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.
The former Inner Forth Landscape Initiative partnership of Stirling, Falkirk and Clackmannanshire Councils, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Historic Environment Scotland, Central Scotland Green Network Trust and Sustrans has now been joined by Fife Council, to work as Inner Forth Futures, and aims to build on the legacy of IFLI.
Commenting on the award, Dave Beaumont, RSPB Regional Director, and Chair of the Board of Inner Forth Futures, said: ‘Not enough people realise what a special place the Inner Forth is. We have internationally important wetlands, the first industrial-scale distillery in Scotland, the country’s biggest limekilns, beautiful wildflower meadows, ancient towers and many, many miles of fantastic paths and tracks to explore. This award will make it possible for us to work with the local people who know this area better than anyone to create a range of accessible, fascinating and fun day-long walks and cycles to tempt people off the beaten track to discover some of Scotland’s best kept heritage secrets. We’re delighted, and so grateful to everyone who has helped to make it possible.’
Ríona McMorrow, Acting Head of HLF Scotland, said: “Thanks to National Lottery players, HLF is able to help communities learn about and take pride in their local heritage. Learning about history can be rewarding, fascinating and fun, and Inner Forth Wanderings and Windings is no exception.”
Image: Robert Trevis-Smith/IFLI
Not really goodbye! Since 2012, a partnership of eight local authorities, public bodies and charities has been working successfully together with local community groups, individuals and organisations to deliver an ambitious programme of work centred on the Inner Firth of Forth from Stirling to Blackness – the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI). On completion at the end of September 2018, this £4 million HLF-funded Landscape Partnership scheme will have delivered 54 interlinked projects ranging from habitat creation, footpath installation and historic building conservation projects to the provision of traineeships, volunteering schemes and a wide range of skills training opportunities. By combining these with pan-landscape interpretation, events and promotion, IFLI has gone a long way to leaving an incredibly positive legacy in the area. The infographic above shows some of IFLI's key achievements.
However the end of IFLI does not mean the end of the partnership. From 1 October 2018 the partners will continue to work together to deliver a strong legacy from the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative that maintains and builds on the success of this previous project. The new phase will oversee delivery of the IFLI management and maintenance obligations, to make sure the projects that were completed during IFLI are cared for, supported and enhanced over the coming years. The partners have appointed a new project manager, Kate Fuller, to help administer the funding that was provided as part of the HLF grant to ensure that this takes place.
In addition to helping the organisations who delivered the projects to maintain the on-the-ground works that they put in place over the four-an-a-half years of IFLI, the funding will also help to train more people to look after and monitor the area’s natural and historic heritage, through apprenticeships, workshops and courses aimed at local people and community groups.
Our communications officer, Sue Walker, will also be staying on for the time being. As there are one or two IFLI pieces of work still to complete, in particular the suite of area-wide interpretation and the Explore the Forth app that made up the Telling the Inner Forth Story project, Sue will be making sure they get the publicity and recognition they deserve once they are in place. She will also be maintaining our Facebook and Twitter feeds and website, so that our supporters continue to be the first to know what is going on as we move into the next phase.
So the message is, watch this space!