A pioneering partnership project aiming to enhance the landscape and celebrate the history of the   Inner Forth is one step closer to securing a major funding boost. The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced that RSPB Scotland, on behalf of the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative, has received a first-round pass of £1,975,900, including £75,900 development funding through its Landscape Partnership (LP) programme.

The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) sees local government, charities, and agencies working together with local people to deliver an ambitious vision for the area. The partnership is formed of RSPB Scotland (lead agency), Scottish Natural Heritage (Chair), Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Historic Scotland, Clackmannanshire Council, Stirling Council, Falkirk Council, Central Scotland Forest Trust, TCV Scotland, and SUSTRANS .

Its intention is to reveal the hidden cultural, historical and natural wealth of the upper reaches of the Firth of Forth, restore and conserve important features, open up access, and ultimately leave a legacy of a richer landscape and new facilities for all.

The Inner Forth sits close to the heart of Scotland between two of its ancient capitals – Stirling and Dunfermline – within an hour’s drive of Edinburgh and Glasgow - and includes coastal areas within Clackmannanshire, Falkirk, Stirling and Fife.

The project aims to:

  •  turn perceptions of the Inner Forth around and rekindle local pride in this place;
  •  connect disparate habitats to create a landscape flourishing with wildlife;
  • celebrate, protect and improve access to important historical and natural features;
  • support committed and motivated local community groups, individuals and organisations to take action to conserve and celebrate their area’s heritage;
  • increase access and knowledge of the area's important heritage;
  • provide training opportunities for people in local heritage skills.

We’re delighted that we have cleared this all important first hurdle and that the Heritage Lottery Fund recognises the potential of what can be achieved in this landscape. The Inner Forth is an area of real conservation and historic importance. Sadly, despite its fascinating history, it is often overlooked and undervalued. With this support from HLF, we will be able to work with local communities to take action to protect and celebrate the area’s valuable heritage.”

Kate Studd, Inner Forth Landscape Partnership Officer.

“The natural and built heritage of the Inner Forth lies undiscovered for most, overlooked because of its industrial character. The area is, however, very important in terms of rare and diverse wildlife and the role it has had in shaping the history of Scotland over the centuries. HLF is delighted to give our initial support to a project which will enable this huge area of land to be conserved and managed, and local people reconnected with pride to the heritage on their doorstep.”

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland.

Work on the Initiative has already started, with an audience participation and community engagement study underway. If you live or work in the Inner Forth area and with to take part, please complete this online questionnaire

Additional funding for the Initiative was won from Scottish Government and the European Community Forth Valley & Lomond LEADER 2007-2013 Programme and the Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund.

For more information about this project, please contact RSPB.