A new mini guide to place names in the west of Lochaber was launched at the Royal National Mod on Tuesday 15 October, celebrating both the cultural and natural heritage of the area.
The bilingual booklet, Gaelic in the Landscape: The Rough Bounds of Lochaber, has been produced as part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013 celebrations. It features the area from Loch Shiel, along the Road to the Isles to Mallaig.
Local volunteer Dr Heather Clyne, with training and support from Dr Jacob King of Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba (AÀA), the national advisory partnership for Gaelic place-names in Scotland, collected information from members of the community on more than 100 place names.
Many of these names and their associated stories have never appeared in print before.
We've received a paper copy of the guide at UKH Towers, and we're struck by how attractive and well produced it is.
Combining local knowledge and historical research, 'Rough Bounds...' examines the names of both landscape and human features, concentrating on the smaller places that are now deserted and may never have made it onto on maps. It's an interesting resource for anyone keen on this fantastic hillwalking area, and nicely supplements the info available elsewhere on the names of major hills.
The guide was co-ordinated by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and AÀA, with additional funding from Gaelic research project Soillse.
Project co-ordinator Emily MacDonald of SNH said:
'Understanding the meaning behind place-names gives a real insight into the landscape and its links with people and the Gaelic language. This new bilingual publication, which focuses on local place name knowledge passed down through generations, really highlights these connections.'
Eilidh Scammell of AÀA said:
'The preservation of Scotland’s Gaelic place-names is very much at the heart of AÀA and we are delighted to have been a part of this project, which we hope will secure their future in Lochaber’s landscape, and help future generations understand the connections between the language and the land.'