Scotland SCAPE Fieldschool!

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Monday, January 20, 2014

The NAS is excited to be working with the SCAPE Trust and the North of Scotland Archaeological Society, as part of the Scotland’s Coastal Heritage at Risk Project.

to record the remains of 17 scuttled herring fishing boats at Loch Fleet, near Skelbo in Scotland.  The first survey is planned for the weekend of the 8th – 9th February 2014 (In the event of very poor weather conditions the survey will be re-arranged for the weekend of 22nd - 23rd February). Make sure you take gloves and a hat !!!

NAS Tutor, Steve Liscoe will be on site for the weekend for any NAS ELearners who would like to use the survey for their ELearning practical requirement.

The wrecks sit within a sandy sheltered embayment at the south side of Loch Fleet, centred at roughly NH 7968594950. They are partially covered with sand, with some elements of the boats’ structures standing above the present sand level. Those parts above the sand are largely covered by seaweed, which obscures much of the boats’ structures and will have to
be removed prior to the survey work. The area is protected as a SSSI, SPA, Ramsar and as an NNR. All permissions have been granted to carry out the survey.

These wrecks represent the remains of the fishing fleet of the nearby village of Embo, which was deliberately scuttled when the fishing industry collapsed due to the declining fish stocks, the lack of men to work the boats following war casualties and the loss of the German and Russian markets. Wooden elements, including keels, ribs and planks of the boats
survive above the level of the sand. These are heavily grown with seaweed which obscures much of the detail of the structures and will have to be removed selectively prior to the survey commencing. Stone ballast also survives in situ within the wooden structures of the boats. Metal elements of the boats, including fixtures attached to the wooden elements and a capstan, not in situ, also survive.

For more information about the weekend contact Joanna Hambly, Research Fellow at The SCAPE Trust by email on

For more information about NAS ELearning contact Mary Barber, NAS Training Manager on