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September 26, 2012

Community assets in the past

Community assets are often thought of as being only physical – principally land and buildings.  But in a country with a heritage as rich as ours, it’s always worth reflecting on what lies right beneath our noses (albeit perhaps obscured by the mists of time) and how it could be used to build a better understanding amongst locals and visitors alike of an area’s natural and historic environment.  In any event, if you can claim Vikings in your past you might as well flaunt it.


The Arrochar and Tarbet Community Development Trust is a registered charity aiming to develop and promote recreational, social and enterprise facilities for the communities in and around Arrochar. 

‘The Hidden Heritage of a Landscape: Vengeful Vikings and Reckless Rustlers’ is a community-led project that will use popular interest in Viking history to engage the local community in researching, interpreting and disseminating information about the multi-period historical use of the landscape between Arrochar and Tarbet, with a particular emphasis on its use as a portage route for Viking longships. The ‘Hidden Heritage’ project will place significant emphasis on encouraging participation by individuals not normally involved in heritage-based activities, by providing a wide range of different approaches to investigating and interpreting the historical landscape development of the area.

 The project will employ professionals where appropriate to support and train volunteers, including young people, in the specialist skills needed to carry out the project activities. These skills will include documentary and archive research, a range of archaeological techniques, IT skills, digital photography, design and production of relevant promotional and interpretative literature, and oral presentation techniques. Using these skills, volunteers will work in partnership with professionals to ensure that the historical and archaeological research is carried out to the highest specifications. 

The results of the research will be made widely available through reports, publications, the internet, and other media, to ensure that the information reaches as wide an audience as possible –capitalising on the 2013 750thanniversary of the Battle of Largs. Considerable emphasis will be placed on ensuring that a full and comprehensive photographic record of the project is maintained.