Tweed Rivers

Posted in On site

  • Two men lean over a curved railing above a sweep of a river.
  • A stone bridge over the river tweed is seen through black railings, which include a design inspired by a thistle.
  • A man holding an umbrella guides a small boy who is jumping from one carved stone arch to another.
  • A block of red sandstone carved into an arch, with a poem deeply engraved into the surface.
  • A paperback book entitled 'Tweed Rivers', with another copy open at a page showing watercolour illustrations and a poem.

This six-year programme developed interpretation at over twenty sites in the catchment of the River Tweed. As interpretation manager, I coordinated a mix of conventional interpretation, arts commissions and publications.

At many sites the project involved substantial landscape work to provide a better visitor experience, and opportunities to appreciate the place and its stories. At Henderson Park in Coldstream we created a viewing platform, with railings designed by artist blacksmith Denys Mitchell; at Leaderfoot Viaduct, stonemason Garry Fay created a series of arched stepping stones. Landscape design was by Peter Daniel. Both installations include poems by Valerie Gillies, inspired by the stories of the river. Elsewhere, interpretation panels in bronze or stone complement the landscape.

I developed the approach for interpretation at each site, developed briefs for the arts commissions, and acted as creative director for the work of landscape architects and designers. I also edited and coordinated the publication of an attractive anthology of new writing and artwork inspired by the rivers, which complemented the work on site. The entire scheme was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and formed part of a catchment-wide environmental improvement programme.