Many geologists who studied at UK universities, and many from elsewhere who have been on fieldtrips to the NW Highlands, will have stayed at the Inchnadamph Lodge. Over the years it has become somewhat of an iconic place to stay while working in the Highlands. Earlier this year the NWH Geopark learned that the owner is planning to sell the lodge in the coming year and that a number of hotel chains are interested in purchasing it.
Until recently, the centre provided a unique residential and working environment that was ideal for the training of field-based sciences. It sits at the centre of the main areas accessed by most groups who use Assynt for fieldwork. Its large communal spaces, with projection and other indoor teaching facilities, are perfect for evening and foul weather work, and the self-catering living arrangements are ideal preparation for gaining experiences of life as a field-based scientist, fostering collaboration, communication and community-based soft skills. Over the years, Inchnadamph has provided accommodation for generations of students and researchers. Perhaps you were one?
“I will always remember the first time that I stayed at Inchnadamph Lodge – the informality of the hostel was so refreshing. This, together with its spectacular views along Loch Assynt and into the surrounding hills made it the perfect setting for an undergraduate field class. This, I thought, will inspire generations of students to get into fieldwork and build their future careers, be it is geosciences or other sectors. This, I thought, is the place where the future lives of these students can really begin…”
Professor Bob Holdsworth
The NWH Geopark and the Scottish Geology Trust would love Inchnadamph to continue creating memories for fresh generations of researchers. So we have launched a joint effort to save the lodge. The current plan is to organise a community buyout that will:
- Enable the field centre to continue to be a vital hub for groups of geology professionals and students
- Provide a new base for the NWH Geopark, where staff can engage with locals and visitors
- Create jobs for the community
To accomplish this, a Phase 1 study is needed to understand the costs and economics of the project prior to making a proposal as part of the Scottish Government’s community buyout scheme. It is hoped that the funds for the buyout itself will be met largely by the Scottish Land Fund. However, the Phase 1 Study will cost up to £17,000, so we are reaching out to supporters of the Scottish Geology Trust to help us protect this important piece of the geological community heritage.
There has been a great deal of interest in the project from UK Universities and to date £6,400 pounds has been committed by 6 universities to support the Phase 1 study, with additional cash being supplied by others including NWH Geopark, Scottish Geology Trust, Edinburgh Geological Society and potentially the Scottish Government.
If you would like to help support the Phase 1 Study, please make a direct donation to the Scottish Geology Trust and reference Inchnadamph:
- Triodos Bank UK Limited, Deanery Road, Bristol, BS1 5AS
- Sort Code 16-58-10
- Account Number 21350795
For confirmation and receipt of your donation or any questions, please e-mail our Treasurer.