Unearthing the Past

Whitmuir Living Learning Space for Sustainable Food is developing an exciting new heritage project at Whitmuir. We want to understand the remnants of old ways left by past generations; the beautiful beech hedges, raised field boundaries, lime kilns, drove roads and many unexplained lumps and bumps around the farm. We believe that these remnants of the past can help us to understand important questions facing Scotland’s food system today.

In the face of a global crisis in food production as a result of climate change and ecological degradation, our organisation is seeking to find ways to create a more regenerative food system. This project is about using the past as a lens to learn about the present and plan for the future.

The project involves a Citizens Enquiry: Unearthing the Past. A series of 6 sessions each formed around a theme and an era in time. From earliest time as the rocks and soils were formed through the hunter gatherers who walked up the Tweed Valley through the wildwood, the Picts and Celtic tribal peoples, the early farmers, the medieval cottars, the cattle drovers and the industrialists up to present day diverse Scotland. The sessions will take the form of a presentation or presentations, a visit to a site of heritage on the farm followed by questions and discussion. Each session will be framed by a question about how we can learn from the past, for example ‘What can the past tell us about building fertile soil?’, ‘What can the past tell us about building a nature-connected society?’ ‘What can the past tell us about the impacts of land ownership and dispossession?’ ‘What can we learn from Scotland’s traditions of immigration, emigration, multi-lingual and multi-ethnic communities?’

We will map the learning from the citizens enquiry onto the land of the farm and build a beautiful trail using traditional earth building techniques, interactive features, films and audio recording to bring the past to life on the farm. We will then offer guided walks and tours to interested groups across the country.

We are looking for expressions of interest from groups and individuals, please share widely. We are committed to making this project accessible to all and can assist with travel costs and will work hard to overcome any barrier to participation that arises.

Please get in touch.

Contact Elly Kinross elly@whitmuircommunityfarm.org