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People, Plants, Medicine and Lore project success at Bannockburn

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A community project involving more than 1,000 people has been exploring how humans’ relationship with the natural environment has changed over the last 700 years. Discover the real Outlaw King with the History Scotland Robert the Bruce digital special.

Thanks to £9,600 Heritage Lottery funding, staff at the Bannockburn Trust site have been working with local schools, community groups and the general public to put our landscape into context and discover how we have made use of plants down the generations. The project provided practical opportunities to carry out experimental archaeology provided participants with a greater understanding of how plants in the landscape would have been preserved.

A herb garden was created in the grounds of the visitor centre which will continue to enable the community to learn about the importance of cultivating herbs in the past. Local school pupils are exploring the use of herbs through storytelling, art and literacy, and creating their own traditional remedies safely.

They are sharing their knowledge with the wider community through guided tours. Visitors to the Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre can explore the herb garden through observation, smell and touch and gain an appreciation of the knowledge needed by soldiers to survive in their natural environment.

Exploring local history at Bannockburn

National Trust for Scotland Community Ranger Laura Livingstone said: “This award has been brilliant for Bannockburn, allowing us to explore the intertwining of the natural environment and our local history with the community. So many people have had the opportunity to learn traditional skills, take part in an archaeological dig, develop presentation skills and help create a lasting legacy to this project in the form of a herb garden.”

Lucy Casot, Head of HLF in Scotland, added: “The Heritage Lottery Fund is a key partner in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and it was our ambition that people of all ages would have the chance to discover something new about the heritage they care about. With almost 100 projects happening across the country, over 15,000 people have done just that. We’re delighted that, thanks to funding from the National Lottery, The Battle of Bannockburn Experience is part of that celebration, opening the door to fun, learning and everlasting memories for many people as we celebrate this special year.”

 The landscape and parkland allow visitors to appreciate the site believed to be Bruce’s campsite before the battle, and its restored commemorative monuments including the iconic statue of Robert the Bruce. You can book your Battle of Bannockburn experience now online.

(images copyright NTS Media Pics)

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