Ceumannan – Staffin Ecomuseum in Scotland

The Ceumannan – Staffin Ecomuseum is located in the district of Staffin in the Highlands of Scotland on the Isle of Skye, which is the region’s northernmost island. The Trotternish is the northernmost peninsula of the Isle Skye. Staffin is a district on the northeast coast of the Trotternish Peninsula. An Taobh Sear is the Gaelic name for Staffin. The district includes 23 townships. The district retains a strong Gaelic identity with the language still being widely spoken and used. Cuemannan is the Gaelic word for footsteps which is significant for this area as there have been multiple findings of Dinosaur footprints and tracks.

Staffin Ecomuseum

The  Ceumannan – Staffin Ecomuseum is comprised of 13 sites. The geology and nature of the Ecomuseum area are divided into three categories: The Trotternish Ridge, The Coastline, and the Inland which includes rivers, lochs, woodlands and other features.

The District of Staffin. Image source: By Diliff (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

Geography of Staffin

The Coastline boasts cliffs, lochans, and grassy platforms. The coastal rocks are mostly Jurassic and spectacularly form stacks, pinnacles, and other features. The Trotternish Peninsula extends from Portree to Rubha Hunish. A great ridge from Sgurr-Mòr to the Storr forms the backbone of the peninsula. The Trotternish Peninsula and Ridge are of specific scientific interest (SSSI) for their geology, botany, and bird populations. The Storr is the highest peak on the Ridge. The Quiraing is a massive rock face feature of the Ridge. The Inland’s notable features are the Lealt River and the Kilmartin river, the Loch Mealt, Loch Cuithir, and Loch Fada.

The Storr
Loch Fada. Image source: By Remi Mathis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Local Staffin

There is a local museum that houses Dinosaur remains found on the Trotternish Peninsula. Sky Museum of Island Life is in nearby Kilmur, Scotland and is a village of reconstructed cottages with a collection of artifacts of the crofting lifestyle of the Gael.

In September of 2016, the Ecomuseum was awarded a half million pound grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for further development. The funding was specifically awarded to Staffin Community Trust. With this new funding, a second phase project is being planned. There are hopes of constructing a viewing platform at Lealt Gorge, creating a central ‘orientation point,’  employing a full-time project manager, and improving footpaths and signage. The start date of this project is still in the works and is a very exciting development for the Ecomuseum.

The Quiraing information panels at one of the 13 Ecomuseum sites. Image source: John Allan [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


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