Scotland’s hidden histories to be revealed from the sky

The hidden histories of Scotland are to be revealed by aerial footage that tells the story of the country’s shifting landscapes over time.

Stunning Glen Affric features in the new series of Scotland from the Sky. PIC: HES.

Aerial photography held in the Historic Environment Scotland (HES) archives will ne used to showcase Scotland’s ever-changing terrain in a new series of Scotland from the Sky on BBC One.

The footage will reveal the threat of climate change and coastal erosion to historic sites; the impact of humans on Scotland’s landscape after centuries of living off the land; and the traces of lost industries that are scattered all across the country.

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The impact of coastal erosion on land around Fort George garrison near Inverness will be revealed through the use of aerial photography. PIC: HES.

Through comparing aerial photography held in the HES archives with the view from above today, viewers will be taken on a journey to explore how Scotland’s rural and urban landscapes have changed over thousands of years.

James Crawford, Scotland from the Sky writer and presenter, and Publishing Manager at HES, said: “The second series continues the work we started with the first, with the view from above allowing us to tell the stories of Scotland’s past – and present – in new and immersive ways.

“This series takes us even further out into Scotland’s skies.”

Stunning footage of Mousa Broch on the isle of Mousa, Shetland, will cast fresh light on one of the best preserved prehistoric buildings in Europe. PIC: HES.

Mr Crawford travels across the country in a vintage Tiger Moth in search for Scotland’s ‘first motorway’ – a road built 2,000 years ago by the Romans as the first main road into Scotland.

A trip out in a helicopter across the Central Belt’s charts the areas monumental industrial heritage while a drone is used to explore some of Scotland’s most remote islands, including Staffa where traces of early farming are sought.

This series also features David Harkin, Climate Change Scientist at HES, who shows viewers why the coast at Fort George near Inverness is vulnerable to rising sea levels.

Mr Crawford added: “The view from above offers such a compelling way of telling stories. From up high you can read the landscapes of Scotland, see things you could never see down on the ground.

Presenter James Crawford flew a Tiger Moth across Scotland in order to secure the new footage. PIC: HES.

“You can glimpse Scotland’s hidden past and better understand how we’ve lived and how we’ve changed our environment over millennia. It’s the closest you can ever get to time travel.”

BBC Scotland Commissioning Executive David Harron said “We’re delighted with this second series of Scotland From the Sky. As before, Jamie has done a great job as our expert presenter and the archives at HES have provided a real treasure trove of stories to choose from. The whole series is a visual treat”

Scotland from the Sky is accompanied by the book of the same name, written by James Crawford. Photographs from the book are available to view at HES’ touring exhibition which is on display until Sunday 7 July at Fort George and from Thursday 11 July – Sunday 6 October at Arbroath Abbey.

-Scotland from the Sky will air on BBC One tomorrow (Wednesday, April 17), at 9pm.

A helicopter was also used to fly through Torridon and secure the aerial shots. PIC: HES.

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