On Behalf of: Helen Loughlin +AFs-mailto:HelenLoughlin+AEA-colmangetty.co.uk+AF0-
For immediate release +IBM- 11 October 2007
Scotland's Rural Past Celebrates its First Birthday with the Launch of a Website
An exciting heritage project that was established a year ago to investigate and document abandoned rural settlements throughout Scotland is about to celebrate its first anniversary with the launch of its new website.
Scotland+IBk-s Rural Past is a project that supports local communities to investigate the remains of long abandoned settlements in their area that often date back hundreds of years. The project encourages members of the public to discover more about historic rural settlements, by learning valuable new techniques and skills in archaeological identification, surveying and recording, to rediscover a sense of place and gain a greater understanding of the changing historic landscape around them.
Professor Tom Devine, OBE, FRSE, FBA, Sir William Fraser Chair of Scottish History and Palaeography, University of Edinburgh says of Scotland+IBk-s Rural Past:
'I am delighted to support this highly imaginative initiative which I regard as one of the most significant heritage projects in Scotland of recent times. Not only does it encourage community involvement and interest but the work will also help to provide a new and deeper understanding of the nation+IBk-s rural past than can be achieved by written records alone.'
To celebrate the project's first anniversary, the official Scotland's Rural Past website will be launched on Sunday 14 October at the Highland Archaeology Fortnight Conference in Inverness. The website was designed by Edinburgh-based company Moriarti Design and features background information on Scotland+IBk-s Rural Past, guidance notes and a full list of projects around Scotland. The site also boasts special features including: forthcoming events+ADs- training opportunities and talks+ADs- a specially designed form to be used for recording rural settlements+ADs- an online digital form for uploading recorded information and images+ADs- a photogallery and project area that can be added to by volunteers+ADs- and a message board to enable volunteers and the public to exchange ideas and information.
Scotland's Rural Past works closely with archaeologists from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments Scotland (RCHAMS) to provide training for volunteers in archaeological field techniques and documentary research. It also offers support to develop educational projects to raise awareness of and improve access to Scotland+IBk-s rural history.
The project has received tremendous support from enthusiastic members of the public and over two hundred volunteers are currently registered. Over the past year, highly successful field trips and workshops have been held in Killin, Bute, Lanarkshire, Braemar, Glen Clova, Mull, Islay, Edinburgh, Inverness and East Lothian. Seventy volunteers have now received professional training and ten local projects are so far underway around Scotland with volunteers researching and recording their local rural heritage.
Dr Tertia Barnett, project manager for Scotland's Rural Past said:
+ACI-We are delighted that this important project has been such a success over the past year +IBM- communities have worked together to learn new skills and to engage with their environments. A significant contribution has also been made to Scotland+IBk-s recorded heritage. It+IBk-s amazing what can be achieved with local enthusiasm, some training, and an awareness of the past and how it might affect the present. We+IBk-ve had some wonderful discoveries over the past year and this fantastic new website will go a long way to raising awareness of Scotland+IBk-s rural heritage more widely, as well as helping to develop the project over the next four years.+ACI-
The Scotland's Rural Past website will be launched on 14 October +IBM- www.scotlandsruralpast.org.uk
For further information please contact
Helen Loughlin at Colman Getty Scotland Consultancy
0131 558 8851 / mailto:helenloughlin+AEA-colmangetty.co.uk
Notes to editors:
1. Scotland's Rural Past is a nationwide project launched and supported by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS), the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Trust for Scotland, Historic Scotland, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
2. The project was developed through the work of the Historic Rural Settlement Trust which recognised the need to improve our understanding of rural sites and encourage their conservation by involving local people.
3. Scotland+IBk-s Rural Past will run for five years, finishing in September 2011.
4. Dr Tertia Barnett, project manager, and other members of the team are available for interview.
5. Members of the press are welcome to attend the talks, exhibition and training field trips. To make arrangements please contact Colman Getty Scotland Consultancy. Please call 0131 558 8851.
6. Logos and images are available from Colman Getty Scotland Consultancy. Please call 0131 558 8851.