Conservation workers for the National Trust for Scotland are preparing to walk in the footsteps of Charles Edward Stuart to help protect the heritage of Culloden Battlefield.
Workers at Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre are launching a step challenge with aims of walking 500,000 steps in six weeks to raise money for Culloden’s Fighting Fund.
The fund was established by the conservation charity earlier this year following numerous threats by developers for the construction of commercial development beside the battlefield.
The challenge, launching on July 23, will virtually cover the same 800-mile distance taken by Charles Edward Stuart in the 1745 rising.
The team have launched a JustGiving page with hopes of raising £10,000 in support of their campaign.
Tracing Culloden’s historic origins
Operations manager Raoul Curtis-Machin said the team are determined to follow in the footsteps of history.
He said: “Counting all their steps together, the team here at the Visitor Centre and Battlefield are committed to covering the same 800-mile distance as Charles Edward Stuart did in the 1745 Rising.
“From landing on the Hebridean Isle of Eriskay, then raising the standard at Glenfinnan, he marched through Edinburgh and Carlisle, progressing as far as Derby, before turning back up north to make a final stand at Culloden.
“The Culloden Step Challenge kicks off on 23 July, the same day in 1745 when the Prince landed to begin the campaign.
“The team has estimated that an individual would have to walk or run two million steps to cover the 800 miles which the Jacobite’s covered. A unique medal will be offered to anyone brave enough to complete a sponsored two million step challenge.”
Culloden construction threats
The National Trust for Scotland is battling off threats for proposed developments they fear will tarnish the historic area.
Proposals to covert the Treetops equestrian centre into a leisure resort comprising of 13 lodges, a restaurant and a shop were thrown out by Highland councillor’s last year over concerns for road safety.
It marked the second time proposals for a holiday village had been lodged by the developer for the Culloden Moor site; generating stark objections by local conservationists.
Visitor services manager Debbie Reid appealed to the public to take on their own virtual challenge in support of their cause.
She added: “Everyone at Culloden is extremely passionate about the land we protect and when we launched the new Culloden Fighting Fund initiative, we were keen to do our bit and get involved.
“It will be a challenge to walk over 800 miles in just six weeks, but we are confident we can make it.
“We’re hoping people will be just as keen as us to get involved and support the site by taking on their own virtual challenge and we have some exciting content lined up to keep everyone engaged and feel like they are stepping through history.”
Mr Curtis-Machin thanked the public for their support.
He added: “This is a really exciting challenge combining history, health and wellbeing. I hope lots of people will take part – get a bit of healthy exercise, learn a little, and raise money for a great cause.
“We are so grateful for all the ongoing support that we receive and the support for our charity, helping us protect the places we all love. We hope that many folk will sign up for this.”
Anyone wishing to take part can email ‘SIGN ME UP’ to CFFund@nts.org.uk for more details.