60mcivilKite Aerial Photography


West Lothian Archaeological Trust

West Lothian Archaeology

Scottish Charity No. SC043118


Rosie Wells'

Scottish National Aerial Photography Scheme (SNAPS)

(for the UK & Ireland)


Funded by the late Rosie Wells (1949 - 2013)

SNAPS donated kite aerial photography (KAP) kits to individuals, schools,

universities, community groups and others

Contact: John Wells

Civil Aviation Authority Kite Regulations


200+ KAP Kits =


100+ starter cameras


4 830nm NIR conversions

100+ compact cameras

 including 1 Canon A2200 CHDK 720nm NIR conversion and 6 Pentax WG-10 760nm NIR


Rosie with her KAP kit (left) and seven other cameras in 2012 shortly before she died.

On the wall behind Rosie are 7 posters that she put together on the history of Armadale and which were produced by West Lothian Council.

West Lothian Archaeological Trust KAP Display Boards

also funded by West Lothian Council

Before moving to Armadale, West Lothian, Rosie was a teacher in Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Stroud Kite Aerial Photography (West Lothian Archaeology)

Stroud Leisure Centre

Walled garden undergoing restoration at Stroud's Museum in the Park


Thanks to Bill Kerr for the kite.

Rosie was a teacher at schools in the Stroud area and made kites with pupils at Marling School. Here she is flying our first KAP kite on Minchinhampton Common in 1999 (first flown with a camera in 2007), made by her aunt Ivy Apperley of the Golden Valley Kite Fliers.


Marling School (Stroud) where Rosie was Head of English






Phase 1: visible 

Phase 2: near infra-red


PHASE 2  Near Infra-red

Advanced Camera Services have supported the Scheme by converting our Pentax WG-10 cameras at a substantially reduced cost. These cameras are reserved for proven KAPers already within the Scheme, with priority to Group members, now known as Registed Kite Aerial Photographers. We supply them with an external, 760nm infra-red filter.

We will also convert some 808#16D cameras (830nm filter), ourselves. These HD video cameras are more than adequate for prospection and delineation and can be flown attached to the Scheme's Pentax WG-10s.

Unconverted Pentax WG-10 with near infra-red converted HD808#16D video camera attached.



Kite aerial photography is a technique suitable for all ages.

Seasoned veteran, WLAG member, Bronwen Knowles, age 12, flying a £600+ rig at Winchburgh, with Sony Nex 5R camera and Samyang 8mm full-frame fisheye lens, on a HQ Flowform 2.0 kite. Clothes to match the jeep were not a requirement ;o)

 August 2013.

HQ Flowform 2.0 kite, a rugged but often tough kite to handle.

Bronwen some years earlier on Cairnpapple, making fire.


If you can fly a kite, you can fly a camera.......

Tom Wells of Armadale (2½ years old).

Davie Kerr (in his late 80s) of Armadale, flying a Power Sled 36.

.......but the careful choice of equipment is crucial!

Kite aerial photography is an environmentally friendly, simple, cheap, effective, safe and inclusive technique.

But avoid flying with low clouds and especially with a wet line

You do not need a thunderstorm to get an electric shock




The kite aerial photography kits



Scientific research using kites in Scotland goes back to the late 1740s, when Dr Alexander Wilson (Later Regius Professor of Astronomy) of Glasgow University carried out meteorological experiments with one of his students, Thomas Melvill.

An energetic pupil from Murrayfield Primary School, Blackburn, bringing down the kite and Pentax W60 camera at a public event run by Historic Scotland Rangers.


More recently, kite aerial photography (KAP) has flourished in Scotland with many notable practitioners and innovators like Simon Harbord and West Lothian's James Gentles.  The West Lothian Archaeological Trust, and Archaeology Group, use kite aerial photography as a principal technique for aerial surveys (1), (2).

In 2012, terminally ill Trust and Group co-founder, Rosie Wells, asked for some of her money (Outside of the Trust) to be set aside for funding a pilot project to investigate and introduce cheap, simple, low-level aerial photography techniques to children and students. Therefore, as part of our activities, we donate kite aerial photography starter and standard kits to a range of groups and individuals. This pilot project is partly to establish a reliable system for working with children and to encourage the progression to more interesting techniques, such as working in the near infra-red (NIR), phase 2 of the Scheme.

