The Firth of Forth (Scottish Gaelic: Linne Foirthe) is the estuary or firth of Scotland's River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea between Fife to the north, and West Lothian, the City of Edinburgh, and East Lothian to the south.
There are a number of towns which line the shores, as well as the petrochemical complexes at Grangemouth, the commercial docks at Leith, oilrig construction yards at Methil, the ship-breaking facility at Inverkeithing and the naval dockyard at Rosyth, with numerous other industrial areas including the Forth Bridgehead area, Burntisland, Kirkcaldy, Bo'ness and Leven.
The Kincardine Bridge and the famous Forth Road Bridge and Forth Bridge carry traffic across the Firth. A third crossing, the Upper Forth Crossing, to be located next to the Kincardine Bridge is under construction and is expected to open in 2008. On 1 October 2008 it was announced that the new bridge would be called the "Clackmannanshire Bridge".
In July 2007, a hovercraft passenger service completed a two week trial between Portobello, Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy, Fife. The trial of the service (marketed as "Forthfast") was hailed as a major operational success, with an average passenger load of 85%. If a permanent service comes into operation, it could cut congestion for commuters on the Forth road and rail bridges by carrying about 470,000 passengers a year.
The inner Firth, i.e. between the Kincardine and Forth bridges, has lost about half of its former intertidal area as a result of land being reclaimed, partly for agriculture, but mainly for industry and the large ash lagoons built to deposit the spoil from the coal fired Longannet Power Station near Kincardine.
The Firth is important for nature conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The Firth of Forth Islands SPA (Special Protection Area) is host to over 90,000 breeding seabirds every year. There is a bird observatory on the Isle of May.
In 2008, a controversial bid to allow oil transfer between ships in the firth was refused by Forth Ports. A company named SPT Marine Services had asked permission to transfer 7.8 million tonnes of crude oil per year between tankers. The proposals had met with determined opposition from conservation groups.
Four seasons : A race beneath the shadow of the Forth bridges, one of the "best 500 runs in the world," is 25 this year
Apr 29, 2012; I'm a control freak", says John McKay, "and I'm quite happy to be called that in print." To organise something like the AGR Black...
THE BIG PICTURE; Firebirds' farewell: The Tornados zip past the Forth Bridges in a display of speed and power far removed from the Bristol biplanes the squadron flew in the First World War, right.
Apr 19, 2008; THEY were known as the Firebirds when they were formed on June 6, 1916. And yesterday they blazed their last trail across...