IFLI casting its marks around the Inner Forth

In a unique project that will link the Inner Forth’s industrial history to its future landscape, the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative is commissioning Ballatine’s Castings, in Bo’ness, one of the UK’s last working iron foundries, to cast 11 cast iron totems to be placed all around the Inner Forth estuary.

Some of the IFLI team were lucky enough to be invited to watch the first one being cast at Ballantine's on 22 August. The cast iron Markers are over 2m tall, and watching the skill and craftmenship of Ballantine's staff as they constructed the mould and poured the red hot (1400C!) molten metal into it was an absolute privilege.

The totems, which IFLI calls Markers, will highlight important places within the Inner Forth landscape, and the links between them. The aim is to encourage people to value and celebrate the fascinating natural and historic heritage on their doorstep. IFLI also hopes the markers will also show how these sites are linked by a shared heritage, to promote travel around the area to visit other sites.

The Markers have been designed by the team at Bright 3D, an Edinburgh design company that have been commissioned by IFLI to manage all the design work for the project. The designs aim to capture the shapes and textures of the estuary, and to carry key messages about its history and wildlife. They will be installed at Torry Bay, Charlestown Limekilns, Valleyfield, Clackmannan, Kennetpans Distillery, Black Devon Wetlands, Cambus Pools Nature Reserve, Cambuskenneth, Higgins Neuk, near Airth, Skinflats Nature Reserve, and Kinneil Local Nature Reserve in Bo’ness.

The Markers will complement a suite of seven interpretive installations, called Beacons, which are being constructed at key sites within the Inner Forth, and are also due to be completed in September 2018. Both form part of a project called Telling the Inner Forth Story, one of 54 interlinked projects that make up the partnership initiative, which aims to reconnect people with the historic, cultural and natural heritage of the Inner Forth, and conserve and enhance its heritage, funded by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

You can watch footage of the various stages of the casting process on our YouTube channel here.












Ballatine’s is one of the few remaining iron foundries in the UK. Founded in the 1820s, it has created some of the country’s iconic ironwork, including the railings and dolphin lampposts on the Thames embankment, and the replica cannons on Edinburgh Castle. IFLI felt it would be entirely fitting for this historic local company to create the interpretation that will help to point people towards the Inner Forth’s unique historic and natural heritage in the heart of Scotland.


IFLI's new animation brings story of Inner Forth to life

The Inner Forth is an incredible place that has been formed by nature and shaped by people. A place steeped in history that holds so much importance to the wildlife and the people that have lived here, both past and present. A place that deserves to be recognised and celebrated for its cultural, natural and historic heritage.

RSPB Scotland worked with Edinburgh-based animators Interference Pattern to create an animation about the Inner Forth – a snapshot through time that looks at the changes in its landscape, industry and wildlife. The film starts with the last Ice Age and ends with what the future may hold.


Ami Kirkbright, Project Assistant for the Inner Forth Futurescape Project, tells us more:

‘The aim of this animation is to create a learning resource for local schools and students to learn about the Inner Forth – its incredible history, how it was formed and what has influenced its changes. It was both easy and extremely hard to research and create this animation. With so much to tell, how do we fit it all in! Working with Interference Pattern has been a delight – they have truly captured the vibrancy and diversity of the area in a dynamic and captivating way, with the wonderful colours and animation style. 

We wanted to highlight the Inner Forth’s incredible story and importance. To show school students that they live in this fantastically diverse place full of history and amazing wildlife. We want to show them how the landscape has changed dramatically over time to become what we see today. If you look you can see evidence of this all around. We want to inspire people to venture out and see for themselves the incredible landscape right on their doorstep: visit RSPB Black Devon Wetlands and enjoy the wildlife and countryside; climb one of the Ochil hills and look down to the flat valley that was once full of ice; visit Kinneil Museum or Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway to learn about the local history of the area. So much to do and see, the only problem is where to start!

