What are the Climate Beacon’s?

Climate Beacons for COP26 is a Scotland-wide collaborative project between climate change or environmental organisations and arts, heritage or cultural organisations to stimulate long-term public engagement in the lead-up to and following COP26. 

Seven hubs known as ‘Climate Beacons’ are taking form in Argyll, Caithness & East Sutherland, Fife, Inverclyde, Midlothian, the Outer Hebrides, and Tayside. Bringing together shared resources and knowledge from cultural and climate organisations, the Climate Beacons provide a welcoming physical and virtual space for the public, artists and cultural sector professionals, environmental NGOs, scientists and policymakers to discuss and debate COP26 themes and climate action specific to each local area.   

The project is being led by Creative Carbon Scotland, connecting the seven Beacons and offering support throughout, alongside six co-ordinating partners: Architecture & Design Scotland, Creative Scotland, Edinburgh Climate Change Institute, Museums Galleries Scotland, Scottish Library and Information Council, and Sustainable Scotland Network. Climate Beacons for COP26 is funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Change and Culture Divisions, Creative Scotland, and Museums Galleries Scotland. 


Who is the Midlothian Climate Beacon?

A collaboration between the National Mining Museum Scotland and the British Geological Survey, the Midlothian Climate Beacon will create a transformative journey through the carbon cycle, from Scotland’s past legacy of fossil fuels towards a future of decarbonisation, connecting local and international cultures through art and science. 

The Climate Beacon’s activities have been designed to engage a wide range of audiences – all are welcome! Activities include a new science and art exhibition, STEM Climate Change workshop for Primary Schools, a student residency with Queen Margaret University, Witness Reports: event and talks from Scottish Communities Climate Action Network and the Environment Justice Foundation, participatory clay art installation & participatory art workshops with artist Nicole Manley, digital conference, and much more! 

If you’d like more information or to get involved please contact us via the details below.

Image: Clay Sculptures, part of Weathering Earth Participatory Art Workshop with Nicole Manley

What’s on at the Midlothian Climate Beacon?

From exhibitions to participatory art workshops we have a variety of activities suitable for everyone and all free of charge.

6-7th November 2021: Climate Reflections & Witness Report Series

Climate Reflections and Witness Report Series bring together the voices of Indigenous people fighting for their way of life, communities in the global south already on the frontlines of climate change, and those in Scotland beginning to explore what this crisis will mean for our world.

In a collaboration between the Scottish Communities Climate Action Network, The International Institute for Environment and Development and Arkbound Foundation, these stories are told in a wide diversity of voices, knowledge and perspectives in the communication about climate change and in the mediums of photographs and posters, short films and live panel discussions. We are delighted to be joined by artist Nicole Manley whose film, stills, and photographs highlight the impact of flooding and rising sea levels in Scotland.

We hope to offer new means to express, reflect on and connect to the climate emergency through the first-hand experiences shared in “Climate Reflections” and “Witness Report Series” and that these stories will help “to make sense of the indescribable” and put a human face on climate change – to inspire urgent, ambitious action to protect people and the planet we love. 

Saturday 6th – Sunday 7th – Climate Reflections Exhibition

FREE admission and no booking required. Exhibition installed in the Powerhouse at NMMS and includes photography exhibition and film viewing.

Saturday 6th – 11am – 12.30pm –   Witness Report Series (Talks, Q & A)

Speakers will include Gladys Habu, climate activist who co-wrote and stars in IIED animated series “Untold stories of climate change loss and damage in the LDCs: Solomon Islands”, the co-authors of the book “Climate Adaptation: Accounts of Resilience, Self-Sufficiency and Systems Change” published by Arkbound Foundation, and Pat Abel (SCCAN Trustee) on Mining Communities and Climate Threat!

A Q&A session will follow afterwards.

FREE talks and no booking required but seating is limited so please arrive promptly. 

Saturday 6th November – 1.30pm – Visual Matrix Workshop (50 minutes)

After the Witness Report Series talks, we will immerse ourselves in all things relating to climate change! And we will get a chance to ​meet each other too! A visual matrix is a participatory group technique designed to explore our individual and shared experiences; in this workshop it will be climate change. Climate Change is a difficult subject to discuss, particularly when there are difficult truths to assess and accept. The purpose of a visual matrix is to create different ways of thinking through the development of unexpected connections and associations, derived from personal experience.

Places are limited to 20 people – please email education@nationalminingmuseum.com to participate. 

Image: Copyright Nicole Manley, Isle of Hoy Rising Sea Level

19th November 2021 – March 2022: The Carbon Conflict & Climate Change Exhibition

Explore geoscience and climate change like never before! The British Geological Survey share their work and research in this fascinating exhibition which will follow a journey of geoscience themes narrating different elements of climate change and how this affects our urban and natural environment. 

