Scotland’s Community Heritage

Community archaeology and heritage projects in Scotland have grown remarkably in numbers in recent years.  This growth can in part be attributed to the results of the RCAHMS run project, Scotland’s Rural Past, Shorewatch by The Scape Trust, and the work of Archaeology Scotland, such as Adopt-a-Monument, together which have helped increase the capacity for community led archaeology and heritage projects.

The ways in which Scotland’s communities have been engaging with there heritage was recently explored at Scotland’s Community Heritage Conference 2012.  On the first day of the conference there was a wide range of presentations about community led archaeological and heritage project from across Scotland.  These included: the work of the Garden History Society and Angus Landscape Survey Group in recording historic elements of local landscapes; the Clyne Heritage Society on the Brora Salt Pans; excavations at Baliscate, Mull; the work of NOSAS at the Mulchaich, Ferintosh; and insights about the establishment and work of the Friends of Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust.

What became apparent very quickly, from the exhibitions and presentations on the day, was that there was a remarkable range of skills amongst the groups.  Combined with their energy and enthusiasm, it was a truly impressive and inspiring series of project results which were presented.  With a warmth and good humor amongst the conference delegates (and learning that apparently all Scottish Community Heritage Projects were fueled by cake !) it was a great day.

I really look forward to hearing more at next years conference about the successes of Scotland’s communities who are actively engaging with their archaeology and heritage.

Above Scotland’s Landscapes

Our perception of the world was radically altered when the first images of the green and blue planet were received from space.  Similarly, when we fly (if we are lucky enough to get a window seat !) the views of towns, fields, woodlands, coastlines and mountains reveal patterns we can never see with our feet on the ground.

A fantastic new exhibition Above Scotland has just started at The Lighthouse.  It has been produced jointly between The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and Architecture and Design Scotland and explores Scotland’s cultural landscapes from aerial photographic evidence.

The exhibition comprises a wide number of high quality aerial images which show the remarkable diversity and richness of Scotland’s landscapes.  The provision of large interactive magnifiers at each display panel not only gives a sense of viewing the landscape through a plane window but also allows you to explore in more detail the complexity of the landforms, monuments and vegetation from above.

As well as the panels, there are several engaging, and fun short films, produced as part of the project.  These show the responses of local school children to local places as captured through their own aerial photography.  The exhibition is also complemented by the publication of a new book Scotland’s Landscapes.

It runs from 26th October 2012 to 23 January 2013, so plenty of time to go and get a different perspective on Scotland’s Landscapes…!