IFF seek contractor for development of eight ‘Wanderings and Windings’ (trails) of the Inner Forth

RSPB Scotland, on behalf of the Inner Forth Futures partnership, wishes to commission the development of eight ‘Wanderings and Windings’ (trails) of the Inner Forth. These will be micro-adventures designed to take up to a day to complete.

The successful contractor will support the Inner Forth Futures team to develop and deliver the ‘Wanderings and Windings’. Initially this will be through co-design volunteering sessions that will ensure that routes are developed with and for local communities. Each trail will guide people around the landscape using and linking pre-existing routes, networks and transport options with stops at interpreted heritage features. Each trail will ‘join the dots’ between heritage features and be waymarked on the ground by simple bespoke roundels. Bespoke printed and digital trail guides will enable users to explore the routes and learn about, experience and interpret the heritage of the Inner Forth.

This contract and the Inner Forth Wanderings and Windings project are funded by the National Lottery through the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Closing date 10am Monday 11 March 2019. Queries to Kate Fuller, Inner Forth Futures Project Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01324 831 568.

Interested parties can download the brief to tender or view details on the Public Contract Scotland website.


IFF wins Heritage Lottery Fund award for eight new heritage trails


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

Goodbye Inner Forth Landscape Initiative, hello Inner Forth Futures

















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!

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