You can watch the animation for yourself on IFLI's You Tube channel here


IFLI team seeking evaluation consultant to undertake Final Monitoring & Evaluation Review

The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative team are seeking a consultant to carry out a Final Monitoring and Evaluation Review of the programme and partnership during summer 2018. 
The IFLI team are looking to contract an evaluation consultant to facilitate a final learning and celebratory oriented, monitoring and evaluation review (M&E) of our programme and partnership. The M&E review will adopt a positive approach to telling the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative’s story, and how partners have worked to deliver the vision outlined in the IFLI Landscape Conservation Action Plan. This contract will meet and exceed HLF’s requirement for LPS grant recipients to carry out a final evaluation report of their programme. The resultant M&E review report will form part of
the IFLI partnership’s final LPS grant submission to HLF.
IFLI is a large complex programme with approx. 50 projects delivered, fourteen organisations leading on projects and many individuals involved at multiple levels. As such, to help manage and focus the final monitoring and evaluation exercise, we request the consultant to focus on four key areas:
i. Evidencing to what extent outcomes and outputs, income and expenditure have been
ii. Facilitating and sharing learning from the partnership and programme delivery.
iii. Demonstrating value and impact of the programme and projects, including benefits delivered to individual members of the partnership in relation to corporate priorities.
iv. Supporting legacy planning, IFLI partnership next steps and building support for future
Download the brief to tender here. This document contains the full scope of services we are seeking, outlines key deadlines and budget and explains how to submit your tender return by 9am Monday 23rd April for our consideration.

Please direct any queries or enquiries to Tom Churchyard, the IFLI Programme Manager by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 01324 831 568. Due to staff leave we are unable to answer any queries between 30th March and 8th April. Thank you. 

What do you think of Black Devon Wetlands?


Have you visited RSPB Black Devon Wetlands Nature Reserve? If so would you be able to spare a few minutes to let the RSPB know what you thought about it? Since the RSPB signed the lease for Black Devon Wetlands from Clackmannanshire council in 2015, major works have occurred to improve it for both wildlife and people. IFLI played a big part in getting the reserve up and running and have helped fund many of the projects on the reserve to aid in improving access and visitor experience, including the new and improved path network, the beautiful viewing screen and the new pond dipping platform.

The reserve has been ‘officially’ open for almost a whole year now, and with so many changes the RSPB would like to hear your thoughts. This quick survey will give them an idea of what they are doing right at RSPB Black Devon Wetlands and what they could improve on in the future. All surveys are completely anonymous and any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

The link to the survey is https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/8JVSJQN

Image: The spectacular Black Devon Wetlands viewing screen. David Palmar/www.photoscot.co.uk

IFLI Events and Outreach Assistant says goodbye


Nicholas Reid, our IFLI Events and Outreach Assistant, who many people who have attended IFLI events will have met, has sadly now come to the end of his contract. He worked with us for 18 months as part of our Training Tomorrow's Talent project, which has allowed IFLI and our partners to employ a number of people at the beginning of their careers in natural and cultural heritage, to help kick-start their progress, and give them opportunities for training and experience.

Nicholas has been a fantastic member of the IFLI team, and will be very much missed by us all, not only for his excellent communications and organisational skills, but for his great sense of humour and early-morning coffee making! Writing about his time here, Nicholas says:

'I’ve very much enjoyed my time at IFLI – not only because I’ve been lucky enough to be part in such an interesting and important project, but because I’ve had countless opportunities to learn and develop, both professionally, in terms of my work experience, and personally, as I’ve learnt so much about the heritage and history at this part of the world. It’s given me a new way of looking at the area where I grew up, and has introduced me to places further afield. I can also now confidently identify up to four species of bird, which is actually a dramatic improvement from when I started. On top of this I’ve also had to chance to work with some excellent and passionate people; those in the IFLI team and in national organisations like the RSPB and local groups like Braveheart.

Although I am sad to be leaving, I’m looking forward to the next stage of my career, and can look back fondly at the last 18 months.'

We wish Nicholas all the very best for his future. He'll be an asset to any organisation that he works for, and we look forward to hearing how his career progresses.