Inner Forth Landscape Initiative

The Firth of Forth is geographically and strategically at the heart of Scotland. It has been, and remains, an important seaway linking the Central Belt with the rest of the world and has been a major point of entry to the country throughout history.

Skinflats RSPB Reserve


The evidence of the strategic importance of the firth is present in countless features all around the Inner Forth, from the medieval battle site of Stirling Bridge to the Victorian landmark of the Forth Bridge.
The Inner Forth is also home to some of Scotland’s most important natural heritage sites. The Forth valley and adjacent hills illustrate the geology and ancient past of the region and have permitted the development of the rich habitats found in the area today. The landscape of the Inner Forth is host to nationally and internationally important wildlife, both coastal and land-based.
The presence of these valuable habitats alongside active industrial centres and the depth of the cultural landscape, all within reach of large sections of Scotland’s population, is what make the Inner Forth a unique landscape resource.
The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative aims to protect, enhance and celebrate the area’s rich cultural and natural heritage and to enable local people and visitors to understand the importance of the Inner Forth to the environment and cultural development of Scotland.
The Inner Forth Landscape Initiative scheme covers an area of 202 square kilometres including the river, estuary and inter-tidal zone; the floodplain and coastal margins; and the settlements on both sides of the Forth from the historic Old Stirling Bridge to Blackness Castle and Rosyth.


  • To turn perceptions of the Inner Forth around and increase local pride.
  • To connect disparate habitats to create a landscape flourishing with biodiversity.
  • To celebrate, protect and improve access to important historical and natural features.
  • To train and support committed and motivated local community groups, individuals and organisations to take action to conserve their area's heritage.
  • To increase physical and intellectual access to the area's important heritage.

Planned Work

Our 50 projects are grouped around four themes:
  • Conserving and restoring
  • Recording and Celebrating
  • Exploring and learning
  • Skills and training
We work with a wide range of project leads, including our partners (see below), other charities and community groups such as Buglife, Butterfly Conservation Scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Clackmannanshire Field Studies Society and West Fife Woodlands to deliver these projects. They include:

  • Habitat restoration and creation schemes.
  • Consolidation of historic buildings.
  • Research into the historical and natural heritage of the area.
  • Recording the wildlife and history of the area.
  • Improving and creating new footpaths, tracks and cycle routes to help people access the landscape.
  • Organising events and activities to reconnect people with the landscape.
  • Creating a suite of interpretation around the IFLI area.
  • Training people in a range of landscape and historic heritage skills.
  • Working with schools to help teach young people the value of their landscape.


More than £2 million of funding has been provided by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund. Additional funding has come from our partners and other funders.
The development phase of the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative was generously supported by the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative partners and grants from the Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER, Heritage Lottery Fund and CSGN Development Fund.
The production of the IFLI Landscape Conservation Action Plan was part financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER 2007 – 2013.
Tagged with: Country: Scotland Habitat: Wetland Species: Curlew Species: Pink-footed goose Species: Redshank Species: Shelduck Project status: Ongoing Project types: Site protection