape Initiative Events & Conferences

The IFLI team helped to devise, support and advertise hundreds of events between 2014 and 2018. Browse the events calendar to see what took place, or download leaflets from the September Inner Forth Festivals in 2017, 2016 or 2015.

VISIONS TO ACTIONS. IFLI Conference & Guided Projects Coach Tour, 16-17 August 2018. A free event on working with heritage, communities and partners at a landscape-scale. Download the Programme & Flyer. The report on the workshop entitled What makes a good partnership is downloadable here. Talks are downloadable as below:

FROM SOURCE TO RESOURCE: MAKING BIOLOGICAL RECORDING COUNT. 10 February 2018. Download the programme. Talks can be downloaded from the Forth Nature Counts webpage of this website.


WILDLIFE CONNECTIONS: LINKING POLLINATOR-RICH HABITATS ACROSS THE INNER FORTH. 23 March 2017. Talks can be downloaded from the Wildlife Connections page of this website.

DEFEATING THE INVADERS: A CONFERENCE ON INVASIVE NON-NATIVE SPECIES. 14 September 2016. Download the programme and flyer. Talks, case studies and videos can be downloaded from the event page of this website

INSPIRING MEADOWS: CREATING & MANAGING WILDFLOWER AREAS. 7 September 2015. Download the programme. Talks and case studies can be downloaded from the event page of this website.


A number of papers that arose from IFLI projects have been printed in the Forth Naturalist & Historian Journal, volumes 38 onwards. Details of the Journal and how to purchase copies can be found on the Forth Naturalist & Historian website.

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