On 27 June, SNH Operations Officer Neville Makan attended an event in Stirling celebrating the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative. This partnership between local authorities, agencies, and charities has spent nearly 4 years working to conserve habitats and footpaths and provide training to local volunteers. Here, he talks about the work this initiative has done and the importance of working together to achieve these successes.
Celebrations were in order last night at the Engine Shed in Stirling to recognise the achievements of the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI). By September, this landscape scale initiative will have been at work for four years and will have delivered 50 interlinked projects within the inner Firth of Forth estuary, from Stirling to Blackness, centred around the river Forth itself.
Since 2012, we at SNH have teamed up with a partnership of eight Local Authorities, agencies and charities who have been working successfully together with local community groups, individuals and organisations to deliver an ambitious £4 million Heritage Lottery Fund funded programme of work. Over 6 years an effective partnership has developed and a strong ethos of collaborative working has been an important outcome. In 2014 we made our partnership official to become the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative.
This landscape scale partnership has delivered projects from habitat creation, path 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 interpretation, events and promotion, IFLI has gone a long way to leave a positive legacy in this area.
Partnership working isn’t always easy, and we’ve learned many lessons. We’ve learned to have patience when some projects took longer than expected; developed the perseverance needed to drive forward the trickier projects; and became more pragmatic when managing decision-making and budgets of over 50 interrelated projects with tight deadlines.
But without mutual trust and respect, without working together, none of our successes would have been possible.
Last night we celebrated IFLI’s successes and thanked those who have played a part in making it happen. We also talked about opportunities for new and stronger partnerships to develop between individuals and organisations whose work may continue to contribute to achieving IFLI’s aims. So watch this space, as there may well be more successes for people and nature within the inner Forth still to come!
Find out more and join in the celebrations by visiting the IFLI website.