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Cateran Ecomuseum

The School Of The Moon

‘Cha neill e Sgoille a phaipear ghaell bhami ciallachadh, ach sgoille-na-geallaich’ – [It is not the School of the White Paper that I am thinking of, but the School of the Moon.] The ‘Halkit Stirk’, c17th.

Attributed to the famous Cateran leader the Halkit Stirk, the ‘School of the Moon’ referred to how the Cateran warriors learnt and practised their age-old culture of midnight cattle raids under the light of the moon. This activity went on for generations throughout the 17th and 18th centuries in the same glens and lowlands in which the people of the Cateran Ecomuseum now live.

‘Cattle’ – Joseph D Adam, 1878

Whilst today we are not encouraging you to raid your neighbours cattle (!), celebrating our cultural and natural heritage in the landscape is central to what we do, so we would like to invite you to join us in creating a new ‘School of the Moon’ for our times, one where we can imagine, learn, share and create together.

We want the ‘School of the Moon’ to be community-led and to offer an annual programme of intergenerational learning and activities within the landscape of the Ecomuseum. We are currently in the consultation phase of the programme, which is being  led by Victoria Mcmillan, PhD Candidate in Cultural and Museums Studies at Nottingham Trent University and one of the new leaders of the Ecomuseum movement in the UK, and we are looking to get as many people as possible involved in helping to plan what these activities could involve.

These activities could be anything from community-designed maps, walking trails steeped in the folklore of the land, to interactive games, workshops and events exploring specific skills and themes. From archaeology days to weaving, from art, music and food to nature identification and conservation. The aim of the programme is to get folk in our local communities to come together to celebrate their place, their community wisdom and their skills to be shared between people of all ages and all backgrounds uniting to improve connections – to each other, to the land and the nature around us.

This first phase of the project will run over this autumn and winter and into spring culminating in a week of launch activities in May 2023.

Lighting the fire, photo Clare Cooper


We warmly invite you to help co-create the future of this project and share your wisdom and creativity for the sorts of things that you would like to see available to your community. You can do this in a number of ways from simply giving ideas to getting more deeply involved. Everyone and all ages welcome!!

Virtual Ideas Box: Add your voice to our virtual Ideas Box to give your views on what you would like to see happen, what your community needs, and to shape the future of the School of the Moon with your own needs. Find the Ideas Box at this link here 

Get in Touch: If you have any ideas that you could contribute to the School of the Moon we would love to hear from you! Maybe you have a great idea for an activity that could take place in your local landscape, or perhaps you are involved in a community group that would be interested in collaborating, or maybe you have time to volunteer with developing the communities ideas into ready-to-go activities, or other skills you think could help the School of the Moon. Whatever your thoughts please get in touch! Send an email to Victoria at [email protected].

Rainbow on the way to Blairgowrie, photo Victoria McMillan

Community Information Meetings: Keep an eye out in your local community newsletters and on our events page and Facebook for dates of community information and idea-gathering sessions happening in person and on-line from September 21st 2022.

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