On Thursday 26 June Janet Paton, Alistair Robinson and I represented the Museum of Abernethy at the official launch of the Tayside Landscape Partnership (Tay LP) hosted by Castle Huntly.
During the evening we had an opportunity to meet the Tay LP staff, and were provided with an update on the 28 projects that the Tay LP will deliver over the next 4 years. The reception brought together 50 people from communities between
Longforgan and Abernethy under one roof to celebrate the unique heritage which unites the Tay and Earn Estuaries.
Shirley Paterson, the TayLP’s Manager, explained: “We are often not aware of the history and wildlife that connects and gives character to our towns and villages around the Tay.
By inviting all those involved in the Partnership and allowing them to meet each other we hope to share The Tay Estuary story, demonstrating its uniqueness, deepening our understanding of past land use and enhancing our future experiences”.
Following Shirley’s presentation we were treated to a buffet prepared by the Castle Huntly team.
The event was being hosted by Castle Huntly, as it is a recipient of the Tay LP’s workshops and training. Sharanne Findlay, Governor at Castle Huntly explained: “This is a great opportunity for those in Castle Huntly to work hand in hand with the local community, giving something back. It also helps develop further skills that increase an individual’s chance of employment on release from custody. There are obvious benefits for everyone involved and I am delighted that HMP Castle Huntly is involved in this inspiring partnership”.
Over the past couple of years there have been articles in the Crier about Abernethy’s involvement in the Tay LP, however now that the project is officially launched it may be useful to refresh memories about what is involved. The Tay LP is led by Perth & Kinross Heritage Trust and Perth &Kinross Countryside Trust, within a wider partnership including the Gannochy Trust and Perth & Kinross Council. In July 2013 the Heritage Lottery Fund announced an award of £1.43 million towards the Tay LP which will help to deliver a suite of 28 projects with a total value of around £2.6 million. A Scheme Manager, three Project Officers and a Volunteer Co-ordinator have been appointed to deliver the Tay LP which will run for four years from March 2014-February 2018. Angus Macintyre and I represent the Museum of Abernethy on the Steering Committee, which consists of representatives from all the communities involved in the Tay LP.
Two of the 28 projects are specific to Abernethy:
Ancient Abernethy: The aim is to enhance and promote the unique historic character of the village through focussing on key historic features in the village and its environs: the Roman remains at Carpow; the facades of the buildings within the Conservation Area; and the historic churchyard.
There will be training for volunteers in geophysical survey and excavation techniques, and sites in and around the village will be investigated to find out more about the development of the settlement and Roman activity in the area, including the story of the “bridge of boats” across the Tay.
The plan is to carry out a “Big Dig” at Carpow (dependent on landowner permission) in the summer months over the next three years.
Owners of properties in the Abernethy Conservation Area will be offered grants for environmental improvements to enhance the historic character of the village, and work will be carried out to enhance the condition and appearance of the churchyard.
The Story of Abernethy: The overall objective of this project is to improve the “visitor offer” at Abernethy by enhancing the Museum displays and linking these with other heritage sites through well-planned interpretation. The upgrading of existing displays will include the provision of a professionally designed introductory panel and lighting for the Pictish stones. Our salmon coble “Emma” has already been repaired and restored with funding from the Tay LP, and further enhancement of the garden gallery is planned. An oral history hub is being established in the Museum, along with a broader range of resources and activities to appeal to a wide range of people; school groups, families, young people, lifelong learners and tourists.
As both these Abernethy projects develop there will be community events to showcase developments and encourage more people to discover the historical importance of the village and its place in the Tay LP landscape. Further information on these events, and
on opportunities to get involved in the projects, will be highlighted in future editions of the Crier. Full details of all the projects in the Tay LP, forthcoming events and information about how you can get involved are available on the website:
Sally Rose, Museum of Abernethy TayLP project co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01738 850538