Identity and heritage


Group of people standing in a dig site


Heritage is an integral part of identity at local, regional and national level. Heritage can include cultural legacy – our history, accumulated material culture, social customs and artistic achievements – but also natural heritage: the geology and topography of the landscape, flora and fauna of a region. For historical and cultural geographers, heritage is about the implications of the deployment and utilisation of the past in the present: the legacy of places, monuments and cultural artefacts (e.g. songs, poetry paintings and photographs). Debate about the construction and interpretation of heritage, both natural and cultural, is a further research area. The management of heritage resources powerfully overlaps with issues of social inclusion, access to and control over assets more generally in contemporary rural communities, both in our own region and beyond.

Within this theme, the Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research (CRTR) is a well-established research centre in Fort William and provides research and consultancy services, on subjects as diverse as adventure recreation, marine tourism, tourism product development and digital marketing. Staff members at the centre work closely on a number of initiatives with the School of Adventure Studies, the UK’s leading provider of adventure and marine tourism education, and other UHI partners, such as the Centre for Mountain Studies.

Research themes addressed by members of the SILK group include:

  • Natural/cultural landscape and identity in mountain/upland and coastal regions
  • Identity and heritage
  • Gastro-tourism
  • Adventure recreation, maritime and coastal tourism and tourism product development
  • Digital marketing
  • Slow adventure

Research in these subjects is carried out at the following centres, follow the links to find out more:

Institute for Northern Studies

Centre for History

Centre for Recreation and Tourism Research (CRTR)

Archaeology Institute

Centre for Mountain Studies (CMS)

Laurence Mee Centre for Society and the Sea