Although well established, primarily in France, Italy and Sweden where it was developed in the 1970s, the term 'ecomuseum' is still a somewhat new concept in the UK. (There are over 600 ecomuseums worldwide, in places as diverse as Japan, Spain, Iran, China and Canada.)
An ecomuseum is a community driven venture that links together existing and new attractions to help preserve the heritage and traditions of local communities around a central theme. The theme of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum is, of course, the Battle of Flodden.
The Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum is the first in England, the first cross-border ecomuseum in Britain, and the second to be established in Scotland.
An ecomuseum aims to support and empower the community to develop and manage its own heritage, helping it to conserve its resources and traditions, while encouraging tourist and community members alike to enjoy visiting and utilising ecomuseum sites.
The process by which the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum was established began with the identification of 12 sites (8 in England and 4 in Scotland) from a list of over 20 suggestions which members of the Borders and North Northumberland community felt were important to them.
These sites are intimately connected to the story and legacy of Flodden and represent the events before, during and after the battle. They have a deep resonance within contemporary border culture, much of which today has its roots in the events of 1513.
These initial sites represented just the first phase of development of the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum. As part of the Flodden 500 project supported by the heritage Lottery Fund, during 2013 a new set of sites were added that were related to the Flodden 1513 story to give us a total of 41 sites which together tell the wider story of Flodden.