For hundreds of years, and up until the 19th century, Gaelic was the dominant language used by people who lived in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.

Today, it is still integral to the heritage, identity and cultural life of many parts of the area.

Many of our present-day place names are Gaelic in origin and landmarks in the National Park that we all know and love, such as mountains, glens and rivers, have Gaelic names which reflect their history or characteristics.

Loch Lomond for example is Loch Laomainn in Gaelic, taking its name from Scotland’s most southerly Munro, Ben Lomond - Beinn Laomainn.

Beinn Laomainn means ‘beacon mountain’, and we think that’s possibly because people used to light beacons across the mountain to warn of dangers.

Meanwhile, anyone who has walked or cycled round Loch Lubnaig, near Callander, might be interested to know that Loch Lubnaig means ‘the bendy loch’ in Gaelic. An entirely fitting name for anyone who has travelled the twists and turns of this shoreline!

The National Park is home to several iconic waterfalls and Gaelic tradition gave special status to waterfalls and fast running water.

They were seen as being the haunts of supernatural creatures, although evil spirits were said not to be able to cross running water. Bracklinn Falls in Callander is A’ Bhreac Linn in Gaelic, meaning ‘dappled pool’.

The National Park Authority has an important role to play in conserving and enhancing Gaelic as part of our natural and cultural heritage.

This is important for both our local communities, to help them stay connected to their Gaelic heritage, and for visitors to the Park, who are often interested in what Gaelic can tell us about the history of a place.

We are currently developing our Gaelic Language Plan, which sets out our commitment to bring Gaelic language to life in the Park and ensure it remains relevant for future generations. As a Scottish public body, this is also a statutory requirement.

We want that plan to reflect what’s important to those who love and care about the National Park so a six-week consultation is underway seeking feedback from residents, businesses and visitors. We are keen to hear what’s important to anyone who has a connection to the National Park.

If you would like to help us create a plan that celebrates and builds on our Gaelic heritage, you can share your thoughts before May 13, 2024 via a short online survey on our website. Just visit Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority website and type ‘Gaelic Language Plan’ into the search.

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