Progress Report at March 2019

Mapa Scotland
Progress Report, March, 2019

1. Summary

2018 was the 100th anniversary of Polish independence. By a happy coincidence, we were able to mark the completion of the map restoration objectives we embarked on when we finally secured the required grant aid needed in November 2013. During restoration, we unearthed more challenges than we anticipated, particularly the serious condition of the map foundations, pipework and leaky sea-bed. These discoveries led to the need for more money and time. Our principal sponsors plus public and member donations delivered the money and our small team of volunteers and contractors delivered the work.

On April 12th 2018 we celebrated completion with a reception and gathering at Barony Castle, with representatives from Polish and Scottish Government Ms Fiona Hyslop, Edinburgh Polish Consul Mr Dariusz Adler, Minister Jan Józef Kasprzyk, Head of the Office for War Veterans and Victims of Oppression Warsaw, UK Polish Ambassador Dr Arkady Rzegocki, Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Polish Cultural Association, Polish ex-Combatants’ Association and many other representatives of our region’s Polish diaspora.

The rest of the year was spent in consolidation of our position with routine maintenance work, stumpery and planting, new benches, new leaflets (Polish and English), construction of a new access path to the map rim and addition of direction signs from the hotel car park, many public talks to interested groups. We have noted a dramatic increase in visitor numbers and leaflet take-up.

2. Promotion and education

The Mapa Scotland website and Facebook site will continue as our main sources of historical and educational material. We are very pleased to have established support links with the General Maczek School Edinburgh, Abbeyhill Primary School Edinburgh, Edinburgh Polish Scouts, Saturday Polish School in Hawick.

3. Further development

There is never a shortage of suggestions from visitors for ways to improve the map. Regular suggestions:

Higher viewing platform
Colour shade/contour the topography (high maintenance)
Add location labels (we already have a location board on the viewing platform)
Model ships, railways etc. (??)
Son et Lumiere?

All such possibilities are subject to future fund raising and decisions by future officers.

Social media feedback varies from “amazing and unique” through “worth a visit” to “boring” thankfully with the bias heavily towards the favourable:

• “Visited the Polish Map of Scotland at Barony Castle. What a wonderful piece of history. Maybe could do with a little colour, but when you think of the love and passion that has gone into the building of this, map and the information written, it becomes quite emotional.”

• A delegation from The Salvation Army was at Barony Castle for a conference and church venue last autumn. The Great Map was bathed in light for evening prayers under the starlit sky. “What an incredible job on the restoration – it looked fantastic!”

• “Boring. “Totally rubbish …waste of a day …. ugly lump of stuff not even good to look at …”

• “Great display of wonderful masonry work on a grand scale. This presentation of Scotland is fabulous and the attached history makes it a great sight to see for all, young and old.”

• “An amazing piece of workmanship with a fascinating story behind it.
Don’t understand how being from the Edinburgh/Lothians area I hadn’t heard about this sooner. Would highly recommend if you’re in the area and hopefully funds can be raised to make a higher viewing platform as this was the only slight downside.”

• “Amazing. An extraordinary historic map. Situated in fantastic, lovely woodland paths. Boards with map stories. Viewpoint next to the map.”

• “Hidden gem. Wonderful piece of history. Well worth a visit. We visited a few years ago during its restoration. What a difference. Situated in lovely woodland walks.”

• “This presentation of Scotland is fabulous and the attached history makes it a great sight to see for all, young and old.”

4. Funds and Membership

Future funds to support maintenance and development will depend on the strength of our membership and public donations through our collection boxes at the map and hotel.

5. The Future

Mapa Scotland’s lease of the map with Barony Castle Hotel LLP runs until 30th June 2023. Until that time Mapa Scotland will continue with routine maintenance within the capabilities of our volunteers, our maintenance funds and future public donations.

We now need more local community involvement along with other local interest groups. Without this the long- term future of the map will be at risk again. The current committee needs new blood to prevent this unique piece of local history from ever being lost and forgotten again.

On behalf of all our volunteer force,

the Mapa Scotland Trustees: Keith Burns, David Cameron, Roger Kelly, Majka Kozlowska, David Peck.

