This is the theme of an exciting new initiative the friends have secured funding for from the Heritage Lottery Fund to showcase the rich and varied stories of people past and present associated with the National Park area. The strands of the project include a joint Friends and Community Partnership ‘Celebrating Park People Conference’ planned for spring 2013; the production of a series of video podcasts with local characters for use on this website and in other ways; a series of storytelling visits; and supporting exhibition and promotional materials.
Through this programme of activity the aim is to engage more with local people to capture and tell their stories and raise the overall awareness and appreciation of the rich cultural heritage and traditions of the Park. This is in line with the Friends plans to place more emphasis on cultural heritage issues alongside core conservation activities. Discussions are also underway with the National Park to explore how they can support the Friends aspirations to do more to celebrate Park people and their stories. We successfully lobbied for this theme to be included in the 2012-17 Park Plan.
We have supported the work of the Arrochar, Tarbet and Ardlui Heritage Group in 2012 with a grant for new heritage banners and improved online facilities to review local heritage records. We have also assisted the Park-wide Community Partnership with sponsorship for their annual community volunteer awards scheme.