NatureScot and the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020/21
Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters took place in 2020 and was extended into 2021 as a result of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on many activities. Despite these challenges the themed year led by VisitScotland was able to inspire both visitors and locals alike to explore and experience our unrivalled shores and waterways. At NatureScot we led a programme of activities to celebrate the year and help connect more people with our coasts and waters. Explore our projects below.
Message in a Bottle / Brath sa Bhuideal
Message in a Bottle is a musical composition developed by acclaimed traditional musician Ingrid Henderson in collaboration with NatureScot for the Year of Coast and Waters. The piece explores the incredible journeys of marine wildlife and seabirds, our dependence on the seas and the exchanges of language and culture around our coast, while highlighting the impact of climate change on the world’s oceans. Using a combination of music, song, Gaelic language, film and animation, Ingrid’s creative talent fuses with NatureScot’s wealth of scientific knowledge and research to celebrate Scotland’s unique marine environment.
The commission premiered at Celtic Connections in 2020 and, whilst the Covid-19 pandemic curtailed plans for a summer tour, Ingrid joined NatureScot’s Head of Marine Ecosystems in July 2020 for an online performance and discussion about the inspiration behind her work.
Message in a Bottle has now been released as an album and a Scottish tour is set for 2022. Watch this space for more information on dates.
Message in a Bottle animation
Animation by Cat Bruce
An Seòladair aig Rubha Dà Chuain
The Sailor at the point of two oceans
Lockdown Concert 2020
We hosted a Message in a Bottle, Facebook Live event, as a virtual taster of music, chat, film and animation.
In Tune with Nature
NatureScot and Fèis Rois partnered up on a competition to inspire people to connect with nature through music for the Year of Coasts and Waters. Entrants aged 16 and over were invited to compose a piece of music inspired by one of 10 National Nature Reserves across Scotland. The competition was judged by a panel of well-known faces from the Scottish music industry, including Julie Fowlis; Vic Galloway; Gill Maxwell; and Karine Polwart.
Winners received a £500 cash prize along with the opportunity to collaborate with a professional filmmaker to make a film on the National Nature Reserve which inspired their music. These films are all now complete and ready for you to enjoy below!
Isle of May
Roo Geddes and Neil Sutcliffe
Plunge In! Coasts and Waters Community Fund
The Plunge In! Fund supported 25 new community projects reflecting the amazing reach and diversity of our shorelines and waterways. The projects were chosen for their ability to engage and connect more people with our seas, coasts, lochs, rivers, streams and wetlands, and their unique wildlife. The fund aims to leave a legacy from the Year of Coasts and Waters, for example through improved skills and knowledge or the creation of a community resource. The fund is now closed but you can explore the successful projects in our storymap below.
Coasts and Waters Community Fund Story Map
NatureScot Year of Coasts and Waters Calendar 2021
We appealed to the nation for their photos and memories of Scotland's rivers, coasts, seas, lochs and canals, to feature in our calendar marking the themed year.
With over 700 entries - from underwater wildlife encounters to journeys through scenic waterscapes, spanning the length and breadth of Scotland - deciding on the final 13 was incredibly difficult. The final calendar images highlight the natural wonder, biodiversity and beauty of Scotland's coasts and waters.
Pair of Urchins
Atlantic bobtail squid
Seals in the surge