Time line for the Great Polish Map of Scotland
1974 – 2014
Commissioned: Jan Tomasik, 1974
• Designed and built: Dr Kasimierz Trafas and team from Krakow, 1975 – 1979 along with local labour.
• Abandoned early 1980s
• “Rediscovered” late 1990s
• Mapa Scotland restoration campaign launched, 2010
• Debris and vegetation clearance started, 2010
• Mapa Scotland Charity established June 2012
• Main funding in place, November 2013
• Restoration works and heritage research started, February 2014

2014 – 2017
• Safety fence installed, pit wall repaired and rendered, new coping added
• 250 tonnes of debris removed and recycled as foundations for landscaping
and stumperies
• 300m of underground pipework replaced and seabed sealed with bentonite
• All insecure foundations of rusty cans and rubble replaced by frost resistant
concrete; damaged surface repaired with frost resistant mortar
• New viewing tower designed and built
• Heritage Lottery and European Leader Fund completion audits cleared
January 2017
• Map development and heritage promotion continue
• European Heritage Conference, Krakow, Summer 2017
• Royal Geographical Society, London, Summer 2017
• Foundation and topography repairs completed, August 2017
• Surface stabilisation, protection and painting completed, December 2017
• Total concrete and mortar added, 14,000 litres
• Total weight added: 34 tonnes. Equal to a concrete cube 2.4m x 2.4m x 2.4m

April 12th 2018
Opening ceremony and reception hosted by Polish Consulate Edinburgh.

Major Grant providers for restoration:
Barony Castle Hotel LLP, Blackwood & Smith, Borders Council, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh, European Leader Fund, Polish Foreign Ministry, Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland Support Fund, Landfill Communities Fund, Maczek Memorial Trust, Polish Connections Scotland, Scottish Borders Council, Scottish Polish Cultural Association, Wojtek Trust, two major anonymous donations, and you the public.
The Mapa Scotland volunteer squad, The Royal Highland Fusiliers 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland, EDF Torness, Royal Bank of Scotland, Local scouts, guides, cubs and brownies.
Major Contractors:
Ladywood, Glendinning Groundworks, Differentia Design, Prettybright Design, Gordon Wilson (Peebles), I W Design, A1 Sprayers Edinburgh, Elmbank Printing, The Blazing Blacksmith.




If Isobel, daughter of Mr. Bill Robson who played a major part in constructing the map at Barony, should happen to see this message, could she please get in touch with Mapa Scotland via our “Contact us” page accessed from the menu above?

Review of 2014


  1. Introduction.

It is now 12 months since we secured our grant aid to allow a start to expenditure.  Before that, we were limited to clear-up work and damage limitation that we could carry out without spending money.  The clear-up work continues and our media and education programme is growing. We are buying tools and major plant items, and using contractor support where possible.  Good summer weather has been a major help.

Winter sunset over the Cairngorms 1

  1. Funding, spending and support in kind.

During the year we received a new grant of £3000 from the Polish Foreign Ministry towards sea-bed related hydraulics work.  This is an item for which we under-budgeted due to the unexpected discovery of significant permeability of the sea bed areas.  We have also received numerous smaller donations, materials and much support in-kind from many members and well wishers.  Where specialist contractors are being used, local companies are sought wherever possible.  This contributes to the local economy.  The work-in-kind from our Trustees and Steering Group is valued at a minimum of £100,000 for the duration of the project.

  1. Licensing

During the year we secured an abstraction and impoundment licence from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) to draw water from the Fairy Dean Burn, and return it.  This took the form of an initial interim licence followed by a full licence dependent on installing a passive control weir at our intake point. The design for this weir is under development.

  1. Rubble clearance and clean-up.

This is a process without a clear end.  During the year we have removed over 120 tonnes of soil, vegetation and concrete rubble from the pit.  This was helped enormously during the spring by the involvement of the No. 2 Scots Royal Regiment of Scotland from Glencorse Barracks in Penicuik.  Their return to Afghanistan for more important duties was a sad loss to us.  However, their return will hopefully mean we can re-establish our alliance with them.  A new pressure washer augmented our manual cleaning operation and accelerated the removal of 40 years of moss, weeds and atmospheric pollution staining of the concrete.  At year-end we are about 95 per cent complete with major surface clean up.

Galloway hills looking north Dec 2014

  1. Construction and restoration progress

As an important precursor to major work, we installed a site workshop and office base.  Plant and equipment have been procured.  We continue to rely crucially on volunteer labour, but we must recruit more.  By Easter we achieved major milestones with the installation of a new safety fence around the pit, and three information panels telling the story of Barony Castle’s wartime background, the commissioning of the map in the 1970s, and the current plans for restoration by Mapa Scotland.  With improving weather, the 155m circumference pit wall was fully restored by pressure cleaning, re-covering with 3 coats of reinforced render, new in-situ cast-in coping and bottom corner fillet for future sealing to the seabed.  Repair of damaged foundations has been in progress since early autumn, with over 8000kg of concrete poured to date.  The main east and west coast supply pipes have been installed below the North Sea and Hebridean Sea.  Footpath foundation reinforcement is in progress using recycled rubble.  The major 100km Ordnance Survey northing and easting grid lines have been surveyed and marked in preparation for topography repairs.


  1. Restoration of water supply system

Three major repairs to serious underground leakage have been completed, providing full pressure head to the map for the first time since 1975.  Blockage of the overflow pipe has been cleared, but we still have to locate and restore the outfall end in the Dean Burn ravine. .


