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The protection of Scottish battlefields

17 September 2008

Historic Scotland today stated that no decision had been taken on whether Bannockburn would be granted protection in any future inventory of historic battlefields.

Contrary to recent reports, the criteria for designation as a historic battlefield and the means by which such a site would be protected have not been decided.

Dr Gordon Barclay, Historic Scotland Head of National Policy, said: “We clearly recognise the significance of the site of the Battle of Bannockburn and Ministers will take that into account when the decision is taken on how best to protect Scotland’s battle sites.

“Scottish Ministers are currently considering the responses to a consultation on how we improve the protection of Scotland’s battlefields and will make a decision in due course. It is simply unhelpful to speculate at this stage  on which sites may or may not  meet the criteria: no draft list exists.”

The proposal put forward in the consultation paper is that Scotland adopts a non-statutory Inventory of important Battlefields - inclusion would mean that a battlefield became a material consideration in the planning process.

In preparing the consultation paper Historic Scotland commissioned research from the Battlefields Trust and the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at Glasgow University. The consultation closed on July 24.

Dr Barclay added: ““We recognise how important battlefields are in contributing to our understanding of key turning points in our history and our shared identity. They are also the last resting place of our ancestors and should be respected accordingly which is why we encouraged so many heritage groups, interested parties and members of the public to contribute to the consultation.

“I would like to thank all of those people who took the time to share their views, which will help shape the final policy and ensure that Scotland’s most important battlefield sites are afforded greater protection.”

Notes for editors

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • The Scottish Historic Environment Policy  (SHEP) series sets out Scottish Ministers strategic policies for the historic environment and provides greater policy direction for Historic Scotland.

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For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873