‘From Deep Time to Our Time’

Friday November 24th 2023

From Deep Time to Our Time - The Cateran Ecomuseum

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

‘From Deep Time to Our Time’ – A new film from Bikepacking Scotland set in the Cateran Ecomuseum encourages people to change the ways they travel

Filmed in all four seasons across the Cateran Ecomuseum, the new short film ‘From Deep Time to Our Time’ encourages people to rethink the ways they travel. It features the people who live in the ‘museum without walls’ and its nature, with drone footage of the spectacular Perthshire and Angus scenery. The film from Markus Stitz, best known for cycling around the world on a single speed bike, can be watched on Youtube, see below.

Collaborating with communities, the Cateran Ecomuseum provides inspirational experiences through nature, culture and heritage. The ecomuseum is situated on the Highland Boundary Fault, the most important geological division in Scotland, close to the cities of Perth and Dundee.

A tourism destination that champions car-free holidays by providing an extensive selection of cycling and walking itineraries, the Cateran Ecomuseum is one of the first, if not the first destination in Scotland to expressly commit to a regenerative tourism approach to destination development. The ecomuseum provides a framework for ambitious sustainable and regenerative practices to support local communities develop resilience for the future.

As with recent projects from the Edinburgh-based filmmaker, Stitz is determined to demonstrate that using low-carbon ways to travel, like cycling and using public transport, can be a viable solution to produce films. ‘I can carry all filming equipment on the bike, which gives me much more access to the countryside than a car. I used the Ember electric bus to travel from Edinburgh to Perth, jumped on my bike at Walnut Grove and cycled to all locations. There was only one exception. Just before storm Babet I travelled by bus to Dundee, and on to Alyth, but cycled from there all the way to the Spittal of Glenshee once the weather had settled.’

Stitz applauds the Cateran Ecomuseum for championing a different way of tourism: ‘People have been travelling for centuries. But travelling with tourism as a primary motive has only developed into one of the most important economic sectors worldwide over the past few decades. This hasn’t been without negative impacts. Tourism has major environmental impacts, such as biodiversity loss, landscape impact, and so on, and social impacts such as overtourism. Regenerative tourism and the idea of ‘building back better’ is a concept that has increasingly received attention as a new way to travel, and it is great to see the Cateran Ecomuseum championing this approach.’

Funding for the film has been provided by Inspiring Scotland and Paths for All, through Smarter Choices Smarter Places. The film includes footage from the inaugural Lezyne Cateran Dirt Dash, an overnight gravel bikepacking event that took place at the end of August. Taking riders on two days around the ecomuseum with a campsite and food provided at the Spittal of Glenshee, the grassroots event received great feedback from participants and the community, and will return to Alyth on 4 May 2024.

All walking and cycling itineraries developed by the Cateran Ecomuseum are available online at www.cateranecomuseum.co.uk/explore. More information about the Lezyne Cateran Dirt Dash can be found at www.dirtdash.cc/cateran.


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