Near infra-red kite aerial photo (IR 808#16D)

Pupils from Toronto Primary School, Livingston, studying pond life and flying kites with cameras. A West Lothian school taking a pioneering lead in the pursuit of excellence through innovation. Spring 2013

The first standard kit (With Pentax W60) was donated to Edinburgh University Archaeology Society in October 2012 (and another one a year later). Three months later, we had produced and tested a viable starter kit and, in April 2013, one was donated to an individual Edinburgh archaeology student, Hannah, for use in the Society's outreach programme with schools.

Katie and Anna with Edinburgh University Arch.Soc.'s Picavet KAP rig, Pentax W60 camera and kites


By the Project's official launch date, 1st May 2013, the Trust had already distributed nine kite aerial photography kits, including both starter and standard systems.


Phase 1 - ongoing in West Lothian and Stroud, Gloucestershire.

KAP kit No.1 & 1NIR


Video clip  (2)

Near infra-red video clip (NIR camera).

A gentle, robust, light system.

The camera is velcroed onto the pad at the top left after the kite line has been wrapped around the wire about six times. (The supplied transverse pendulum is a little longer than shown for added stability)

Cost to put such a kit together online ~£65

Use a safety line

HQ Delta Graphic 2m kite - Make sure that the outer spars are pushed down to the lower corners of the kite before flight. In a strong, steady breeze, this kite with a good tail, can lift the rig supplied with KAP kit No.2 using kit No.2's stronger Dacron line.

18g 808#16D from eletoponline365 on eBay (Manual) 120° (diagonal) wide-angle HD video camera (details) and 2GB Micro SD card.  If you have problems getting the camera to work try reinserting the SD card.  If that fails, reformat the card using the setup program. There any many poorer quality versions out there!!!

Recommended free video player: VideoLan (click on 'View' and then 'Advanced Controls' after installation). Use VideoLan to select the best stills from the video.

This small camera is good on a pole too.

Wire rig (2)  Supplier of this gauge wire.


808#16D micro HD video camera

Tip: When the string is reeled out, if the camera is bobbing about too much, walk forwards for a short distance until the line bows a little. The camera should then become transiently stable and give a steady section of video.

REMEMBER to charge your camera via the USB cable before venturing out! This normally takes about 1hr...it is fully charged when the green light turns off.

To turn the camera on press the button shown below for about 2 to 3 seconds until the light changes from red to green. The light should remain on, indicating standby mode. To start the video recording briefly press the button shown below and the light should flash 3 times and then go out.  The camera is now shooting video.                      

Reverse the process to stop the video and then turn off the camera. Use the black USB lead to connect the camera to the computer for charging and for downloading the videos (with the camera in standby mode).  The micro SD card can also be removed.


KAP kit No.1a

Starter kit replacement

9th September 2015

The transverse pendulum starter rig has now been replaced with above Picavet cross-based rig. The camera will have either the Omnivision OV2710 chipset, as above, or the higher resolution OV4689. Total weight of the rig, including camera is 131g. The camera shoots video or stills with interval modes of 2, 3, 5,10, 20, 30 or 60 seconds.

WiFi app 'Ez icam'

The camera is turned on by holding down the button on the front for about 3 seconds. The camera is set to interval mode by then briefly pressing the same button 3 times in succession. Pressing the shutter button on the top of the camera will then start the camera taking photos in a continuous sequence until the shutter button is pressed again to stop it.

Variant for vertical work.


New kit camera

Supplied with picavet suspension (as above) or a selfie stick depending on kite size.

24th September 2016

Novatek 96660 chip, Sony IMX 117 (12MP) sensor

Interval mode

Turn the camera on by briefly pressing the grey button on the top.

Enter the setup mode by pressing the grey button three more times.

Press the button on the front of the camera eleven times and then press the red button  to enter the 'capture mode'.

Press the button on the front once to move to the 2 second timer

Press the red button to select the 2 second timer.

Press the grey button twice to move to camera mode.

Press the red button to automatically take a photo every 2 seconds.


I preset the

Quality to 'Fine'

Image size '12M 4032x3024'

Sharpness to 'Soft' for best image quality. Images can be sharpened on the computer if necessary.

Exposure to -1/3 (or less) to avoid burnt out areas of the image.

WiFi app 'CANANY'




Half of  the donations were of the Standard kit No.2


KAP kit No.2


A tough, waterproof, shock resistant system with a replaceable UV filter on the front of the lens.

Cost to put such a kit together online £230+, based on the Celtic Delta.


Replacement spars (eg 1)

Repair tape (eg 1, 2)

HQ Power Sled M 1.7, HQ 3m Delta Graphic Rainbow*, 9ft Emma Kites Mylar Delta*, 9ft Mylar Delta copy or Spirit of Air, 2.6m Giant Celtic Delta (line and reel included). Basic guide

With the delta, make sure that the outer spars are pushed down to the lower corners of the kite before flight.  With the sled, if one of the fibreglass spars pops out of the fabric, do not fly it until the spar is reinserted with the end cap in place.

