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We asked, You said, We did

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We asked

From 31 August to 21 September 2021, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) sought views on our proposal to designate Alford Heritage Museum (former Alford Auction Mart) as a category A listed building.

The building is a very rare example of a largely complete early 20th century former livestock auction mart that was found to meet our criteria for designation. Of timber construction, the building retains its sale ring, adjoining offices and cattle byres and it contributes to our understanding of agricultural life in this part of Aberdeenshire during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Further details can be accessed on our Heritage Portal.

You said

We received three responses which contributed to our knowledge of the building and also provided insight into how the building and museum are valued.

Alford Heritage Museum was described as atmospheric, magical, a unique insight into farming life over 100 years, and an important hub for the village. There were also comments about how the museum’s collection enhanced our understanding of the building.

We received new information about the attached 19th century waterwheel, which was a donation to the museum in 1993.

Overall, there was support for the protection of industrial historic buildings through designation.

We did

After considering the comments received during the consultation, we have now listed the Alford Heritage Museum at category A.

Listed building record for Alford Heritage Museum 

Download the Report of Handling from our Heritage Portal 

More Information

You can find out more about listing in our booklet, Scotland’s Listed Buildings or find out more on our website: 

Our website also has more detail about the Listed Building Consent (LBC) and Conservation Area Consent (CAC) processes, as well as information on how to apply. There is additional guidance in our Managing Change series of publications.

We asked

From 13 April to 31 May 2021, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) sought views on Scotland’s modern garden and designed landscape heritage. We asked for nominations of sites to include in our new programme of work, ‘Designed Landscapes of the Recent Past’.  


We think gardens and designed landscapes dating from 1945 to the early 2000s are currently underrepresented in our publicly available records. These include the online database for the National Record of the Historic Environment (Canmore) and the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes

This programme will champion Scotland’s modern garden and designed landscape heritage through recording sites, improving online records and considering the most important sites for designation.  

We aim to develop our understanding of modern gardens and designed landscapes – including their survival and significance – and to promote knowledge about this important part of our historic environment.  

You said

We had 30 responses to the survey. Most were from private individuals, but we also received responses on behalf of organisations, public bodies or charities and from private businesses. 

All respondents agreed that gardens and designed landscapes of the recent past were part of Scotland’s historic environment and that they should be protected in the same way as older sites. Most respondents considered that modern designed landscapes were not adequately represented in our online records and were sometimes under threat.  

Comments noted that sites of this period were not always valued as much as buildings or natural landscapes and could be vulnerable to loss, alteration or problems with maintenance.  

Other comments noted that these sites were part of Scotland’s story and that recording them and telling their history was important for future generations. Several respondents told us that we should consider landscape broadly, and to include sites related to housing, industry and infrastructure in our programme. 

Respondents were able to nominate up to 3 sites for us to consider as part of the programme. 

We received a total of 47 nominations. Once repeat nominations are subtracted, this gives us a total of 42 different sites from a total of 15 local authority areas across Scotland. The local authority areas with the largest numbers of nominations were Glasgow City Council and Edinburgh City Council. 

We did

Since the close of the online survey on 31st May, we have begun research on the nominated sites. We will consider these sites alongside those brought to our attention through internal conversations in HES, a stakeholder webinar in April 2021, and through the ScoMo project (  

After reading the comments and nominations from the survey, we have decided to publish a more detailed report on the results of the survey (Update - 07 October 2021 - This has now been published with a link to the document below).

Next steps 

  • Select a small number of nominated sites for recording in 2021-2022 

We would welcome any further feedback or nominations that you might have. 

You can contact the project team on  

We asked

From 22 September to 15 December 2020, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) sought views on new draft guidance ‘Talking About Heritage’.


This document is part of an ongoing review of historic environment policy guidance, following on from the What's Your Heritage? campaign and the launch of the Historic Environment Policy for Scotland (HEPS) in May 2019.

What's Your Heritage? asked people from all over the country how Scotland’s places, buildings and monuments should be recognised and celebrated. Feedback from over 2,000 responses to the campaign told us that people wanted to achieve recognition for the heritage that matters to them.

Talking About Heritage is part of the HES response to this.


What is the guidance about?

Talking About Heritage is intended to be used as a tool by anyone with an interest in exploring and talking about heritage. The guidance aims to equip people to have new – sometimes difficult – conversations about our places, people and traditions.

We wanted to find out if the Talking About Heritage guidance would help you to investigate, to share and celebrate, and to achieve recognition for the heritage that matters to you.

You said

We had 34 replies to the survey as well as written feedback which we received from a range of interested individuals, organisations, public bodies, charities and local authorities.

The draft Talking About Heritage guidance was generally well received. It was felt to be a useful and comprehensive resource. Comments included suggestions about what additional content could be included, improved signposting, accessibility - particularly around language and aims - and the need for the final product to be easy to navigate and use.

We were told that we should:

  • ensure simple and clear language throughout
  • be clearer about the purpose of the guidance
  • be clearer who the guidance is for and manage expectations of what it will help to achieve
  • publish the guidance as an interactive web-based resource
  • make sure the guidance is accessible for deaf users
  • keep the content and the links up to date

We did

After considering the all of the comments and suggestions received, we have updated the guidance with:

  • clear and simple language
  • clearer information about who the guidance is for and how it might be used
  • increased signposting and more information about other relevant organisations and resources

Based on your feedback, we have also:

  • explored how best to publish Talking About Heritage as an online and interactive resource
  • looked at how we can produce the guidance with British Sign Language (BSL) content
  • agreed a regular review period to keep the guidance up to date

Next steps:

We are currently working on updating the draft guidance and incorporating your feedback. The final guidance, an online resource, is planned for publication this summer.