An Active Landscape
The Inner Forth area is a great place to explore on foot and by bike. The landscape here is encircled by the NCN 76 cycle route, dotted with parks, woodland and foreshore, criss-crossed with footpaths and spliced in two by the water. In all seasons there is much to discover.
This project aimed to deliver opportunities for the communities of the Inner Forth to take part in a variety of outdoor activities that enable them to get active and explore the many natural and cultural facets of the landscape. IFLI worked with a number of local healthy walking groups and with Stirling Cycle Hub to deliver many of the walks and cycles that were offered. An Active Landscape enabled us to encourage people to visit parts of the area they may not have experienced before. We also offered walk leaders training in wildlife and heritage skills, which they could then pass on to walks they led independently. They were also keen to learn to create and upload Phototrails, and we led workshops and created resources to help them to do this. A number of the attendees were planning to create their own trails as a result.
The project also funded the purchase of path management equipment to help two volunteer groups to manage paths installed through IFLI projects. Signage was created to be installed on all IFLI-funded paths, not only as acknowledgements but to highlight the importance and value of walking and cycling to health and wellbeing.
Rather than duplicate existing information about path and cycle networks, with the problem of keeping them current after the end of IFLI, we created an online resource. a directory of existing information about these routes around the whole area. Before this much of the information was fragmented between local authority areas. A virtual ‘geocaching’ trail was also incorporated into the digital app which is part of the Telling the Inner Forth Story project. This allowed us to encourage people to explore the area, visit our beacons and markers, and avoided issues of caches being removed or damaged.
In essence the project has helped to widen the horizons of those who enjoy walking and cycling, and encouraged more people to get out and explore the natural and historic heritage of the Inner Forth in a healthy and companionable way