Would you like to watch out for wild creatures at Loch Ness? From 3-6 October 2017 we will go for it. Get ready for our conference ‘Shaped by Nature – exploring meaning in wild landscapes’.

Remember ‘The Vital Spark’ in 2007? Organised by the UK Association for Heritage Interpretation (AHI) together with Interpret Scotland, it was the largest conference on heritage interpretation held in Europe so far. Scottish members of IE’s Supervisory Committee, namely its former Chair, Michael Glen, suggested that Interpret Europe should celebrate the 10th anniversary of that outstanding event. In February 2015, Michael Glen and Bill Taylor presented the paper ‘Interpret Europe’s 2017 conference – the case for Scotland’, proposing a joint conference with AHI. In November 2015, IE’s Supervisory Committee decided that Interpret Europe should go for it.

It was a sunny day in July when we met in London to discuss our first steps: Bill Bevan (Chair of AHI’s Executive Committee), Ruth Coulthard (AHI’s Conference Manager), Bill Taylor (member of IE’s Supervisory Committee and former Chair of ‘The Vital Spark’), Willem Derde (Chair of IE’s Supervisory Committee) and Thorsten Ludwig (IE Managing Director). Our programme for the day was quite ambitious but the inspirational atmosphere of a historic pub close to the British Library and the warm but straight-forward moderation of Bill Taylor resulted in some proposals that were agreed by both organisations by mid-September:

The conference shall take place from 3-6 October 2017 in Inverness, and the conference theme shall be ‘Shaped by nature – exploring meaning in wild landscapes’.

While having the conference in autumn was important to AHI, the theme was primarily stimulated by IE. Against the background that the IE Conferences 2015 and 2016 were mainly related to culture, and that 2018 will be the European Year of Cultural Heritage, there was a strong plea to focus on natural heritage in 2017.

Following a request to all our members, Peter Phillipson, IE Natural Heritage Coordinator, has already received offers to support thinking how the conference theme can be filled with life. All who would like to contribute should contact him at peter@telltale.co.uk.

We are looking forward to our cooperation with AHI – and to share meaningful experiences with many of you around wild Scottish bens, lochs and glens.

Thorsten Ludwig is Managing Director of Interpret Europe. You can get in touch with him at thorsten.ludwig@interpret-europe.net.

To cite this article:
Ludwig, T. (2016) ‘Inverness 2017 – Save the date’. In Interpret Europe Newsletter 3-2016, 3

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