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Arran Geopark kicks off a series of Gaelic landscape walks this week.
The first walk will take place on Monday March 21, coinciding with the first day of Seachdain na Gàidhlig, or World Gaelic Week – a week which celebrates Scottish Gaelic across the globe.
The walks explore the influence of Gaelic culture and language on the island.
This ranges from explaining the names of iconic mountain tops to uncovering the significance of fairies, witches and other figures on the island.
Participants will also be able to look back at the heritage of different generations of islanders, and learn how they made their living from the land.
Language and the natural environment are very closely intertwined, and place names can provide unique glimpses into what Arran looked like in previous centuries.
It gives clues about where the eagles nested, or where the reddest berries grew, or where the young deer were born.
And it gives evidence of wild animals which have long-since disappeared from Arran, but once roamed through the hills and glens.
A whole other world of meaning can be uncovered, just by interpreting place names.
No prior knowledge of Gaelic is required for the walks, they are all being delivered in English.
Thanks to North Ayrshire Council’s generous support, Arran Geopark is hoping to boost the profile of Gaelic with all sorts of walks, signage and events.
Speaking of which, have you been to the Lochranza geopark interpretation centre yet, to admire its newly-installed Gaelic tree alphabet? Some of you helped to paint it, one rainy Saturday last year!
To keep up to date with all Arran Geopark’s upcoming walks and events, find Arran Geopark on Facebook, Eventbrite or at www.arrangeopark.co.uk. Tickets for Monday’s walk – up the spectacular Glen Sannox – are on sale now, at £10 per person.
Chì sinn a-rithist sibh!