The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Shiel­ing gets new both­ies

Pro­ject teaches young about tra­di­tional tend­ing of live­stock

- BY ALIS­TAIR MUNRO Camping · Outdoor Hobbies · Hobbies · Outer Hebrides

Six mod­ern both­ies have been built at an out­door ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre and camp­site to teach young peo­ple about High­land her­itage.

The in­no­va­tive Shiel­ing pro­ject south of Dun­ma­glass at Struy, near Beauly, will be used by up to 30 young­sters and three teach­ers at a time, to en­cour­age learn­ing about lo­cal tra­di­tions and skills.

“We’re in­spired by the shiel­ing where kids took cat­tle up the hill”

The pro­ject is in­spired by the for­mer prac­tice where chil­dren would help take live­stock up the hill to “the shiel­ing”, camp­ing there in small both­ies and dis­cov­er­ing a world be­yond the vil­lage.

Pro­ject founder and leader Sam Har­ri­son said: “We are so ex­cited about our new both­ies.

“So far the pro­ject has cost £163,000 and we will be tak­ing our first vis­i­tors next week.

“This is a shiel­ing-in­spired sus- tain­able camp and we’ve been around for a cou­ple of years, but hav­ing these new both­ies brings it on a stage fur­ther.”

He added: “The kids have helped with the de­signs. It’s ex­cit­ing times. It will be an ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre and a sim­ple camp­site.

“The point is that we’re in­spired by the shiel­ing, where kids used to take the cat­tle up on the hill and camp there.

“We of­fer week-long trips for schools and sum­mer camps. We have peo­ple com­ing from as far away as Aberdeen­shire and the Western Isles, but it tends to be In­ver­nessshire.”

Young­sters help milk cows and look af­ter pigs, as well as learn­ing other skills.

Mr Har­ri­son said: “They come and help us to look af­ter the an­i­mals, learn to cook and make blan­kets, and they learn about the Gaelic her­itage of the shiel­ing.”

The camp­site will be easy to dis­man­tle or re­con­fig­ure in case the pro­ject seeks to move lo­ca­tion, and it aims to pro­vide a camp­ing ex­pe­ri­ence while remaining safe and se­cure.

 ??  ?? CAMP­SITE: The both­ies were de­signed and built by North­woods Con­struc­tion of Ul­lapool
CAMP­SITE: The both­ies were de­signed and built by North­woods Con­struc­tion of Ul­lapool

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