View Article  ICHI5 ( Innovation and Cultural Heritage Interpretation ) Exchanges 2011- Dates and Destinations

Bulgaria- 15th-22nd May  FULL

Romania 21st - 28th May FULL

Turkey- 22nd-29th May  FULL

Iceland 20th- 27th June   FULL

Estonia- 22nd-29th August FULL

Latvia 4th - 11th September FULL

Eastern Slovakia- 12th-19th September FULL


View Article  Anna Craigen’s Latvia report 2011


Innes and Mara environmental guides at Pakalniesi educational centre, Latvia

“The Latvian Natural History Museum’s Guides Training Programme – throughout our travels we met a variety of qualified and trainee guides from this programme. NB: from a variety of different disciplines. The key thing that stood out for me was the clear success of the project in empowering people with the skills, techniques and confidence to lead quality, informative interpretational tours of their specific project or site.”

Anna Craigen, Community Liaison & Education Officer for Borders Forest Trust

To read Anna’s inspired report please click on the link and wait a few moments for it to open.

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View Article  Sarah Peat’s Slovakia Report 2011


“Later that afternoon we visited Cicviansky Castle. The ruined castle was fascinating with views in every direction. We heard how the castle was once used for the 4500 attended wedding of ‘Lady Dracula’ who, the story says, killed two virgins and bathed in their blood.”       

  Sarah Peat Buccleuch Heritage Trust

To read more of this report please click on the link and wait a moment for it to open

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View Article  Jo Anthony’s Slovakia Report 2011

The group with Slovakian dancers

“What is truly authentic when it comes to experiencing culture and history? Were the
tanks really just left there? Were the corn dollies an old or an invented tradition? Was Andy Warhol really Slovak? What is Slovak and what is common to Poland and other countries in the region? Is this really what Slovak people eat on a day to day basis?”

Jo Anthony, National Trust for Scotland

Just some of the questions raised for discussion during the Slovakia exchange. To read more please click on the link and wait a few moments for it to open

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View Article  Bob Clark’s Slovakia report 2011

“The visit also provided significant food for thought in terms of interactive cultural activities. The programme offered much richness in these areas, but this was really only manifested where we were invited in to people’s homes and lives: three memorable “heritage cookery” sessions with Miro’s friends, and the extraordinary experience of witnessing an evening milking of the sheep followed by seeing cheese made and then tasting it. These brought a sense of intimacy and involvement in a nation’s past and present not replicated in the still and arguably quite sterile presentational approach in the Skanzens. The pointer within this for the future at Auchindrain is perhaps to think what activities can take place within the township that represent current, real, work and/or life for those involved, even if only for a minority.”  Bob Clark,  manager Auchindrain

To read more of Bob’s report please click on the  link and wait a moment for it to open

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View Article  Cath Seed’s Latvia Report 2011



                                                     The Group at Pakalnieši Education Centre

I think that the majority of people in our group will mention a particular point within the presentation on the work that Mammadaba do at the park and that is the forest competition run for Latvian schools. What was amazing was the level of knowledge the children displayed in this competition and the passion and excitement evident, for example tree mensuration techniques such as calculating the volume of timber and the height of trees, or identifying different types of beetles. It is a reminder of how much children can absorb and grasp if provided the opportunity but also how connected the education of children can be to their natural environment – very much the ethos of the Forest Schools Initiative, something which should be embraced more across the UK.

Cath Seeds, Manager Scottish Dark Sky Observatory, New Galloway

To read Cath’s highly entertaining and informative account of the exchange to Latvia please click on the link and wait a few moments for it to open

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View Article  Sarah Douglas’s report Latvia 2011

This was my first visit to Latvia and it was a wonderful experience. We had an excellent programme, visiting a wide range of natural and cultural heritage sites, guided by staff and volunteers. We visited historic towns, castles and farms, local and national museums, visitor centres, nature reserves and environmental sites. At each of the sites we met the people involved in the management of these sites and heard about, and often experienced, their approach to environmental education and interpretation. Their explanations of their work revealed fascinating similarities and differences in expectations, approach and delivery mechanisms.”     Sarah Douglas, Interpretive consultant at Red Kite Environment.

