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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 October 2006, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Scottish ruins to be 'preserved'
ruins - generic
Ruins across Scotland will be documented under the scheme
Volunteers are being sought for a new scheme which aims to preserve thousands of ruins across Scotland.

Many of the ruins - which include farmsteads, crofts, quarries and even an illicit still - are not documented.

The five-year project, under which 2,000 volunteers will be trained, is being made possible by a 500,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

According to the most recent survey there are at least 22,000 identified ruins across Scotland.

Although they are marked on early Ordnance Survey maps, few are recorded beyond that.

Steve Boyle, archaeologist with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland, said more ruins probably existed.

The new scheme hopes to both document the ruins and highlight their history.

Volunteers will be trained to interpret the sites for visitors, with talks and guided tours.

They will also be given training in techniques for searching local records for the documents which would help bring the ruins to life.

Mr Boyle said: "We want local communities and local community groups to get involved in looking for and recording these ruins.

"There are groups already involved in doing this sort of work in various parts of Scotland, but we are hoping to spread the message much wider."

The scheme was officially launched at the Museum of Scottish Country Life, near East Kilbride, by Culture Minister Patricia Ferguson.

An archaeologist explains the need for the project

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