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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Funding Award for Highland Heritage Projects

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Community projects in the Highlands celebrating the legacy of the oldest elm tree in Europe and the development of heritage trails for Drumnadrochit and Strathglass are set to benefit from funding from Historic Environment Scotland (HES).   

As part of the funding from the Historic Environment Support Fund, administered by HES, community charity Soirbheas has been awarded £15,700 to help develop the new heritage trails across Drumnadrochit and Strathglass including installing interpretation, producing a information leaflet, and supporting a programme for a walking festival and the installation of way markers and QR codes at the sites to provide further information.  

The fund is also supporting Inverness based Circus Artspace who have been awarded £2,500 for a community project celebrating the heritage, legacy and cultural value of the historic Beauly Wych Elm tree.

The tree is in the grounds of Beauly Priory and is believed to be the oldest tree of its type in Europe.  

Carol Masheter, Soirbheas Community Development Officer said:

“This grant award will allow Soirbheas an exciting opportunity to work with local groups, schools, the wider community and visitors, bringing our rich heritage to the forefront and celebrating some hidden gems.”   

Kirsten Body, of Circus Artspace said:

“We are working in collaboration with artist Isabel McLeish to celebrate this important Wych Elm tree, which has been described as ‘living archaeology”.

“Sadly, the tree is dying of Dutch Elm Disease and had its last buds in 2021.  

“Our forthcoming event on 24th September, as part of Year of Stories 2022, will bring together a new commissioned text from Highland writer Mandy Haggith as well as other invited tree health experts Phil Baarda (NatureScot) and Max Coleman (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh). 

“We are very grateful to Historic Environment Scotland for their support accessing Beauly Priory and this opportunity for us to develop a community archive and maintain the legacy around this ancient tree.” 

Amy Eastwood, Head of Grants at HES, said:

“We’re pleased to support these initiatives, and others across Scotland, as part of the Historic Environment Support Fund.

“These projects bring positive contributions to communities throughout Scotland – from traditional skills training to engaging the public with our history and heritage.

“I look forward to seeing the works and activities unfold over the next 12 months.” 

A total of £98,988 has been awarded to nine heritage projects as part of the Historic Environment Support Fund, administered by HES.

The projects will benefit communities in the Highlands, Angus, Falkirk, Edinburgh, East Lothian, the Borders, Dumfries, and Galloway. 

The Historic Environment Support Fund is used to support a variety of one-off, heritage-related projects in Scotland and has been running since 2016, with over £1 million distributed since it was launched.    

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