Compact camera (formerly the Pentax WG 1** with built-in interval mode - now the the Pentax WG-10, but soon being replaced by the Pentax/Ricoh WG20) and SD card.  Manual

Typical settings for KAP work with the WG-10, with ISO 200 and interval set to 10 seconds.

 Other techniques for triggering camera shutters.

Brooxes Simplex Picavet rig.

Halo reel with ~90m of 65daN (140lb) Dacron Black line or, latterly, 60m of 220lb Dacron line.

* The HQ 3m deltas are no longer exported to the UK and the 9ft Mylar delta is no longer shipped to the UK by Emma Kites.

** The WG 2 and 3 do not allow interval mode to be selected along with sports mode, as with the WG1, so faster speeds cannot be set as a preference. However, the WG 1/2/3 cameras can also be operated with a GentLed which will give shorter interval shooting times than 10 seconds and still permit the use of sports mode. The Pentax WG-10 appears to be like the WG-1.

Phase 2: near infra-red


KAP kit No.3

(NIR Standard)

 As kit No.2 but with the camera professionally converted for use in the near infra-red.

Cost to put such a kit together online £440+, based on the Celtic Delta.


These cameras are reserved for proven KAPers already within the Scheme, with priority to Group members. We supply these with a 760nm near infra-red filter.

Typical settings for KAP work with the WG-10 near infra-red converted camera, with ISO 200 and interval set to 10 seconds. The camera is set to auto focus. 

(Using the infinity setting (mountain icon) does not work with some of these cameras and some focus on infinity when set to macro. Manual focus settings can also be saved)



Kite Aerial Photography




Children should always be supervised by responsible adults. The adults should ensure that the children are flying an appropriate kite for their abilities, in the prevailing wind, and be aware of any risks to both the children and members of the public. Kites should not be flown near roads, vehicles, power lines, airfields, animals and drones, or when there is a risk of lightening, or even a steady electrical discharge from clouds. Kites should not be flown in the rain or with a wet line.

In unstable winds, assuming that there is sufficient lift, the addition of a fuzzy tail (1) (2) helps stabilise the kite. We normally provided these with the above kits. Handle the kites with care and do not drag them along the ground. Do not fly in winds gusting over 20mph. Aim to fly in a light to moderate breeze. Always check the weather forecast. Keep away from power lines, trees, buildings and airports. In the UK do not fly a kite above 60m, unless you have obtained special permission from the Civil Aviation Authority.

With the deltas, always bend the spreader spar to fit the pockets, do not pull on the pockets or you will find yourself needing repair tape!

Avoid flying in winds above 20mph, you will damage the kite and probably write-off the camera.

Do not hand the kit to someone that you have not instructed in its use, unless you are supervising them.

Remember sturdy gloves!

Always check that the Pentax is set to its widest angle, not telephoto, before flight.

Kite lines are supplied with swivels for attaching to the kite when flown.  Swivels are useful for untwisting lines. After prolonged use, swivels can fail and, ideally, the line should be attached directly to the kite using a knot, or replace the swivel after prolonged use. This is less of an issue with the gentle starter kit. The kite and line should be checked regularly for signs of wear.

Launch the kite at the end of at least 20m of line and fly it for a while to check its stability before attaching the camera. The further the camera is attached away from the kite, the more stable it will be.

Homemade Picavet rig with power sled 24 kite (June 2007)

Published with the kind permission of David Hunt

© David Hunt



The easiest way to attach an action camera or phone to a kite line is with a selfie stick

(note the red, safety, end screw)

The knot used above

(Loop-over constrictor knot)


A double twist variant for when the kite is already in flight see: https://youtu.be/iirCwYONnIY

In flight the selfie stick is fully extended.

There are many variations with this approach.

Two selfie stick configurations, the upper one with a Flir One thermal imager (normally secured with PVC tape) and phone on a lockable-section stick.


An aerial photo of Armadale, West Lothian, using the above selfie stick with a phone's camera and a 2.6m Celtic Delta Kite.



If you have any problems with the kit, including damage, or queries, please get back to me.

Feedback is both encouraged and welcomed. The Scheme is the first of its kind and I am sure that there is significant scope for improvement.

This page is under constant revision.

John Wells

john wlatrust.org.uk

Crop marks at Nesley Farm, Gloucestershire.

