Progress at December 2016

best aerial Mark 1                                                                                  Autumn 201 6

overgrown map in 2011       DCIM119GOPRO     

before start of restoration October 2015                                   October 2015

    20160102_151132     DCIM100MEDIADJI_0092.JPG

                                     February 2016                                                         March 2016

  Viewing tower 1     

                                                                            September 2016


It is 6 years since we formed our charity and 3 years since we secured our grant aid approvals to allow a start to expenditure and restoration.  Before that, we were limited to clear-up work and damage limitation that we could carry out without spending money.  Our heritage, cultural and educational objectives are now in place and have resulted in a very dramatic increase in visitor traffic, local, national and international.  All the major civil engineering work is complete: safety fence; surrounding footpath; water supply distribution and overflow pipework; sea bed sealing and sea areas flooded; foundations repaired and reinforced; information panels and a new viewing tower installed.  We have now delivered all the objectives declared to our sponsors and grant providers, stabilising and restoring the structure of the Great Map to a better condition than when it was abandoned in 1980.  We have established a global communication network based on our website, Facebook site and links to other Polish cultural sites.  These sites publicise the historical and cultural significance of the Great Polish Map of Scotland.

Mapa Scotland now enters a new phase of care, maintenance and further improvement that will need a new business plan and new custodians.  The current trustees and small volunteer workforce has an average age of around 65.  We need a succession plan involving local interest groups and younger enthusiasts.

1.  Funding, spending and support in kind.

During the year we have received numerous donations via post, from our collection boxes at the hotel and at the map.  We have received £6747 gift aid payment from HMRC.  This was allocated towards the cost of the viewing tower.  Materials and support in kind have been provided from many members and well wishers including Barony Castle Hotel and staff.  Where specialist contractors were used, local companies have been engaged wherever possible.  This contributes to the local economy.  The work in kind from our Trustees and volunteer workforce is valued to date well above our target of £100,000 for the duration of the project.   Our annual accounts for the year are published separately each year in the spring and these are audited by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator.

2.  Licensing.

We abstract and return water from the Fairy Dean Burn under our abstraction and impoundment licence from Scottish Environmental Protection Agency to draw water from the burn and return it.  We are operating under our interim licence, to be followed by a full licence when operating experience has been consolidated.

3.  Rubble clearance, clean-up and landscaping.

Over the past three years we have removed over 200 tonnes of soil, vegetation and concrete rubble from the pit; surrounding footpaths with wheelchair access and a safety fence have been installed.  Surrounding landscaping has been completed.  A bench has been installed to commemorate our great historian Kim Traynor, who very sadly died in 2015.  Spring flowers have been planted around the embankments.

Kim bench with flowers      20150306_123547

4.  Construction and restoration

Repair of foundations with mass concrete has reached 40,000kg poured to date. Detailed repair of topography has reached 10,000kg poured and sculpted.  The pace of topography restoration and other work continues to be limited by our available volunteers for much of the detailed work.  Detailed sculpting of the topography and water supply extension to the heads of the glens remain as continuing labour-intensive tasks.  A new viewing tower has been designed and installed, providing a view of Scotland from a map-scale altitude of 58,000 metres.

Viewing tower 1

New viewing tower        

5.  Water supply system, leak sealing and testing.

We have confirmed that available water supply capacity from the burn is adequate to maintain water level through the dry season.  Whenever work does not require draindown,

the sea remains flooded in order to minimise vegetation growth.  In sunny weather, algae tends to accumulate and this is being removed routinely.  Dosing with barley straw has been successful in inhibiting most of the algae growth.  Autumn leaf fall onto the map and surrounding sea presents another routine challenge for our working parties.

 FullSizeRender14         FullSizeRender15

6.  Media and Education

We continue to give talks to local and national groups about the map and its history.     Visitor traffic has increased very significantly over the year, particularly since we opened the new viewing tower.  We have hosted many visits to the map, including local cubs and brownies, business groups and local and national interest groups.  Local businesses and the army have provided help to us as team training for their staff under their community assistance programmes.

Our website is at (with Polish text included), and Facebook site at  There is also a Wikipedia site.

7.  Barony Castle Hotel  LLP

Barony Castle Hotel is a major partner, supporter and land owner, providing us with the site lease, support in kind and matched funding of £25,000.  The hotel also guarantees free public access to the map as a condition of our grant-aid obligations to the Heritage Lottery Fund.

8.  The Future

The limitations on progress from here on will be future finance and volunteer labour.  We have delivered all our declared objectives for our grant providers and sponsors, and cleared all completion audits.  This does not mean that the work needed to preserve and enhance the map is complete.  We are often asked “When will you be finished?”  The answer is never.  This is Scotland’s version of painting the Forth Bridge.  Continued improvement of the landscape has no end point.  Our available and capable volunteer workforce is extremely small with an unhealthy age profile for strenuous labour.  We are indebted to them all (you know who you are).  The business model of Mapa Scotland must change at the next AGM.

Future major restoration works and maintenance will depend upon having the money to employ commercial contractors to carry out future work.  We have a small but immensely valuable income stream from donations and membership subscriptions, and further grant aid must be sought for any major work.  The Mapa Scotland trustees and our very small volunteer group will continue to provide as much as possible for project support and management.  We have conspicuously failed to engage local community groups to join in the effort, and the future health of the project will depend on a transfer to more local ownership.  These matters will be presented for discussion at our 2017 AGM in the spring.


The Mapa Scotland Trustees: Keith Burns, David

Cameron, Roger Kelly, Graham Little, Nick Macdonald, David Peck.



  K Trafas in 1990s, Krakow University                Jan-Tomasik

           Jan Tomasik                                      Kasimierz Trafas

The men who made it happen in 1975


Donation Box