In August 2017 I officially joined the team at The Shieling Project up in Glenstrathfarrar, near Beauly. The project is a community enterprise, working with schools, teachers and local community exploring our landscape's past to help shape a more resilient future. The project is a microcosm of a lived philosophy of placemaking underpinned by ethnological and ecological values.
What's it all about?
We can learn a lot from the shileing tradition about ourselves, our food, heritage and sustainability. In the past, each summer, young people used to help take the livestock up the hill to the shieling, camping there in small bothies, learning about the world beyond the village. Today, you might learn how to milk a cow, make butter and cheese, cut peats, weave, dye or re-build shieling huts. We also delve into the stories, songs, poems and place-names of the shieling. From this rich traditional heritage, we can understand the changing landscape and understand the skills needed to sustain our rural communities.