Music & Tales of Coigach & Assynt

A living landscape is more than just scenery; it is the interaction between people and place. Stories, music and song reflect these interactions, helping us better understand where we have come from and where we might go. Coigach and Assynt have a wonderfully rich cultural heritage – the area was Gaelic speaking until three or four generations ago and it has produced more than its fair share of musicians, many of whom have achieved national acclaim. The Summer Isles Festival, first held in 2012, showcases some of the best of this local talent, serving as an inspiration for future musicians. The aims of the project are to: Produce a song and music book enabling musicians and others to bring old tunes back to life and ensuring future generations can access and use them. Unearth new material as well and research and connect existing archived information. Commission and record a modern piece of music, inspired by the area’s living landscape, to encourage our young musicians to promote the area through their music.

Artist in Residence

Artists, selected through a process of recruitment and interview, will spend time in the project area living and working alongside either a single project or possibly a number of projects, to explore how the project’s processes and outcomes can be expressed and interpreted in artistic forms. The periods of the residencies will vary according to the specific project(s) in question, the preferred medium of the artist selected and wider community engagement outcomes identified. The aims of the project are to: Engage the people of Coigach & Assynt, as well as visitors, through active participation in the creation and expression of ideas and concepts brought to the Scheme by artists selected to participate in the residencies. Enhance and develop Coigach & Assynt as a place of artistic and creative activity and bring together the many creative people living in the area. Engage viewers with different and original ways of thinking about, interpreting and understanding the living landscape of this area.

Achlochan Coastal Heritage

The natural shelters of the Achlochan peninsula, its coastal location, the presence of inland fresh-water and readily available construction materials have sustained settlers since the Iron Age. Geologists believe the lochan reed bed – the largest in Wester Ross, and a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) – was once a sea loch and in more recent times a working waterway. The peninsula’s ruined broch is one of the few in North-West Scotland and the nearby World War One rifle range and drill hall are similarly rare. Remains of 19th century kelp kilns and boat nausts (or shelters) point to the 19th century. The geological SSSI is of national importance as rocks of two different ages lie adjacent to one another. The aims of the project are to: Safeguard and restore the peninsula’s natural, built and cultural heritage with managed and responsible access. Provide improved access for visitors and locals to heritage features and more information about them to help the public interpret and explore these heritage assets. Commence the first comprehensive archaeological survey of the broch and its surrounds

Clachtoll Broch

Clachtoll broch is one of the most iconic monuments in northern mainland Britain and a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It is in a dilapidated state and choked with rubble debris. As a result, visitors can only access the broch by climbing over rubble to walk around the site on the wall head. This is both damaging to the broch and hazardous for visitors. Local concerns about the deterioration and public safety were raised in 2006 and resulted in a 2009 Conservation Management Plan funded by Historic Scotland. Further consolidation to secure the entrance area took place in 2011 and emergency propping for the south wall in 2014. The aims of the project are to: Excavate the site giving visitors a unique insight into the broch’s original structure and use, as well as safeguarding it for future generations. Restore visitor access through the original entrance, open up the interior of the building and improve understanding of how the settlement surrounding the broch was used. Explore options for an architect designed structure that gives access to the broch and protect it from further

Isle Martin Croft House

Isle Martin is a community owned island and looked after by the Isle Martin Trust. The Croft House is one of the oldest existing buildings on the island, having been recorded in the 1875 Ordinance Survey. It is a traditional drystone lime mortar building providing sleeping accommodation for 6-8 people. We are currently finalising the details of this project with the aim to make the Croft House a more hospitable space to stay and encourage access to the island. The project will also allow for a variety of training and volunteering opportunities. The aims of the projects are to: Upon completion the building will be suitable for overnight stays, by groups of up to 8 persons. The project will allow for a variety of training and volunteering opportunities. The building will demonstrate traditional building techniques and preserve a sympathetic addition to the island’s landscape and infrastructure.

Badentarbet Net Shed

Commercial salmon fishing was carried in Coigach for over 250 years, up to 1995. During its commercial heyday the fishery encompassed a number of buildings at the Badentarbet Fishing Station, and amongst the remaining buildings is the 180 year old former Ice House building (last used as a net shed) which faces further deterioration and permanent disuse. The aims of the project are to: Retain the authenticity and charm of the formerly busy Badentarbet fishery by preserving features that will allow the area to continue be one of Coigach’s main attractions. Restore and convert the building to a viable space for uses such as: offices, events, heritage centre, art gallery, artist’s studio & workspace, or seafood restaurant / café. Restore the previously managed ice pond and develop suitable interpretation to be installed on the site.

Salmon Fishing Bothies

Commercial salmon fishing was carried in Coigach for over 250 years, up to 1995. During its commercial heyday the local salmon fishery was an important employer and contributed significantly to community wellbeing. In addition to the main base at Badentarbet, up to eight smaller fishing stations were operated at different locations along the extensive Coigach coastline. Each fishing station included a boat slip, a net drying green and a purpose built bothy for a crew of four. This project seeks to continue the legacy of an important local fishery by preserving and restoring three well-crafted wee 19th Century buildings and making them available to 21st Century outdoor activity focused visitors. The aims of the project are to: Preserve the craftsmanship and the charm of three small bothies and fishing stations located on Coigach headlands, each with its own unique attributes and spectacular setting. Continue the legacy of the centuries old business and strengthen the attraction of Coigach as a maritime tourism destination. Restore bothies to serve as unique accommodation offerings for campers, walkers, kayakers and visitors wishing to experience our

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