What was Droving?

Cattle droving was a vital part of Highland life for three hundred years, with Highland soils better suited to rearing cattle than growing crops.  At market time, drovers would move the cattle long distances south on foot, to sell in towns with larger populations.  Their hardy small black cattle would be taken to the 'Trysts' in Falkirk and Crieff to be sold on.  Drovers have been described as the economic heroes of their time  In the evenings, around the fire, they would tell stories connected with their journeys – folk and fairy stories, cow and horse tales, legends explaining ancient features in the landscape, stories of place-names spanning centuries.  Many of these stories are now forgotten or are held by just a few local people who remember living and working on the land.

This map (opens in a new page) shows the many drove roads that passed through Scotland. The teaching resources developed through Stories in the Land could be used in any primary school with a drove road nearby. 

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