Rediscovering Valleyfield Estate's 'Lost' Stables

In August and September an exciting archaeological project will be taking place to uncover an important part of Valleyfield's heritage - and IFLI are looking for volunteers to take part.

Within Valleyfield Wood lies the remains of a historic estate landscape, once home to Sir Robert Preston (who oversaw the construction of Preston Island), and the only one of its kind in Scotland. The area which now makes up Valleyfield Wood is a 668 acre designed landscape, and was home to Preston's Valleyfield House, as well as several smaller structures which served as offices, stables and a doocot.

Although neglected for much of the last century, the essential elements of the Estate (the sole Scottish work undertaken by acclaimed landscape designer Sir Humphry Repton) can still be traced, and although the importance of the area is not immediately readable this project will help to uncover and share the important local heritage of Valleyfield Wood.

We're looking for people to join IFLI, the Valleyfield Heritage Group, and Fife Council on a community-led archaeological project to evaluate the remains of the stables complex which once formed part of the Valleyfield Estate. You don't need to have any prior experience or fancy equipment - all the work will be done under the supervision of professionals from AOC Archaeology and Fife Council, and you will get to try your hand at:

  • Archaeological excavation
  • Geophysical survey
  • Measured drawing
  • Topographic survey
  • 3D Laser scanning and photogrammetry

In August, on the 22nd and 23rd, we will be undertaking the initial surveying of the site, which will pave the way for five days of excavation work in September, to be undertaken from the 7th to the 11th. There's no limit to the number of days each month you book on to, so you are more than welcome to try both the surveying and excavation. Work will take place from 9:30am - 4:00pm each day (there is no requirement to stay the full day if you are unable).

Booking for these events is essential, as places will be limited. If you are interested in getting involved, either in August or September, please contact Kirsty McAlister on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01324 831568.

To coincide with the excavation there will be two heritage walks of the Estate, taking place on Thursday 7th and Sunday 10th of September.




Alloa Academy films get their world premiere

Following the world premiere at Alloa Academy on the 21st June, we are delighted to bring two short films created with the help of Alloa Academy pupils out on general release.

The first film you can watch below is 'Our Alloa', which highlight some of the special places that make Alloa a great place to live, including RSPB Black Devon Wetlands and Alloa Tower. Pupils from the school also interviewed some of the people who care passionately for these places, and learnt more about the important role Alloa has to play in the Inner Forth, and Scotland's, historic and natural heritage.

'Our Alloa' was made with the help of professional film maker Chas Whatmore, through an IFLI project to encourge more people to be proud of their local area. 

The second film is 'Wetlands Watch', an animation made by Alloa Academy pupils with help from animator Henry Cruickshank. It explains why wetlands like Black Devon are so important to wildlife. 

Well done and thank you to all the pupils, teachers and everyone else who was invovled in making this possible.


Bo'ness Fun Run Results

Thank you and well done to everyone who took part in the second Bo'ness Fun Run, which took place on 14th June 2017. 

137 runners took part in the 4 mile track around Bo'ness foreshore, a route which featured the Kinneil Local Nature Reserve, Bo'ness Harbour, wildflower meadows and stunning views across the Forth. The foreshore and the nearby area is the site of six IFLI projects, including creating the wildflower meadows, making local woodlands better for wildlife and people, improving access, and making sure the historic Kinneil Estate Church is preserved for the future.

Prizes, made specially by Susan Wade-French at Bean Row Pottery, were awarded to the top three male and top three female runners, and you can see the full list of results and times here.

                               Male                                                   Female

3rd place: Frazer Brown (00:25:59)                      Vicky Crichton (00:30:05)

2nd place: Scott Hyslop (00:25:45)                       Hailey Marshall (00:29:35)

1st place: David Downey (00:24:15)                     Karen Duncan (0028:50)


Prizes for 3rd, 2nd and 1st

Jade Nimmo hands out the prizes to the winners


The Fun Run was only made possible with the help and support of many volunteers, local businesses and organisations. Our thanks to Falkirk Council, Falkirk Community Trust, The Friends of Kinneil Foreshore Group, Bo'ness Chiropractic and Sports Massage, Bo'ness Rugby Club, the Boys Brigade, and all the volunteers who have so generously given their time and support.



Calling all local artists and photographers!

Tower and the Ochils from Skinflats, by Katherine Cowtan.


IFLI has recently launched a new virtual gallery to showcase the rich heritage of the Inner Forth, and we are looking for local artists and photographers to help fill it.

There are four categories in the gallery - wildlife; landscape; people; and built heritage, which together emcompass the spectacular and fascinating Inner Forth landscape, and its rich natural, cultural and historic heritage.

You can view the gallery here, and see the work of people who were also inspired by our landscape. If you are an artist or photographer, and would like to feature your work in these galleries, please get in touch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We will showcase any appropriate work in the gallery, limited to 5 images per person, together with a credit card and your website or contact details.

Forth Valley Orchard May Blossom Week

This May sees the end of Fruitful Communities,  and a series of events across the Inner Forth will ensure the work of the project continues to bloom.   

Led by the Forth Valley Orchard Initiative, Fruitful Communities has been working with local people to help them get the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to maintain the orchard resource of the Inner Forth in the long-term.

On Saturday 13 May Kennentpans Distillery will host the Family Tree Blossoming Day (follow the link to book) in the plum orchard there, and will include craft activities, Citizen Science guides, an Orchardeering Quiz Trail, and time to explore the space and enjoy the views of the Forth that it offers.

This is followed on the Sunday by a family fun day at Riverside Community Orchard, which will also have the Quiz Trail, as well as a photo competition and various craft activities. There is no need to book for this event, which takes place 11:30am - 3:00pm.

The weekend caps off a full week of events around the Inner Forth, where FVOI will have worked with school children on a whole host of fun activities designed to connect them with their local orchards. You can find out about the full range of events here

Fruitful Communities is an IFLI project intended to expand on the work as part of the Fruitful Landscape project.

The Forth Valley Orchard Initiative is part of the Forth Environment Link.