A TRADITIONAL skill is being employed to maintain one of Stirling's iconic landmarks in a trial.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has turned to scything to help get King's Knot ready as landmarks re-open amid easing restrictions.

Regular maintenance work, such as grass cutting, had to be suspended earlier due to Covid-19 restrictions.

However, this has provided an opportunity to trial different approaches to managing the historic landscape.

Sarah Franklin, landscape manager at HES, said: “Since the launch of our new Climate Action Plan earlier this year, we have been keen to explore ways in which we can better manage our historic landscapes.

“Landscape management at these historic sites must carefully balance the protection of their cultural and archaeological significance with our responsibility to promote biodiversity and recognise these sites as a habitat for many important species of plants and wildlife.

“As many of our staff and contractors have been unable to get into sites during the lockdown period, the easing of restrictions has presented as with the opportunity to trial scything as a way of tackling the overgrown grass at the King’s Knot and ensuring that the distinctive land formations of the knot are maintained.

“We hope that this work at the King’s Knot will be a useful exercise to help us determine how these alternative methods of landscape management can fit within our wider programme of maintenance moving forward.”