News and activities

See the latest news and events related to the Landscape Legacies of Coal project. Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook for the most up-to-date info and become part of our growing community.

Inscriptions in Arcadia

Catherine recently met with visual artist Audrey Grant. Audrey’s new art work, ‘Inscriptions in Arcadia’ will invite visitors ‘to walk an existing route around the RSPB Nature Reserve at Skinflats, encountering elements of its rich industrial and cultural past through a series of [site specific] physical artwork installations that also encourage a reflection on landscapes present and imaginary’. The project has been commissioned by Forth Valley Art Beat.  

The selection of locations that relate specifically to traces of past industrial/cultural activity connects strongly to the Bothkennar Route at Skinflats on the Coal App (released earlier this year). The walk was designed by local resident, and former ‘Heritage Masters’ student Ian MacIntosh, and utilises the landscape legacies of mining, brickmaking and transport networks to narrate the history of the Grangemouth Colliery Company. Audrey and Catherine’s discussion focused on how the two projects intersect and link together. The plan is to feature images and descriptions of the artwork on the Bothkennar walk on the app. This will both provide the temporary installations with a lasting presence, and, a first for Landscape Legacies of Coal, also allow users to understand and experience industrial landscape history through an artistic lens.

The image below is of the Grangemouth Coal Company’s capped coal shaft at Barony pit which features on the Bothkennar walk and is one of the sites selected by Audrey.   

Capped Shaft Barony

© Audrey Grant (2021)

Vantage Points

The project is returning to one of the first areas of exploration, the East Stirlingshire villages and are once again collaborating with their original funder the Macrobert Arts Centre and also Scene Stirling on a series of small community engagement pilot projects ‘Vantage Points’ designed to test ideas and establish local community contacts with view to developing and art trail and event in the summer. For more information see Scene Stirling.

Photography Competition: Best Route Shot

As part of the one year birthday celebration, Landscape Legacies of Coal is holding a Photography Competition ‘Best Route Shot’. It can be anything you want a landscape, a building, or people simply enjoying the walk.

The winning entry will receive two free tickets to the National Mining Museum Scotland and a framed copy of the print. This will be exhibited in the University Art Collection as part of ‘Colliery Creatives: An Exploration of Landscape, Place and Identity’, an evening of art, film and song featuring ‘Descendants: Interconnections’ an exhibition by Yvonne Weighand Lyle.

Yvonne has kindly agreed to select the winning entry which will be announced at the birthday celebration. Please email your entries to with your name, contact details, route and title of your image.

Closing date extended until we have a new date for the postponed Birthday Party. So please keep sending your images.

Abandoned and derelict coal mine site

© Julieann McHale


Colliery Creatives - 16 April

Following guidance regarding COVID-19 unfortunately we have had to postpone the event. We hope to have new dates soon.

‘Colliery Creatives: An exploration of landscape, identity and place’ will take place in the Pathfoot Building, University of Stirling. As part of the university art collection’s exhibition year, ‘Under Threat: Artists Respond to the Environment’, this event will present ‘Descendants: Interconnections’ by Yvonne Weighand Lyle. The evening will feature film, poetry and song exploring Scotland’s Coal Mining history, heritage and communities.

The event has been created in partnership with Dr Catherine Mills (Landscape Legacies of Coal), Julie Ann McHale (PhD Candidate - Landscape and the Place of the Scottish Coal Mine: 18th Century to Present), Sarah Bromage (University of Stirling Art Collection) and Artist, Yvonne Weighand Lyle.

All are welcome to attend this free event and, of course, there will be free refreshments.

Art piece - circle of coal

Descendants © Yvonne Weighand Lyle

Landscape Legacies of Coal 1st Birthday Celebration

Following guidance regarding COVID-19 unfortunately we have had to postpone the event. Hopefully we will be able to celebrate later on in the year.

The ‘Coal App’ will be one year old in April. We have expanded from just 3 routes back in early 2019 to 10 live on the app with an additional 11 in various stages of planning. We are going to celebrate with coffee, cake (absolutely fundamental to all our field work) and a range of speakers all who have involved in making our first year a huge success. These include Murray Dickie from the Clackmannanshire Field Studies Society, Nicola Moss and David Bell from the National Mining Museum who are going to talk about their excellent but underused archives and collections.

Mining the Future: The Coal App, One Year on And What’s in Store
Catherine Mills, University of Stirling

On the Trail of Coal
David Bell, National Mining Museum Scotland

Colliery Waggonways - the Development that Shaped the Clackmannanshire Coal Industry
Murray Dickie, Clackmannanshire Field Studies Society

Miner Poets and their Landscape
Julieann McHale, University of Stirling

Going Coal Mining - Exploring the Linn Mill Walk
Kat Pruente, University of Stirling

Collieries, Canals and the Coal Baron
Lisa Snedden, University of Stirling

Past events and activities

Launch event

The ‘coal app’ was formally launched on 18th April 2019 at Creative Stirling (44 King Street). Miles Oglethorpe Head of Industrial Heritage at HES opened the event with a talk entitled ‘Losing Our Mines: Remembering the Scottish Coal industry. This was followed by Julie Ellen, the Artistic Director at MacRobert Arts Centre. Julie presented the origins of the project in ‘How Coal Created Heat: a fire starter to partnership’. This was followed by Catherine introduced the app, its aims, the content and how local communities can get involved.

Landscape Legacies of Coal app launch event Landscape Legacies of Coal app launch event Landscape Legacies of Coal app launch event  

Research Images competition

The project image titled ‘A Landscape Legacy of Coal’ was awarded second prize in the University's Research Images competition.

catherine-millls-research-images-award-760x470 legacy-of-coal-760x470

History of the Devon Colliery Beam Engine at Open Doors Day 

Andrew Wood from Clackmannan Field Studies Society and Catherine talked visitors through the History of the Devon Colliery Beam Engine at Open Doors Days 29th September, 2019. The Beam engine features on two routes on the app ‘Devon’ and ‘Alloa Waggonway Walk Three’.

beam inside building beam inside building
beam beam

Conference presentation

Catherine presented the project and the coal app at the ‘Mining History and Archaeology: Towards a Research Strategy’ conference at Leadhills, South Lanarkshire 19th October, 2019.

Catherine Mills presenting at Leadhill  


Catherine is looking forward  to collaborating with artist Yvonne Weighand Lyle, the University Art Collection and PhD student Julieann McHale on an art exhibition focusing on Newbattle parish to explore ideas around ‘mapping place’ in the context of coal mining (April-September 2020) and a public event based around the spoken word and mining landscapes (date in April 2020 TBC).

newbattle coal mine   


Catherine is also looking forward to working with Vicki Robb, Education Officer at the Mining Museum on a ‘schools project’ with Newtongrange Primary School exploring the mining community’s social landscape. Again provisional dates for this are late April/early May 2020.