  1. Media and Education

We continue to give talks about the map and its history.  There was another Polish reception at Holyrood on May 6th hosted by Christine Grahame MSP and the Polish Consul General where we exhibited along with the Polish Scottish Cultural Heritage and the Vojtek and General Maczek statue projects.  BBC TV spent three days location filming at the map for a forthcoming (Jan 2015) TV feature on the map and its history.  Dutch TV spent a day filming about the Polish Army presence in Scotland during the Second World War.  This was part of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Breda by the Polish 1st Armoured Division under General Maczek’s command.

Members have given talks to North Berwick Round Table, Tweeddale U3A, Royal Scots Regiment at Glencorse Barracks, Scottish Polish Heritage, State of the Map of Scotland Conference, 9th International Conference on Ultrasonic Biomedical Microscanning,and hosted many other visits to the map, including local cubs and brownies.

flour 5

We have launched our new website at (with Polish text also) and a Facebook site at .  We have also authored a Wikipedia page.  Over 6000 new publicity leaflets have been distributed in Polish and English throughout the Borders and Central Belt.  The new information panels at the map are intended to introduce visitors to the project and direct them to the website for more detail.

  1. Barony Castle Hotel  LLP

Barony Castle Hotel is a major partner and supporter, providing us with the site lease and matched funding up to £25000.  The hotel also guarantees free public access to the map as part of our grant aid obligations.

       9. Future priorities.

The past four years has focussed on site clearance and securing grant aid.  Our next priorities are to continue equipment and materials procurement for the restoration work.  A crucial priority from here on must be to increase our membership and particularly our volunteer labour force, on whom we depend for timely completion of the map’s restoration.


History Scotland article

History Scotland magazine cover


An illustrated article about the map and its restoration has been included in the Sept/Oct issue of the History Scotland magazine.

Print or digital versions of the magazine are available for purchase directly from the publisher’s website:

Basin wall cleaning

…using a pressure jet

Return of 2 Scots

On 24-25 June members of 2 Scots from Glencorse Barracks, Penicuik were back at the map for another sterling effort at clearing the sea-bed. Thanks  from the Mapa Scotland team to all involved.

Information panels installed

Three information panels have been installed around the perimeter of the map. They provide information on: 1.the origins of the map  2.the Polish Army’s role in Scotland and its link to Barony Castle during the Second World War   3.the construction of the map in the 1970s and its intended restoration beginning in 2014. The panels have been designed by Differentia, a company based in Hexham, Northumberland.

Newsletter – February 2014

Mapa Scotland logo
Welcome to our latest newsletter and apologies for the absence of communication over the winter. We’ve been very busy on a number of fronts, and I’m afraid the newsletter has been the victim of this.

Funding Package
In October we secured grant offer from Scottish Borders Council and the European LEADER Fund. This completed our funding package for the Mapa Scotland heritage project including restoration work on the Map. Our major grant providers are Barony Castle LLP, Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Edinburgh, European Leader Fund, Heritage Lottery Fund, Polish Connections, Scottish Borders Council Landfill Communities Fund and Community Grant Scheme.

This has enabled us to purchase equipment to speed up the cleaning process and over the last few weeks we have built a shed which means we have a store on site as well as a shelter when the showers hit us.

A small team of members have been working over the winter to clear the moss and weeds from the map, and also to repair pipework to restore the flow of water to the rivers, and to allow us to fill up the seas.

In the middle of February Soldiers from 2 Scots, Royal Regiment of Scotland, based at Glencorse Barracks, Penicuik joined us in our efforts to clear the map. Their efforts and expertise will be invaluable over the next few months as we begin the actual restoration work and the reconstruction of the original contours first developed in the 1970s.

Marketing and Interpretation Project
In October we were awarded a grant to develop a new website for the map, onsite interpretation panels and leaflets in English and Polish for distribution throughout the central belt, Lanarkshire and the Borders. This project is part-financed by the Scottish Government and the European Community Scottish Borders LEADER 2007-2013 Programme. Differentia Design Consultants have been commissioned to lead this work, which is progressing well. The website is operational, although some areas of it are still under development, the panels are being manufactured and the leaflets are at a draft stage. You can see the website at

It is intended to hold the AGM in April or early May. Why don’t you come along and find out more about what is happening and how you can get involved with the project. More information soon………

Joining Us
Please join us in our efforts to restore The Great Polish Map of Scotland. For more information, contact us at

Thanks lads! (and lass), of No. 2 Scots, Royal Regiment of Scotland

Soldiers of 2 Scots, Royal Regiment of Scotland, based at Glencorse Barracks Penicuik, tackled the map with gusto on Tuesday, 18th February, 2014. This was only their first visit and already the difference is obvious. Haste ye back!

New Workshop, February 2014