Eco-Museum of Scottish Mining Landscapes

The new virtual museum that celebrates a sense of place.

The new virtual museum that celebrates a sense of place will work with local communities to encourage people to explore the landscape of Scotland’s historic coal belt stretching from Ayrshire to Fife.

What is an eco-museum?

An eco-museum has no walls or shelving but is based on a specific landscape or territory, it celebrates a sense of place with an emphasis on public participation that benefits local communities. This project takes the Scottish Midland coalfield (reaching from Fife to Ayrshire) as its geographical boundaries for a series of community-created walking and cycling routes that explore the story of coal through the medium of landscape.

15 new landscape journeys

The original database of co-produced landscape Legacies of Coal (LLoC) routes primarily covering Stirling and Clackmannanshire, will provide the foundations of the eco-museum’s collection of 15 new ‘landscape journeys’ expanded into Fife, Midlothian, East Dunbarton, Lanark and Ayrshire.  

The project will recruit volunteers, drawn from community groups and individuals across Scotland’s former mining towns and villages, to participate in a series of approximately five skills/field sessions working in collaboration with the project team to create and design landscape journeys. These walking and/or cycling routes will be based around local points of interest (POIs) that are significant to the community’s sense of place and local mining heritage. These typically include the surviving industrial archaeology, landscapes features of former colliery sites and transport infrastructure, the associated industries, together with the social environment, e.g., housing, sport and leisure.  The POIs will be illustrated with archive maps and images, text, audio/video, and community created place-making artwork/photography.

Project Team

  • Dr. Catherine Mills (Project Director, University of Stirling)
  • Jamie McLaughlin (Senior Research Software Engineer, The Digital Humanities Institute)
  • National Mining Museum Scotland
  • Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland
  • Scottish Geological Trust
  • Yvonne Weighand Lyle (Community Artist)