In the last week we have reached an important milestone – a group of volunteers visited Mauldslie estate in the CAVLP area to do their first on-site recording using the form on the tablets and a second, printed form.

Mauldslie as shown in William Forrest's map of the County of Lanark (Imprint 1816). By permission of the National Library of Scotland

Mauldslie as shown in William Forrest’s map of the County of Lanark (Imprint 1816). By permission of the National Library of Scotland.

For recording purposes, we break down the site into eleven landscape components and then enter the significant elements of each component on the tablet, either choosing from a prepared list or entering anything that we find that is not on the list. A limited number of photos are taken on the tablet and tied into the form, as are records of any trees related to specific components. Special characteristics of individual elements are noted by hand on the paper form. Additional photos can be taken on the digital camera also provided as part of the recording kit.

Maudslie map and tablet

Ruth and Willie working with map and tablet at Mauldslie. Note also the carrying case for the tablet and camera – not something that we’re likely to leave behind! Photo: Lorna Innes, Northlight Heritage

The Mauldslie visit took place on a wonderfully sunny day and a good time was had by all. One volunteers remarked in an email in the evening of the visit “great day, learned a lot”. For the tutors it was particularly encouraging to see that the volunteers had used their IT skills to download historical maps prior to their visit and their interpretation skills to put together something of the site’s history. It was also good to hear that the maps had provided information that was unknown to at least one person who was familiar with some parts of the site, giving them increased understanding of the workings of an estate of this size in the 19th century, and this estate in particular.

As we now understand that there is a Conservation Management Plan in place for Mauldslie drawn up by Land Use Consultants and Christopher Dingwall, it has been decided to use Mauldslie simply as a training site with the relevant forms filled in by Project Manager Dr Olivia Lelong and Project Officer Lorna Innes.