June 2011



One of many ways to tie a line to a kite
1 2
3 4
Important: At stage 3, pull the top of the loop on the left to tighten the knot.  It is crucial that the lower loop is pulled through the knot to bind it securely. Note the anti-slip knot at the end of the line.  Knots see also here


Jim Knowles and John Wells demonstrating kite aerial photography on Cairnpapple.

Aligning the camera on the Brooxes Simplex Picavet rig ready for launching. 


Inverness and Ross and Cromarty Young Archaeologists Clubs, West Mulchaich


Near infra-red kite aerial photography at the Hidden Heritage Project excavations in Tarbet along with with Northlight Heritage and school groups.

May 2013

If you are flying a kite alone, it is useful to be able to fasten the kite line to an anchor point so that you can more easily attach or detach the camera suspension.

How to anchor the kite line with a quick release knot.

Form a double loop as shown above and anchor using the two loops. On removing the line, simply pull the single loop to untie.

A more line-friendly knot is the
Kalmyk Loop

This is an excellent quick release knot


Cairnpapple looking southwards, August 2009 (Pentax Optio W60).


Near infra-red
KAP: Visible and near infra-red taken by Jim Knowles at Rufford.
This is a proven technique with cameras starting around £40......or free within SNAPS!

Thermal infra-red

Visible and thermal infra-red images taken by Ulrich Kiesow from a microlight. © archaeoflug.de



KAP: Ogilface Castle taken by John and the late Rosie Wells.

Flir PathFindIR Imager

March 2012


KAP: Stratford Court Playing Fields, Stroud.

(uniformly green in the visible spectrum)

Flir One Imager on a selfie stick suspended from a kite line.

John Wells

April 2016

Near ultraviolet

Near ultraviolet KAP, but at a lower angle, taken by John and the late Rosie Wells.


< Visible section overlapping with foreground of the NUV image above.

Much more work is needed in the UV but application may be limited to excavation sites and man-made materials and minerals.



Kite aerial photography of archaeological sites



Gormyre Hill


Imaging sites can be split broadly into 6 main areas of interest




Building, wall, post hole, brick, pebble etc.


      Process, stitch, 3D model, illuminate etc. Often, photographers are frustrated by the quality of some their images. Images can be transformed by simply clicking on 'auto levels' in Photoshop or the equivalent in many other programs (eg. the free GIMP or the simple Picasa which also allows you to level the horizon), followed by sharpening the image. Photoscan (download free and have a go) is our program of choice for both stitching images and for constructing virtual 3D models. A section on this stage will be included at a later date.





   Display, project, print (inc. 3D), animate etc.


The image resolution (and therefore choice of camera) required will vary on the height from which the images are to be acquired. For site location and delineation, the Starter Kit is more than adequate (1250x720 pixels), with images only several hundred pixels wide being sufficient, or even less in the original thermal image above.

PenCam 352 x 288 pixel image of Cairnpapple

© James Gentles 2003


The Scottish National Aerial Photography Scheme's

Kite Aerial Photography Competition




The Final Year's Winners


Section Winner

Armadale Primary School

West Lothian

winning stamp 

From their Memory Cave Cafe calendar, supported by Alzheimer Scotland.

The best aerial image taken with one of the kite kits and submitted by a primary school, or group of similar age.


Armadale Primary School

Section Winner

Ron Dingwall

West Lothian

The best aerial image taken with a Starter Kit, by anyone (excl. primary schools).

Mid Howe Brock on the Island of Rousay

Section Winner


Christy Lawless

Co Mayo



The best aerial image taken with a Standard Kit, by anyone.

Rathra, Rathbarna Enclosure Complex, Co Roscommon.
Quadrivallated Enclosure


2014-2015 Winners


Section Winner

Linlithgow Bridge Primary School

West Lothian

Part of their Linlithgow paper mill project

The best aerial image taken with one of the kite kits and submitted by a primary school, or group of similar age.

Section Winner

Steve Cole

Scottish Waterways Trust

The best aerial image taken with a Starter Kit, by anyone (excl. primary schools).


The Forth and Clyde Canal

Section Winner

Christy Lawless

Co Mayo



The best aerial image taken with a Standard Kit, by anyone.


Round Tower and Church, Turlough, Castlebar, Co Mayo, Ireland.


2013-2014 Winners


Section Winner

Toronto Primary School

West Lothian

The best aerial image taken with one of the kite kits and submitted by a primary school, or group of similar age.

Toronto Primary School, Livingston, West Lothian, for their image of Blawhorn Moss, Blackridge.

