Summary at July 2023

On 30th June 2023 the 10 year lease granted by Barony Castle 
LLP to the charity, Mapa Scotland SCIO, expired.  
Ownership and responsibility for maintenance of the Great Polish Map of Scotland 
returned to the hotel. The Charity Mapa Scotland SCIO continues with 
its remit to promote the historical and cultural links between 
Scotland and Poland.


Summary at June 2018

In June 2012 we formed our charity. In 2015 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, David Peck.



  K Trafas in 1990s, Krakow University                Jan-Tomasik

           Jan Tomasik                                      Kazimierz Trafas

The men who made it happen in 1975



Progress at 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

2.  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.

3.  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.

4.  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

5.  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.


6.  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. .

Removing an old pipe

Removing an old pipe

7.  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.

8.  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.



Progress at September 2012

Christine Grahame MSP secured a September 2012 debate at Holyrood Parliament to discuss the importance of the Great Polish Map of Scotland.  This was followed by a reception with our supporter institutions in attendance -the First Minister briefly looked in.

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has granted us new status as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO).

Our registration number is SC043255.  This gives us the ability to claim Gift Aid tax exemption and provides us with limited liability.

We have received confirmation from Historic Scotland that the Great Map fulfils requirements for category B regional listed status as a significant historic site.  We now have confirmation of formal listing.

Barony Castle is now under new and local ownership.  The new owners are favourable to restoration and have pledged financial support

We continue to battle with weed control and tidy up work.

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