Winter Best Wishes from the IFF Team

IFF Logo with a Christmas garland

From 22nd of December to 5th January, the IFF Team are taking a break over the Christmas and Hogmanay period, and we hope that many of our supporters are able to do the same. 

Winter best wishes from the IFF Team

IFLI legacy Fund re-opens for applications

December 2020.

As part of the legacy arrangements of the National Lottery Heritage funded Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) that ran between 2014 and 2018, the Inner Forth Futures partnership administers a small fund to provide one-off grants. Applications are invited by 8 March 2021 for activity that will take place before April 2022. You will hear the outcome of your application before the end of March 2021.

Any organisation or group that seeks to benefit the natural, cultural or built heritage of the Inner Forth area or Inner Forth people and communities is eligible to apply via a short application form that is available at https://www.innerforthlandscape.co.uk/about/ifli-legacy Applicants are encouraged to read the Guidance Note and Requirements for Funding Recipients that can be downloaded from the same link.

The Fund is designed to support activity that benefits the natural, cultural and built heritage of the Inner Forth or Inner Forth people and communities. It has two areas of focus:

  • Pot 1, Access, natural and built heritage management and maintenance funding: Actions and activity that will directly manage, maintain or enhance a project that was delivered as part of IFLI.
  • Pot 2, Training and support legacy funding: Projects or activity that will support ongoing heritage related training (formal or informal, natural, built or cultural heritage) within the Inner Forth area for individuals or groups of any age.

Monies must be spent on projects, activities or sites located within the Inner Forth Futures partnership area. Geographically, this includes parts of Stirling, Clackmannanshire, Falkirk and Fife local authority areas. The amount allocated annually varies and all applications are reviewed on their own merit by the Inner Forth Futures Steering Group. We welcome applications that can show match funding (cash, volunteer or in-kind contributions) as well as those that are seeking full funding. For examples of previously funded projects please visit the IFLI Legacy page of our website. For advice about eligibility please refer to the Guidance Note in the first instance, but the IFF Team are happy to assist with any queries: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

Sign up for Autumn Wanderings & Windings Challenge!

Anyone looking for some inspiration to help them get more active this autumn might be interested in the new, free walking and cycling challenges that we are running this October.

The Inner Forth Futures Wanderings and Windings Autumn Challenge is open to anyone who’d like to explore this fascinating part of the country on foot or by bike. IFF worked with local communities to create nine new trails around the Inner Forth area in 2019, called Wanderings & Windings, and the challenges are encouraging people to use them for their walks, scoots, wheels and cycles. Participants who complete their challenges will receive a free bespoke medal and certificate to celebrate their achievement.

The Inner Forth is a beautiful part of the world all year round, but in autumn it’s even more special as the woodlands turn golden, the skies fill again with the wild geese returning, and our coastal saltmarshes and mudflats are home once more to the many thousands of waders and wildfowl that spend their winters with us. The challenges are part of the Scotland-wide celebrations for the Year of Coasts and Waters, highlighting the fantastic seas, rivers and lochs that are a big part of what makes this country so special.

There are five distances to choose from in both challenges. Choose the distance you’d like to take on – whether you’re looking for a couple of family strolls, a few afternoon bike rides, a good leg-stretcher every weekend, or a mega challenge to do all the routes over the month! You can start any time from 1 October, and you need to finish by 31 October. The deadline for new entries is 21 October. Young people under the age of 18 are also welcome to join the challenge, but an adult over the age of 18 must register on their behalf, and be responsible for them during the Challenge.

Once participants have completed their challenge mileage they will need to submit some form of evidence to receive their medal and certificate. It can be a screenshot of any tracking app they use on their phone or other device, photos of views they’ve taken on the routes, or even simply a log of the distance they’ve covered. There’s a downloadable sheet to use. Share your photos and stories throughout the month on social media tagging us with #WAndWAutumnChallenge 

To find out more and sign up for the challenge, visit the website at https://www.innerforthlandscape.co.uk/wanderings-windings-october-challenge

  

Better connections will help protect local wildlife

An ambitious new Inner Forth project, worth nearly £120,000, is set to make five areas around the Forth better connected for our wetland wildlife.

The Inner Forth Futures Wetland Network has been awarded £119,415, thanks to a grant from the Nature Scot Biodiversity Challenge Fund, to create and improve wetland habitats at five sites around the Inner Forth between now and 2021. A total of over 15ha of new habitat will be created, with more than 155ha made better for wildlife. As wetlands also help increase flood resilience and store carbon, it’s great news for local people too.

The work is focussed at Kildean in Stirling, Black Devon Wetlands in Clackmannanshire, Bluther Wetland in Fife, and Carron Dams and Bothkennar Pools in Falkirk. Plans include creating new pools, scrapes and hedgerows; cutting back reeds and scrub to open up clear water areas; removing invasive species like giant hogweed and Japanese knotweed; installing new fences to manage grazing pressures; and carrying out surveys to assess what future work could be done.

Commenting on the award, Inner Forth Futures Wetland Habitat Network project lead Toby Wilson, of RSPB Scotland, said:

‘The Inner Forth is incredibly valuable for its wetland habitats, with some parts of international importance. This is especially true as we have lost an estimated 35% of our wetlands in the UK over just the last 40 years. This project will not only create much needed new wetland habitat, but most importantly help link existing wetland areas. This means wildlife will be able to move more easily through the landscape using a network of pools and hedgerows, allowing it to spread and thrive. We hope this project will provide a blueprint for others, so that eventually we will have a nationwide network of habitats that will help tackle the biodiversity crisis, and benefit both wildlife and people.’

The project is led by RSPB Scotland on behalf of the Inner Forth Futures Partnership, a group of nine organisations working together to help protect and promote the area’s natural and cultural heritage. RSPB Scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falkirk, Stirling and Fife Councils will manage work at individual sites.

IFF team Working From Home & Farewell to Sue

October 2020 Update

IFF Team Working from Home

Following Scottish Government guidance on the coronavirus pandemic, the IFF team (Kate & Chloe) remain working from home. This means that we will not be able to answer phone calls to the Inner Forth Futures office and have limited opportunitiest to collect post. We are still available by email and mobile phone, so please get in touch via our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. address in the first instance and one of us will get in touch with you. Alternatively please follow our social media pages and share how you are exploring the nature and heritage of the Inner Forth this autumn. We'd be delighted to hear from you! 

Farewell to Sue

Inner Forth Project Officer Sue Walker, who has worked with us since Inner Forth Landscape Initiative began its delivery phase in 2014, moved on to pastures new at the end of September. With restrictions not allowing us to meet in a group we gave Sue a 'virtual' goodbye to wish her well in her new role and say a big thank for her work with us over the past 6 years. 

Sue, who is going to work for the Scottish Wildlife Trust on the Cumbernauld and Coigach & Assynt Living Landscapes projects, commented: 'It's been a fantastic six years working in the Inner Forth. It's not only a unique and amazing landscape, but over the years I've been here I've met and worked with some of the friendliest and most helpful people you could imagine. There are so many folk who are incredibly proud of the area, and work extremely hard in all sorts of ways to make the Inner Forth special. They have made my time here a real pleasure, and I will miss them all. Thank you everyone!'

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