Local academics wishing to research the history of the River Devon could be in line to benefit from one of four post graduate Masters research projects which are jointly being funded by the University of Stirling and the Ochils Landscape Partnership.
The partnership is behind some 22 projects in the Ochils and Hillfoots - all aiming to protect and enhance the distinct built, cultural and natural heritage of the area as well as increase access to the hills and glens of the Ochils area.
The Ochils Landscape Partnership is carrying out environmental improvements such as improving the quality of local rivers and is restoring parts of the built heritage.
The University of Stirling is one of twenty local partners involved in the project, which also provides opportunities for community involvement and volunteering. Other local partners include Alva Glen Heritage Trust, six community councils, Scottish Land & Estates, Forth Valley College and The Conservation Volunteers.
As well as the River Devon, the three other broad subjects for study which students can choose from are: poisoned earths; historic transport networks and cultivation terraces.
The Bursaries have a value of £2,000 and will run from September this year until the end of August next year. Anyone interested should email: Alasdair.firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Kirsty McAlister, who is seconded to the Ochils Landscape Partnership three days a week from the University of Stirling as the OLP's Research and Interpretation Officer said: "It's great news that these Bursaries have become available. As well as offering funding to students who would like to be involved with historical and environmental research in the area, the successful applicants will be able to present their findings to the local community when they complete the project."
She added: "If they do study the River Devon it will be really interesting to see what they come up with. It has long been recognised that rivers have been a catalyst in the development of the landscape, so this is a subject that will complement the Ochils Landscape Partnership's new online Virtual Visitor & Education Centre, which also explores a number of changes over time."
"We also have a project headed ‘By the banks of the Devon’ that will improve the river quality of the Devon and its network of burns and streams to offer a more attractive habitat and greater recreational appeal."
The Ochils Landscape Partnership will deliver a waymarked route along the River Devon from Glenfoot to Vicar's Bridge as well as reinstating natural wetlands and making other environmental improvements.
Dr Alasdair Ross from the University of Stirling said: "These bursaries offer the opportunity to further build upon the links established between the communities of the Ochils Landscape Partnership and the University of Stirling. They will demonstrate the relevance of cutting-edge academic research to local people, providing them with material that could be used to develop local heritage and tourism as well as enabling a greater understanding of the historic environment of the Ochils area."
Work will be on-going in the Hillfoots area for the next twelve months to deliver all of the various projects under the Ochils Landscape Partnership's banner.