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“Past Protectors” is a Historic Environment Scotland commissioned project on heritage crime, carried out by PAS and aimed at young people.  It aims to be a proactive way to promote awareness of heritage and heritage crime, and help young people have a say in heritage and crime issues affecting their community. It also follows a national initiative to tackle heritage crime.

In Past Protectors we have previously carried out workshops with young people in different groups across Scotland, in locations as diverse as Stromness, Dundee, Glasgow and Kinneil. We had planned more face to face workshops but with the COVID-19 situation we adapted our activities to hold an online workshop with one of our groups.

Stirlingshire Young Archaeologists’ Club is a group for those aged 8-16 and meets regularly to explore archaeological issues in central Scotland, by carrying out field trips, finds handling, museum visits and excavations. Members have been meeting online since lockdown in activities led by their group leader, and we developed a photography and research workshop with them which helped them explore heritage crime in their area.

We introduced the topic and showed some examples, then the group members showed us the town or village most local to where they lived through photos they had taken themselves and information which they had found out about places they considered important to them. We explored what could be done to improve problem areas, and celebrate the good things! 

Our colleague Alison McCandlish who is responsible for this piece of work, has created a short video showcasing the Stirlingshire Young Archaeologists’ Club PAS Historic Environment Scotland “Past Protectors” exhibition, which took place before lockdown.  It was filmed by YAC members and supported by PAS and YAC volunteers, the YAC group decided to enter this into the Council for British Archaeology “Festival of Archaeology 2020 competition (called #ArchaeologyShowreel) which takes place from 11-19 July   – make sure to take a look!