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Opportunity to become a Cairngorms National Park culture vulture

11th July 2007

A FREE course being run later this month by the Cairngorms National Park Authority will teach its residents and workers about its cultural heritage.

Highlanders at Home is the latest in a series of free courses being run under the Cairngorms Awareness and Pride project. The CAP project promotes, teaches and trains in areas that are central to the Park’s aims and special qualities.

It is hoped the course, which is the first of two dedicated to cultural heritage, will give people who live and work in the Park a better understanding of and interest in the subject. It also meets two of the aims of the Park – to conserve and enhance the area’s natural and cultural heritage and promote understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the Park – as well as raising awareness and understanding of Priority for Action for 2007-2012 in the National Park Plan, which sets out the short and long term future of the Park.

The course is being run over two days (21st and 22nd July) at the Highlander Hotel, Newtonmore, and will cover:

  • Domestic life – including townships, houses and their furnishings, fuel, cooking and domestic chores
  • Non-material culture – including language, place-names, religion, folklore and folk tales, music and wider arts
  • Leisure and sport – including Highland Games and Shinty, fairs and festival and ceilidhs.

There will be a series of indoor and outdoor sessions, including trips to the Highland Folk Museum; an 18th century house and Glen Banchor, where participants will examine and learn more about settlements and peat-working.

Ross Noble, a cultural historian and former curator of the Highland Folk Museum, and Elspeth Buxton, a Gaelic speaker and musician, will lead the course.

Claire Ross, the CNPA’s Education and Inclusion Manager, said: “The Cairngorms National Park is renowned for its natural heritage. The history of the Park, both built and cultural is equally important – highlighting the fascinating relationship between the people and the extraordinary landscape they lived in.

“Many people living within the Park have a huge amount of local historical knowledge and this course is a chance to share that as well as learn new things.”

Kate Christie, the CAP project manager, said: “It is important that we not only celebrate the history of the Park but that we understand it, especially people living and working in the Park. This course will allow them to understand the make-up of the Park and its history and culture. They will not only learn about the past, but be able to see how that works in and can help the present and future of the Park.”

A second course based on land and the people of the Cairngorms National Park and the relationship between natural and cultural heritage is taking place on 25th and 26th August. For more details on this please check the local press nearer the time.

To book a place on Highlanders at Home (which will include an overnight stay at the Highland Hotel with the accommodation costs for people from Strathdon, Deeside and the Angus Glens met by the CNPA) please contact Kate Christie or Sam Masson at CNPA, 14 The Square, Grantown-on-Spey, PH26 3HG or on 01479 870 535 or email [email protected]  or [email protected]