The 40 NSAs were designated by Scottish Ministers in 1980, and cover nearly 13% of Scotland. They range from Shetland in the north to the Fleet Valley in the south, and Eildon and Leaderfoot Hills in the east to St. Kilda in the west. They include our most spectacular mountain areas, more managed landscapes, and the outstanding diversity of coastal and island landscapes. The largest is over 1400 km2, the smallest less than 9 km2.
This residency will enable the selected artist(s) to explore some of Scotland’s most outstanding landscapes, and through developing their understanding of their special qualities be able to interpret and celebrate these places. We envisage the artist(s) would
• develop an understanding of the process of identifying the special qualities of these places, and why these areas have been identified;
• be able to recognise the special qualities and how they are expressed across the individual NSA;• through engaging with the communities who live and work in the NSA, or people who visit them, explore our understanding and national recognition of what is special about these landscapes and what it means for their management of landscape change.
Better Nature - The Designed Nature of Batterby
At our conference centre at Battleby, we host a wide range of sharing good practice events across these topics for our staff and wide range of partners. In addition, Battleby is also used to host a range of meetings and activities which support the development of natural heritage policy and practice – from species introductions and nature reserve management, to National parks and access rights. The centre is set within a historic garden and designed landscape, of biodiversity interest for its collection of fine trees and shrubs and with extensive surrounding views of the scenic Perthshire landscape. Collectively, these natural assets provide an important shop window for us to communicate to the 10,000 or so people who visit Battleby each year some of the key aspects of our work.
We want to use this project to raise awareness and provoke discussion among people visiting Battleby of the range of natural heritage issues SNH is involved in both locally and nationally.
We envisage that this residency could take the form of a series of artistic interventions that can be explored by people using the centre and help to stimulate thinking and discussion on at least one issue from each of the following themes:
• Caring for nature Good practice in the management of the biodiversity of a designed landscape; tackling invasive species; action for threatened species.
• Responding to climate change Monitoring the impact of climate change on the local environment; renewable energy sources, good practice in siting and design of wind farms.
• Improving health and wellbeing Increasing public enjoyment of outdoors, provision of paths for all abilities, promoting volunteering, outdoor learning and green exercise;• Supporting the Scottish Economy Looking to the surrounding landscapes which illustrate the natural assets of Scotland – food, farming, wind energy and tourism.
The National Trust for Scotland has received funding from Creative Scotland as part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 to recruit two artists from any discipline to work as artists in residence at two key Trust sites: Inverewe Garden and Brodick Castle, Garden & Country Park. We are looking for artists who will help us develop the potential of our natural places to engage more people creatively in thinking about nature and its care.