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Life in the Scottish Highlands: Population and Social Problems (clip 1)

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An educational documentary looking at the depopulation and social problems of the seven crofting counties of Scotland in the late 1960s. Notable images in this clip include shots of: highland industries and scenery, headlines from newspapers, parliamentary and commissions papers, map of the seven crofting counties, brief shot of Auchindrain, Argyll a township turned into a folk museum, Lawers village Perthshire, Brochs in Sutherland and the Northern Isles, Dunadd, Glenfinnan, Culloden moor, forestry commission plantations, Corpach pulp mill, and the hydro electric dam at Kinlochleven

Questions & Activities


  • Who made this film and why?
  • How much has the population of these communities declined according to the film?
  • What kinds of work or professions are shown to take place in the Highlands?
  • What were the Highland Clearances?
  • What impact did they have on the Highland communities?
  • The film was made in 1968. Do you think the solutions offered in the film have been successful?


Social Studies/Media Studies: Using a sequence of still images, voiceover and/or material from the Scotland on Screen website, create an updated account of the Scottish Highlands from 1968 to today.

History / Social Studies: Watch this film in conjunction with films about big cities such as Glasgow. How has the depopulation of the Highlands to cities affected urban life?

English: Write a piece of expressive writing as a child of a family about to leave their home in the Highlands permanently.

Moving Image Education: Download the film and re-edit it with a new voiceover and music to create a tourist advert for the Highlands.

Social Studies: If someone made a film about your own town/city, what would they say?

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-303-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 2318
Date 1968
Genre Documentary, Educational
School Subject History, English, Expressive Arts
Subject Matter Highland Clearances
Who EFS (Educational Films of Scotland), (sponsor), Michael Elder (narrator), SEFA (Lanarkshire Group), (production company)
Where Achlyness, Auchindrain, Corpach, Culloden Moor, Dounreay, Dunadd, Glenfinnan, Kinlochleven
Event Highland Clearances, Depopulation
Attributes Colour, Sound
Clip Length 10:09
Film Length 20:38