Funding awarded to Dumfries and Galloway coasts and waters heritage project

The Whithorn Trust is amongst £194,349 support from Historic Environment Scotland to 18 projects across the country.

Its community archaeology project focusing on the Machars peninsula will benefit from funding as part of Scotland’s Year of Coast and Waters.

The Trust was awarded £19,000 for its Machars Waterborne Project.

The two-part community archaeology project will offer training workshops on lidar visualisation and analysis and interpretation to enhance understanding of coastal archaeology which will help to create a valuable resource for the management of sites affected by climate change.

The project will involve an online community of local and remote volunteers and local secondary schools. There will also be hands-on activities to construct a traditional coracle and canoe and a travelling exhibition will be created to engage a wider audience in coastal and water-related heritage.

The Coasts and Waters Heritage Fund is a one-off competitive fund which launched in March to celebrate Scotland’s themed year.

Julia Muir Watt, Development Manager at the Whithorn Trust, said: “The Whithorn Trust was thrilled to receive this award for our Machars Waterborne project, which helps us mark the Year of Coast and Waters by providing online study and participation opportunities for everyone interested in coastal heritage and archaeological sites of the Machars.

“We will be working with AOC Archaeology, focussing on the new insights provided by LiDAR datasets recently published by the Scottish Government, which show the Machars in never-before-seen detail and we look forward to uncovering new sites, as well as mapping existing sites – including any in danger of coastal erosion.

“We’re particularly pleased that we can offer this during the winter months, when outdoor site visits are difficult because of weather and social distancing requirements. If conditions permit, in 2021, there will also be outdoor visits.”

Amy Eastwood, Head of Grants at HES, said: “We are pleased to support these 18 projects as part of our Coasts and Waters Heritage Fund. This funding will support a wide range of community outreach activities as well as crucial repairs to historic maritime structures which not only encourages people to engage with our coastal and waterway heritage but helps to ensure it is protected for future generations.

“From Dumfries and Galloway to the Highlands and Islands, these projects cover a wide geographical spread and showcase the fantastic work that goes on within communities across the country to harness, highlight and help to place a spotlight on Scotland’s diverse coastal heritage.”

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES, said: “The Coasts and Waters Heritage Fund was launched to empower communities to protect, promote and engage with Scotland’s coastal and waterway heritage as well as adapting to the effects of current challenges such as climate change.

“What the range of projects have shown is that our coastal heritage is a fabric that runs through communities, both in terms of sense of place but also how it has shaped people’s lives as well as how coastal communities are continuing to adapt to the effects of current challenges such as climate change. I am confident that these projects will deliver significant benefits to local communities throughout Scotland and I look forward to seeing the progress unfold over the next few months.”

Full training is provided for the Machars Waterborne project. For further information and details of how to sign-up contact: enquiries@whithorn.com