European project to meet in Gatehouse

Representatives from 5 different  countries will gather in Gatehouse on 5th and 6th June to discuss progress on a European project.  The Gatehouse Development Initiative is part of the Erasmus+ project Eco-management, yesterday's knowledge, tomorrow's know-how.

Gatehouse is joined in the project by partners from France, Spain, Greece and Slovakia, who have all been looking at ways in which traditional skills can be maintained and passed  down to future generations.  They have been looking particularly at useful skills which are at risk of being lost but are essential if dry stone or lime mortar structures are to be maintained and if key elements of the landscape such as core paths are to be kept open.  The GDI has focused on the skills used in restoring features of the Designed Landscape of Cally such as the restoration of the Cally boundaries and the Temple.  We have also looked at the skills acquired by the Fleet Valley volunteers in the many projects carried out in the Fleet valley and talked to our partners about the work of the squirrel group and the use of the McMurray photographs to tell the story of Gatehouse a hundred years ago.

During the course of the project so far, members of the Rural Skills group from Kirkcudbright Academy have taken part in a dry stone walling training day in Cally woods and young people from the drop-in centre have been getting involved in cooking and learning cooking skills.  When the visitors are in Gatehouse they will have a chance to meet the Fleet Valley volunteers who will be working in the Town Hall garden.

The next phase of the project will involve young people in interviewing older people about their traditional skills and, in the autumn there will be further opportunities for training in traditional rural skills.

More about the project can be found on the website: www.ecomanagement.eu