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15 April 2019

Scotland from the Sky returns for a second series

Three-part BBC1 Scotland series reveals Scotland’s hidden ancient past through aerial photography held in our archives.

An aerial photograph of a red and white plane flying over fields of gold and green

Aerial photography held in our archives will showcase Scotland’s ever-changing landscapes in Scotland from the Sky which returns to BBC One at 9pm on Wednesday 17 April.

The three-part second series focuses on the threat of climate change and coastal erosion to historic sites; the impact of humans on Scotland’s landscape after centuries of living off the land; and the traces of lost industries that are scattered all across the country.

Through comparing aerial photography held in our archives with the view from above today, viewers will be taken on a journey to explore how Scotland’s rural and urban landscapes have changed over thousands of years.

James Crawford, Scotland from the Sky writer and presenter, and Publishing Manager at HES, said: “The second series continues the work we started with the first, with the view from above allowing us to tell the stories of Scotland’s past – and present – in new and immersive ways.

This series takes us even further out into Scotland’s skies. In a vintage Tiger Moth we search for Scotland’s ‘first motorway’ – a road built 2,000 years ago by the Romans as the first main road into Scotland.

"We take a helicopter out in search of the Central Belt’s monumental industrial heritage. And we use our drone to help explore some of Scotland’s most remote islands, searching for the traces of early farming on the Isle of Staffa.”

This series also features David Harkin, Climate Change Scientist at HES, who shows viewers why the coast at Fort George is vulnerable to rising sea levels, and Dr David Mitchell, Director of Conservation at HES, who discusses the global reach of the Carron Iron Works, once based near Falkirk.

James continues: “The view from above offers such a compelling way of telling stories. From up high you can read the landscapes of Scotland, see things you could never see down on the ground.

You can glimpse Scotland’s hidden past and better understand how we’ve lived and how we’ve changed our environment over millennia. It’s the closest you can ever get to time travel.”

BBC Scotland Commissioning Executive David Harron said: “We’re delighted with this second series of Scotland From the Sky. As before, Jamie has done a great job as our expert presenter, and the archives at HES have provided a real treasure trove of stories to choose from. The whole series is a visual treat.”

Viewers interested in delving into the archives can browse aerial photography of Scotland on Canmore and the National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP).

Scotland from the Sky is accompanied by the book of the same name, written by James Crawford.

Photographs from the book are available to view at HES’ touring exhibition which is on display until Sunday 7 July at Fort George and from Thursday 11 July – Sunday 6 October at Arbroath Abbey.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
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For further information, please contact:

Stacey Dent
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct line: 0131 668 8097
Mobile: 07557 489 322