We will explore the natural carbon cycle as well as technology-led adaptions including renewable energy, net zero carbon cities and carbon storage. 

Science and art will combine in this exhibition with an installation from artist and hydrologist, Nicole Manley, interconnects elements of human activity and experiences relating to climate change through collage, sound, light installtion, clay sculpture and participatory art activities. 

Weathering Earth Installation – the superb clay art sculptures created with Nicole Manley as part of this large scale participatory art project are on display in the NMMS Memorial Centre for all to see! These pieces have been created while reflecting on climate change and left put outside to be impacted by our climate with awe-inspiring results. Find out more about this project and witness the changes unfold on our Weathering Earth webpage here.

Further details: FREE admission, hosted in the Special Exhibition Gallery in NMMS, open 10am-3pm daily

Transformation room: as part of the exhibition you can take part in our transformation room to explore views of climate change and participate in our participatory art workshop which will become part of the exhibition.


12th November: Climate Conference: Changing Perspectives (Digital Conference)

Taking place during the 26th “Conference of the Parties” (COP26), we welcome you to our first conference on Friday 12th November! Climate change is not a simple issue with a simple solution. As countries meet to discuss how to tackle climate change, we ask what can we learn from Scotland’s past industries, how can we engage a variety of audiences in climate conversations and, finally, what can we do to make a difference? Therefore, to help us answer these answer these questions, join our experts from cultural, climate, scientific research and arts organisations for an exciting and memorable digital conference.

To book a place please email us: education@nationalminingmuseum.com

Conference Timetable:

10am Victoria Robb (National Mining Museum Scotland/ Midlothian Climate Beacon) Welcome and housekeeping
10.10am Lewis Coenen-Rowe (Creative Carbon Scotland) A Crisis of Imagination: How culture in Scotland can play a role in addressing climate change beyond COP26
10.30am Kirstie Blair (University of Strathclyde) Mining Heritage and New Energy Solutions
10.50am Lucy Neville (National Museum of Scotland) Climate Emergency & Climate Solutions: Engaging Teenagers and Families through Museum Collections
11.10am Miles Oglethorpe (Historic Environment Scotland) Below the surface of the coal industry
11.35am Nicole Manley (British Geological Survey/ Midlothian Climate Beacon) Art and the subjective space to create possibility in the presence of climate change
11.55am Karen Rossell (Applied Negative Emissions Centre) Climate Saving Technologies: An Introduction to Carbon Removal
12.10pm Bridget McKenzie (Climate Museum UK) Code Red: Climate Museum UK as an emergency responder
12.30pm LUNCH BREAK  
1.05pm Neil Kitching (Carbon Choices UK) Carbon and Rewilding in Scotland
1.25pm Craig Sinclair (Sincy Science Freelancer) Powering Up: Using energy of the past to learn about energy of the future
1.45pm TBC (Keep Scotland Beautiful) Keep Scotland Beautiful – Supporting Action on Climate Change
2.05pm Alan MacDonald (British Geological Survey) Reliable water supplies in an uncertain climate
2.30pm Panel Discussion/Questions from participants  
3pm END  


October 2021 – onwards: STEM Climate Change Workshop (Primary Schools)

Launching during the Midlothian Science Festival in October, we have created a new interactive STEM Climate Change workshop available for primary schools! This STEM workshop, created in partnership with Sincy Science, explores the science behind climate change, with a focus on energy. The workshop will include video call and physical resources to do in class. In addition, each class will take part in a STEAM clay art project from artist and hydrologist Nicole Manley. They will each receive a piece of clay, representing the earth, and mould this into what they think of climate change. These clay pieces will be left outside in the elements to “weather”, showing the impact of climate on the earth.


Visiting the Climate Beacon:

The Midlothian Climate Beacon’s activities are FREE to attend and take place at the National Mining Museum Scotland (or online). While free, we recommend booking in advance as we are following the most recent COVID guidelines on maximum numbers. 

Address: National Mining Museum Scotland, Lady Victoria Colliery, Newtongrange, Midlothian. EH22 4QN. 

How to reach us: Newtongrange Train Station is a 5-10minute walk to the Museum with a dedicated path from the train station to the Museum, there is a large free car park with electrical charging point, and great bus links as we are located next to the A7.


Contact Us:

Email: education@nationalminingmuseum.com

Phone: 0131 663 7519

Social media: @NatMiningMuseum

#MidlothianClimateBeacon #ClimateConference2021



Translate »