To read Sarah’s report please click on the link and wait a moment for it to open

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View Article  Tom McGrath’s Latvia Report 2011

“This was an excellent opportunity to see how a different country tackles the complex issues of Environmental Education and I found it very interesting. The guides throughout were professional, friendly and imparted a mountain of knowledge, in short they were impressive. Unsurprisingly, given my experience and background in Country Park settings I found the visits to Tervete Nature Park, Forest Nature trail in Kabile and Pakalnieši Education Centre as the highlights of my tour and very stimulating. The dedication and obvious passion and enthusiasm of the guides at these sites was inspirational. It was impressive how natural materials were used to enhance the quality of the visit for user groups and individuals.”  Tom McGrath senior countryside ranger Angus Council

To read more of the training opportunities Tom discovered in Latvia please click on the link and wait a few moments for it to open

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View Article  Jan Moffat’s Latvia report 2011

“The program was an environmental interpretation programme organised with the Natural History Museum in Latvia which we were able to visit on our first day Sunday the 4th. The museum had a teaching area for schools which was proving very popular and was well set out. Maija the Education and Training Officer at the Museum was our guide for the week and was invaluable as an interpreter as none of our Latvian was good! Maija had also trained the other tourist guides who we met through out the week. She also trained and liaised with the natural history guides in the many Latvian Natural Parks. “  Jan Moffat, Blue Badge Tourist Guide , Cumbria

To read Jan’s report please click on the link and wait a few moments for it open

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View Article  Colin MacConnachie’s Iceland Report 2011

“We also visited the Settlement museum which, again, displays such an enlightened  approach to interpreting archaeology. In 2001 during the early stages of a new development the remains of Viking-age hall or longhouse from about 930 ad were discovered and instead of removing or rebuilding elsewhere the settlement was stabilised, contained and conserved and the new building constructed over the remains, a stunning collaboration between academics, historians, architects, designers and engineers. An excellent interpretive display surrounds the settlement recreating the farming environment of the early settlers. The exhibition shows sensitivity to place, careful integration of mixed media, multi-point accessibility and high standard of presentation.”

Colin MacConnachie Head of Learning Services with the National Trust for Scotland

To read this report and view the beautiful photographs of this amazing place please click on the link and wait a few moments for the report to open.
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View Article  Silke Reeploeg's Iceland Report 2011
“Private organisations are usually profit-driven, and tend to use natural and cultural heritage very much as a 'tourism product', so Skalanes is unique in retaining a research- and conservation-driven approach to its operations, as well as engaging their local community (both practically and spiritually). They should be promoted and supported as an example of best practice by a network of international research and interpretation professionals.

Just comparing the way in which Skalanes has embraced learning as the central aim within its conservation and cultural heritage interpretation plan, with 'traditional' conservation and research centers in Scotland has been an interesting and useful experience. “ Silke Reeploeg
Researcher and Lecturer, University of the Highlands and Islands, Centre for Nordic Studies

to read more please click on the link and wait a few moments for it to open
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View Article  Jo Scott’s Turkey Report 2011
“The exchange is intended to highlight good practice in interpretation and food tourism, to provide us with inspiration in Turkey for our own projects back in Scotland and the UK, and to identify opportunities for partnerships and to share our own knowledge and experience with those we met.
I can safely say there was no shortage of inspiration on this trip, beginning before I even left the UK, and I have a legacy of experience, discoveries and reflections that it will now be my pleasure to share with fellow interpreters and other cultural and natural heritage colleagues in the coming months. I begin that reflection here.” Jo Scott, heritage planning & interpretation consultant

To share Jo's experiences, discoveries and reflections please click on the link and wait a few moments for it to open
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