Exhibition set to reveal an ancient landscape and local heroes
Land, Life, Water: the Clyde and Avon Valley Past and Present
An exhibition celebrating the ‘picturesque and sublime’ Clyde and Avon Valley and the people working to protect it, will open on Saturday 17 February at Chatelherault Visitor Centre, Hamilton.
‘Land, Life, Water: the Clyde and Avon Valley Past and Present’, and an exciting accompanying programme of events, will showcase over 70 projects that have taken place since 2011, as part of the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) – one of many UK based, large scale Landscape Partnership schemes supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Visitors to the multi-media exhibition will be immersed into the local landscape just south of Glasgow and west of the Central Belt, which has been a favourite for tourists, artists and writers for over 250 years. It’s no wonder that the Wordsworths, J M W Turner and Sir Walter Scott joined other tourists in flocking to the area in the mid 19th century - known today for; New Lanark World Heritage Site; the ancient woodlands in the Clyde Valley National Nature Reserve; the Clyde Walkway; retaining the highest concentration of orchards in Scotland; and stunning gorge landscapes like those found at Falls of the Clyde.
Curated around the themes of land, life and water, visitors will be able to discover the story of the landscape through history to the present day. Visitors will be able to piece together their own story using historical objects, interactive maps, works of art created by local schools and youth groups, and historical paintings on display.
Alongside historical items on display, including Roman Samian ware, a Bronze Age mortar, agricultural implements, jam jars, and recent finds from ‘Castle’ Qua near Lanark and Black Hill near Kirkmuirhill, visitors will be able to get up close and personal with various handling objects, such as an apple and honey press, and horse tacks.
The achievements of the £5 million CAVLP programme, set up to celebrate and enhance the area’s landscape and cultural heritage with a range of organisations, social cooperatives, community groups, individuals and volunteers, will also be showcased. Over 70 projects took place under the CAVLP scheme, delivered by key partners South Lanarkshire Council, North Lanarkshire Council, Central Scotland Green Network Trust, Clydesdale Community Initiatives, New Lanark Trust, Northlight Heritage, RSPB Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Wildlife Trust, and a range of delivery organisations.
It will reveal the results of historical research and archaeological discoveries, highlight new trails and improved access, show the work undertaken to conserve and improve the ecology, and celebrate the training, skills development and volunteering which local people have enjoyed through so many successful projects.
There will also be a series of FREE hands-on events, workshops, talks and walks during the exhibition, which include those outlined below. More will be announced on the events page, where all booking details will be provided.
- Treasured Remains: Tomb Readers, Cambusnethan, Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 February, 10am – 4pm. Using digital photography to uncover details on stone carvings with Archaeology Scotland
- RSPB Baron’s Haugh Nature Reserve Guided Walk, Sunday 18 February, 10am – 12 noon. Meet in reserve car park, ML1 2PZ
- Bronze Age Pottery and Celtic Head Fun Workshop, Chatelherault Country Park, Tuesday 20 February; Saturday 3, Saturday 6 and Saturday 17 March, 11am – 1pm and 2 – 4pm
- Introduction to Bike Maintenance, Larkhall and District Volunteer Group, Saturday 24 February, 11am – 2pm
- Willow Tunnel Maintenance Skills, Chatelherault Country Park, Wednesday 21 February, 10:30am – 12:30pm
- The Living Landscapes of Chatelherault walk series, Friday 23 February; Friday 2, Friday 9 and Saturday 17 March, 1 – 3pm
- The Wassail of Larkhall, Quarter Boolin’ Club, Saturday 24 February, 11am – 4pm. Make decorative walking sticks and spring garlands, traditional music and a walk through Chatelherault Country Park, ending in the Applebank Inn, Larkhall
- Symphony for the Land, The Green Bridge, Chatelherault Country Park, Sunday 25 February, 11:30am – 1:30pm. Create your own instruments and noise makers, or just use your voice, to join in with the human symphony
- Arboreal Walk drop-in, Duke’s Monument, Barncluith, Hamilton, Sunday 25 February, 1 – 5pm. Use a map to discover the area including plants and animals, and use your findings to take part in some drawing activities around the fire pit
- Spring Forward Walk, Hamilton, Sunday 25 February, 2 – 3:30pm. Create a swinging ball and join a celebratory walk from the Covan Burn to the Duke’s Monument, Barncluith
- Saturday 3 March, Guided Ride: Larkhall – Chatelherault Country Park, via NCR74, 11am – 2pm
- Thursday 8 March, Lower Nethan Gorge walk with Scottish Wildlife Trust, 10am – 1pm, meet Crossford village Hall. More details to be announced soon at www.clydeandavonvalley.org/join-in/events
- Saturday 17 March, Treasured Remains: What lies beneath? Graveyard Geophysics, 10am – 4pm
- Saturday 17 March, Family Fun Day, Hamilton Palace Sports Grounds, 10am – 3pm. Drop-in activities, no booking required. Superheroes bike ride, cycling track, stalls and more
- Sunday 18 March, Family Fun Day, Larkhall Leisure Centre, 10am – 3pm. Drop-in activities, no booking required. Superheroes bike ride, cycling track, stalls and more
The exhibition has been curated by CAVLP Heritage, a project delivered by Northlight Heritage and is supported by Historic Environment Scotland, and Heritage Lottery Fund and South Lanarkshire Council LEADER supported CAVLP.
Dr Paul Murtagh, Northlight Heritage Project Officer says, “It’s been an amazing experience working on the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership. We are truly privileged to have worked in such a beautiful landscape that has such a rich heritage and with some amazing and hard working volunteers.”
He continues, “The curation and design of an exhibition is always hard but our task has been made all the harder because of vast amount of activity that has taken place as part of CAVLP over the last five years. We’ve included as much as possible into the exhibition, to make it a real celebration of the partnership as well as making it interesting, revealing and fun for visitors. While this exhibition will highlight the best of CAVLP it is only really a snap shot of all the fantastic work that has been carried out here.”
Leader of South Lanarkshire Council, Councillor John Ross says, “I hope as many people as possible take the time to visit this exhibition and appreciate the wide variety of projects the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership have been involved in over the past few years.”
He continues, “As well as the exhibition, there are a number of events taking place across South Lanarkshire which will appeal to people of all ages – there really is something for everyone. I would like to thank the Landscape Partnership for all the hard work they have put in over the past few years to deliver a number of events, projects and community engagement activities which have greatly enhanced the area’s landscape and cultural heritage.”
Lucy Cascot, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland says, “Our species and habitats are under constant threat, yet they make a massive contribution to our economy. The enormous pressures upon them mean that we have to approach landscape restoration and conservation on a bigger scale than ever before.”
She continues, “Thanks to funding from the National Lottery, the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership is one of ten Landscape Partnerships currently underway in Scotland. It’s bringing real cohesion to the natural and built heritage of the Clyde and Avon Valley with a diverse range of fascinating projects and activities. I would urge everyone to get involved, to uncover, cherish and have fun with the heritage that is yours.”
An online version of the exhibition will be available for those unable to access the exhibition at Chatelherault Visitor Centre, from Saturday 17 February at www.clydeandavonvalley.org/museum
The exhibition is FREE, and will be open daily from Saturday 17 February until Sunday 18 March, 10am - 5pm. For a full list of the exhibition events, visit www.clydeandavonvalley.org/join-in/events