< The image has been reproduced on a sheet of 1st Class stamps.

Section Winner

Gill Russell


The best aerial image taken with a Starter Kit, by anyone (excl. primary schools).

Gill Russell of Glenbuchat Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, for her Starter Kit image of Tomnaverie stone circle near Tarland.

Gill now has a Standard Kit.

Section Winner


Séamus Ó Murchú


The best aerial image taken with a Standard Kit, by anyone.

The image has been made into postcards for Séamus.


Séamus has also been sent the first of the Scheme's Phase 2, 720nm near infra-red converted, compact cameras.

Séamus Ó Murchú, ArchaeoLandscapes PhD student at University College Dublin, for his Standard Kit image of The Caher, Glendalough, County Wicklow, Ireland (1).



Kite aerial photography kit recipients

Are the kits working well?  Let us know.....send a picture for inclusion below ;o)


You can also post on our SNAPS Forum and tell everyone who you are and what you are doing, or intend doing, with the kit.

Photos do not correspond with any particular kit camera (any photo can be from either kit).


Starter Kit

 NIR = 830nm near infra-red


Standard Kit

NIR = near infra-red

Edinburgh University Archaeology Society



Armadale Camera Club - West Lothian


  excl. camera


Hannah McGlynn - Edinburgh Archaeology Outreach Project


Ron Dingwall - History of Armadale Association and West Lothian Archaeology Group SNAPS Schools Coordinator

St Tanwg's Church near Harlech, Wales.

Mid Howe Brock on the Island of Rousay

Nant Gwytheryn Quarries

St. Blane's Monastery - Bute

Cockleroy Hillfort

Broch of Gurness





David Connolly -  British Archaeological Jobs and Resources and West Lothian Archaeology Group - East Lothian

Buckets and spades in North Berwick (Edinburgh Fringe).

Flying the kite and rig at Whitecastle

Luggate - site of 7th century chapel

Brian Wilkinson - Britain from Above Activity OfficerRoyal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland - West Lothian Archaeology Group - West Lothian

Alvie Primary School at Ballourie no wind so used pole

Allt Na Baranachd, Cairngorms


John - South Ayrshire


x excl camera


Rural Connect -  West Lothian


Hidden Heritage Project - Argyll and Bute

Pupil from Hermitage Academy taking his turn.


Near infra-red video clip

Katy Firth - Northlight Heritage - Council for British Archaeology Trainee - Glasgow


Edinburgh Young Archaeologists Club >






Pupils from Kirkmichael Primary School with their trenches on the Glenshee excavation

Camstane Quarry in Holyrood Park

Bernice Keegan - West Lothian

Young kite aerial photographers in Torphichen with the Standard Kit!

Wonderful Wild Wednesdays events of

Rural Connect

Howden Park


Sybil (and the late Brian) Cavanagh - West Lothian

Roger Griffith - North Ayrshire (a member of the Canmore User Group)  (1)  (2)         (830nm NIR)

Ardeer Primary School pupils.

Still from first video 

Barrmill Village: Still from aerial survey

Toronto Primary School - West Lothian

Pupils at Blawhorn Moss West Lothian


Becky Plunkett - West Lothian Council Greenspace Officer



Alison Sheridan et al. - National Museum of Scotland -  Edinburgh - (Archaeological KAP Group)


Clarkly Hill (Fraser Hunter)

Clarkly Hill (Fraser Hunter)


Santiago Arribas - Historic Scotland Edinburgh




Rangers - Historic Scotland Linlithgow, West Lothian




Ricardo Costa - Portugal


  9ft Mylar Delta kite only

Armadale Primary School - West Lothian


A page from their Memory Cave Cafe* calendar.

*supported by Alzheimer Scotland.


Val Dufeu - Clackmannanshire




Steven Raeside - Scottish Industrial Preservation Trust, Glasgow (deceased)


  camera only


Lindsey - Glasgow School of Art and Scottish Industrial Preservation Trust




Julie Gibson - University of the Highlands and Islands, Orkney



Andrew Coulson - Musselburgh Conservation Society, Musselburgh


First outing



David McClean - Education Officer, West Lothian




Tom Hill - Armadale Academy, West Lothian




Tom Smith - West Lothian Family History Society, West Lothian




Alex Hale - Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland, Edinburgh


x x

Oliver O'Grady - Living Lomonds Landscape Partnership



Steve and Julia Barton - Nottingham

Castlerigg Stone Circle Cumbria

First flight at an archaeological site.

Betty Hunter - History of Armadale Association, West Lothian

First outing

Steve Cole - Canal Greenspace Development Officer
Waterways Trust  (1)  (2)

and Louise Gamble (Community Engagement Officer - Council for British Archaeology Trainee)


First archaeological on-site flight with the Twechar Youth Group (Barhill, to right).

Easter Carmuirs Primary School visit to the Falkirk Wheel.

Barrhill Roman Fort (Twechar) -









Richard Strachan - Historic Scotland




Daniel Wood - Student - Leeds





Stroud District (and nearby) Gloucestershire

known locally on Facebook as

Stroud Kite Aerial Photography


Emily Glass - Bristol Dig Berkeley


Rob Berry - University of Gloucestershire Gloucestershire


Heidi Walker (and Jason) - WLAG, Stroud, Glos. Heidi is a Volunteer Photographer with the National Trust. (Archaeological KAP Group)

Tintagel ^

< Near Stroud

< Tintagel ^

Tump on Selsey Common, near Stroud.


The end of Passage Road by the River Severn

Alice Fallon - Cirencester College / Royal Agricultural University

Heidi Walker with Alice Fallon (right)

Cirencester College


Deborah Roberts - Stroud Valleys Project and others.

 John Wells with Deborah on Edge Common, near Stroud

Edge Common

Swift's Hill





Amy Woodget - Post-doctoral researcher and lecturer in remote sensing and river science - University of Worcester  (760nm NIR)

Out on Rodborough Common, near Stroud.








Staff and students at the Christopher Cadbury Wetland Reserve at Upton Warren


Stacey Perkin - Rosary Catholic Primary School - Stroud



Alfie Jobbins - Stroud Kites (camera and rig only)



Ian Williams





Seven action cameras for wheelchairs. Kite(s) to follow if interested.

Karin Sztygiel


Starter camera, selfie stick and 2.6m Celtic Delta

Jacque Soze


Refocussed 16MP Xiaomi Yi camera, selfie stick and 2.6m Celtic Delta
Richard Ball and Gerry Harte - Vale of Evesham Historical Society

Refocussed 16MP Xiaomi Yi camera, Ricoh WG-20 and 2.6m Celtic Delta
Louise Little - Randwick Cubs

Starter kit


Jo Kingsbury - Royal Society for the Protection of Birds Glasgow multiple users and use


x x x

Stefan Sagrott - National Trust for Scotland 

x x
Dominic Powlesland - schools project on the DMV at East Heslerton   x


Ian Lewis - Oatridge College - Scotland's Rural College - West Lothian



Torphichen Primary School - Ms Ferguson - West Lothian

First flight - part of their Prehistory Project with Historic Scotland, Rural Connect and Northlight Heritage etc.


Jeff Sanders - Scottish Archaeological Research Framework / Dig It! 2015 - Society of Antiquaries of Scotland - Edinburgh

The DigIt!2015 website is officially launched 15 March 2014

A cautionary note from Jeff


Susan and Robin Hunter - Association of Certificated Field Archaeologists




Carol Dickson - Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society Edinburgh



Bill Kerr - Kite Club of Scotland - West Lothian  (Archaeological KAP Group)

First outing with the new camera within 1 day of receipt, taken in miserable conditions.

Camera only


Eastertoun Primary School - West Lothian




Windyknowe Primary School - West Lothian




Balbardie  Primary School - West Lothian



Armadale Beavers - West Lothian



Kirkliston Primary School - West Lothian




Kirkhill Primary School - West Lothian




Blackridge Primary School - West Lothian




Ken Bowker - Moidart History Group




Acharacle Primary School - Highland




Arisaig Primary School - Highland



Gill Russell - Glenbuchat Strathdon Aberdeenshire

Tomnaverie stone circle near Tarland.

Taken with the starter kit, demonstrating that lighting is everything!

Paul Adams - Scottish Natural Heritage (Blawhorn Moss)


Blawhorn Moss


Paul Duffy - Bute


x x

Paul Cordes - Tyne and Wear (DART Workshop follow-up)


Detection of Archaeological Residues using remote sensing Techniques (DART)

Horizon Scanning Workshop - Leeds University

Random number generator, 3 Starter Kit prizes ;o


Carmen Cuenca-Garcia, Crete



x Sent as follow-up





Hannah Brown - University of Bradford

Field boundaries and sheep ;o)


Sent as follow-up


Allan's Primary School - Stirling




James Young High School - Livingston



Giles Carey - Warwick (1, 2, 3)         (830nm NIR)

3D model of Oswestry Hillfort west entrance.

Wonston village







Thornborough Central Henge

See also: https://sketchfab.com/models/76d516332586480c9c08f8306714ba27


Jonathan and Ian - Murieston Environmental Group


Archaeology Scotland           (830nm NIR)

Heritage Heroes Project: Biggar aerial photography crew.

Outing to Boghall Castle


Michael Brown    (830nm NIR)


x x

Clackmannanshire Field Studies Society

Inaugural flight on Cairnpapple

Kite flyer Sadie Archibald



Sophie Nicol - Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust


xx x


Anna Welti - WeDigs in Wester Ross



Mrs Bruce - Linlithgow Bridge Primary School - West Lothian

Linlithgow Mill Stories: A project involving the Local History Library and Museums Galleries Scotland.

West Lothian Council and Lottery Funded

Flying from the school playground, looking northwards, to locate the site of the old paper mill. 


Paul Sorowka - Stirling Field and Archaeological Society



Colin Davenport - Stirling Young Archaeologists' Club

Taken on the way home, after collecting the kit.


 Phil Bowyer - Tynedale Archaeology



Karin Chipulina - East Lothian Forest School




Andi Neilson - East Lothian Forest School




Ross Flemington - East Lothian Forest School, Pilmeny Development Project and Edinburgh City Council Community Learning and Development South



plus Celtic Delta





Nicola Hamilton - Lecropt Nursery - Bridge of Allan



Frank McElhinney - Glasgow School of Art

Now co-founder of the GSA Kite Flying Society

Around Bannockburn


Seren Griffiths - HeritageTogether.org - 3D modelling



 plus spare kite


Óskar Gísli Sveinbjarnarson - Aberdeen University



HQ FF2 kite only


Linda Moorhouse - Cree Valley Community Woodlands Trust (Archaeology)


x x


Murrayfield Primary School - West Lothian


Mary Saunders - Bradford University (Archaeology) (Archaeological KAP Group)

A photogrammetric model of part of the landscape in the Dales.


Sarah Chapman and Lynsey McNab - The Sir Duncan Rice Library - University of Aberdeen


x x

Bathgate Historic Conservation Society - Joseph Welsh


Westfield Primary School - West Lothian



Newton Primary School - Dunblane



Sandra Miller - World Heritage Site Ranger Service - Orkney


x x

Strathyre Primary School


Sarah Young - Dedridge Primary School - West Lothian

St David's  Primary School - Edinburgh



St Anthony's Primary School - Armadale



plus helium rubbish bag kit


Parkhead Primary School - West Calder



Aberdeen University Archaeology Society


Jacques le Roux - Bathgate Academy - West Lothian


Renfrewshire Local History Forum - Andrew Eadie



A group present at the DigIt!2015 launch ?





Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion (SCAPE) - Joanna Hambly



Lauren McIntyre - Elmet Archaeological Services



Derryck Reid - Outreach - Heriot Watt University


x (plus spare camera)  
Keith Dingwall

Crubenbeg holiday Cottages near Newtonmore.


Helen Goodchild - Dept. Archaeology - York University





Catherine Parker - HS and Sanday Archaeology Group - Orkney



Douglas Scott - Easter Ross 760nm NIR

Torhouse stone circle in Galloway

St. Bridget's chapel site in Strathnairn

Carn Irenan - Clava type passage cairn

Upper Lagmore Clava type passage cairn in Strathspey




Toradroch - Clava type ring cairn in Strathnairn near Inverness













Aileen Penny - Aberfoyle Primary School




Archaeology Above and Below

A meeting of invited participants, with the Taoiseach, at Balla Secondary School, Co. Mayo., Europe's flagship school in kite and geophysical archaeological remote sensing.    

4th April 2014    



Image Courtesy Western Care Association - Photographer John Moylette.

The Prime Minister of Ireland, Enda Kenny along with participants, including members of SNAPS and seven members of the Archaeological KAP Group, from Armadale (John), Linlithgow (Jim), Stroud (Heidi), Claremorris, Co. Mayo (Kevin), Waterford (Tina), Turlough, Castlebar, Co. Mayo (Christy) and Dublin (Séamus).

Standing immediately behind the Prime Minister is the eminent Irish archaeo-geophysicist Kevin Barton (left) with Dr. Axel G. Posluschny from the Roman-Germanic Commission of the German Archaeological Institute and Project Leader of the EU's Culture Programme's ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Project. The Prime Minister gave and informed talk on heritage and archaeology and emphasised how local studies help reinforce a local and national identity. He also spoke about the increasing use of low-level aerial photography, including kites.

The meeting had a variety of talks, outdoor work with kite aerial photography and poster displays, but also included the entrants to a heritage poster competition for schools. The posters of professionals, amateurs and school children were presented together, something to keep the professionals on their toes ;o)

Schools Poster Competition

The Prime Minister presented the first prize, symbolically a kite, to pupils from Lankill for their poster of a heritage walk around their town.

John presented the second prize for a poster on Balla.

This meeting was followed by an open meeting at the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, Tulsk, Co. Roscommon.

5-6th April 2014


Roscommon Castle

Flash Earth

Kite aerial photos taken in both the visible spectrum and rain!

Oblique view Inverted (negative) Near vertical tilt of an inverted, virtual 3D model.
  An example of mapping on a colour gradient, where thresholds can be varied (model as above).  

As their hotel was close by, Jim and John strolled over to Roscommon Castle and took some kite aerial photos. These images illustrate visual KAP, which can then be extended into the near and thermal infra-red and followed up with geophysical surveys if appropriate.


Recipients in Ireland

(and at the conference)

(normally, kits are no longer supplied outside Scotland)

Kevin Barton - Landscape and Geophysical Services (Archaeological KAP Group) 760nm NIR

Hill of Tara


Rathcroghan - A kite and kite flyer top left!


Flying an HQ KAP Foil 1.6m at Mount 

Storsteinen (421m), Tromsø Municipality, 

Norway, March 2015. 

Balla Secondary School, Co Mayo - ArcLand BARS Project / Balla Secondary School, Co Mayo


Rathcroghan (2) with geophysics survey grid in place


Tina Keating - Copper Coast Geopark - Waterford (Archaeological KAP Group)

Dunhill Castle and the Anne Valley with the 5th year students from Stella Maris Secondary School, Tramore. Co Waterford.

 All images from the kites first outing!!!



Ian Brown - Keble College - Oxford


Frank Scott (Facebook) - Roscommon Heritage Group (Archaeological KAP Group) 760nm NIR

Rath Brennan, Co. Roscommon.

Ballybride, Co. Roscommom (near infra-red).

Ballintobber Castle Excavation.




Roscommon Castle (near infra-red)

Ballintobber Castle Excavation (near infra-red).



At Rathbrennan - Roscommon

Rathbrennan - unrecorded feature lower left?

Dundonnell Castle, Co Roscommon.

Ballintobber Castle Excavation (near infra-red).



Séamus Ó Murchú - University College Dublin - (Archaeological KAP Group) 720nm NIR

The Caher, Glendalough, County Wicklow, Ireland (1, 2)

Gary Dempsey (Archaeological KAP Group)

Larger version


Conor Brady - Dundalk Institute of Technology



Balla Secondary School (backup)



Rathcroghan Visitor Centre - Roscommon, Ireland. Community and School projects initiated by Gary Dempsey and Kevin Barton.



Pauline McDermott - Tochar Valley  Rural Community Network



Amanda Young - Navan Fort


Joe Fenwick - National University of Ireland  - Galway (Archaeological KAP Group)

Ross Errilly Friary, North Galway. ^


Roscam early monastic site, East Galway. >


David McGuinness - Westmeath Archaeological & Historical Society



Stella Maris Secondary School - Co. Waterford



Christy Lawless - Field Archaeologist - Co. Mayo (Archaeological KAP Group) 760nm NIR

Round Tower and Church, Turlough, Castlebar, Co Mayo.

Crannog, Achill  Island off the Co. Mayo coast.

Staigue Stone Fort, Co. Kerry.

Moyne Abbey Killala, North Co Mayo









Round Tower and Church, Turlough, Castlebar, Co Mayo. (4 miles north east of Castlebar). Church founded by St. Patrick in the 5th century. Round Tower 9th-12th century.

Deserted Village, Achill Island, Co. Mayo, West of Ireland.

Creevykeel Court Tomb, Cliffony, Co Sligo.

Nymphsfield Stone Circle, Cong, Co. Mayo.

Ballintubber Abbey, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.

Carnfree field, Co. Roscommon.





Earthen Ringfort (adjacent to the Round Tower).

Achill Henge – A modern Stonehenge look-alike.

Rathlacken Court Tomb, Lacken, North Co Mayo. (Pole aerial photo)

Eochai’s Cairn, Cairn, The Neale, Co. Mayo.

Carn Lamha Mound, Co. Roscommon.

Carnfree Mound, Co. Roscommon.

Pole shadow selfie with Kevin Barton talking geophysics.


Rathrar, