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Ross Burns

‘Dúthchas’ is an untranslatable Gaelic term which describes the relationship between people, culture and land in the pre-improvement Scottish Highlands. In times past, peat was the uniting element between these three vital aspects of life, providing fuel, arable land and shelter to communities who lived in the isolated setting. The rural practice involved with its cyclical use fostered a close-knit culture built on loyalty and kinship. 



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Today, the maintenance of peat bogs could become instrumental in slowing the rate of climate change. A healthy peat bog is four times more effective at storing carbon than a forest, and as such their contemporary role is now being explored in relation to the climate crisis and environmental conservation.  

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This project investigates the potential for a system of environmental stewardship through practical and architectural interventions into the class 5 blanket bog surrounding Corrour Station in the Central Highlands. It seeks to maximise the health of the bog by choreographing the relationships between peat, sphagnum moss, water, sound and human occupation, bringing the concept of Dúthchas into the national environmental conservation effort. 

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