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The Wild Escape

The Wild Escape

Strathnaver Museum and local primary school pupils will be staging a Wild Escape as part of the latest round of the Alan Joyce Young Environmentalist Competition. The Wild Escape is a UK wide participatory project that brings together museums and schools inspired by the wildlife found in museum and gallery collections.

The Alan Joyce Young Environmentalist Competition 2023 will see primary schools in north west Sutherland use objects from the Strathnaver Museum collection to explore environmental history and the climate challenges we face today.

Fiona Mackenzie, Project Manager explains: “As well as telling us about important events from the past our collection can also help reveal important issues about the future. Our objects show how our ancestors made use of scarce resources, how land management has impacted our landscape today, and how coastal erosion is revealing long hidden archaeological sites.”

“Using objects from the collection the pupils will be asked to consider current environmental challenges and to imagine the future they want to see for their communities through a creative response”.

The pupils will work with an artist to create an artistic response to the museum’s collection and show their vision for the future. The children’s artwork will be displayed on an exhibition website and exhibited in Strathnaver Museum’s new exhibition space in the recently built Museum Annex at Bettyhill. A family fun day and exhibition launch will be held on 22nd April 2023 as part of Earth Day.

Museum Galleries Scotland has awarded Strathnaver Museum £3,000 as part of The Wild Escape which is made possible with support from Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants.

Lucy Casot, CEO for Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “The Wild Escape offers children across Scotland a fantastic opportunity to explore and engage with the natural world. We’re very pleased to award funding to Strathnaver Museum for its creative programme of events and activities.”


Notes to editors

About Strathnaver Museum

Strathnaver Museum is a rural history museum in Bettyhill which explores the life in the province of Strathnaver. The museum has exhibits from early history through to the modern period and stages regular events, special exhibitions and performances. The main themes explored by Strathnaver Museum are the emergence of Clan Mackay, the Highland Clearances and agricultural life.

The Wild Escape

The Wild Escape is made possible by lead support from Arts Council England’s National Lottery Project Grants, with additional support from Art Fund and a group of generous individuals and trusts.

Alan Joyce Young Environmentalist Competition

Strathnaver Museum launched the competition in memory of former biology teacher Alan Joyce who taught at Golspie and Farr High Schools between 1961 and 1988. In 1969 he supervised a winning team of pupils from Golspie High School to the finals of the BBC Young Scientist of the Year competition.

Alan’s knowledge was recognised by all and with expertise in Freshwater biology he devised some interesting projects for his pupils. Alan’s engaging approach to learning can be seen as the forerunner for today’s Curriculum for Excellence, that is, learning through experience.

Even in retirement Alan continued to share his expertise of the local natural environment with visits to schools from Achfary to Farr inspiring a new generation. He continued to engage youngsters in their studies, in a very practical manner, until shortly before his death at his home in Melness, in 2007.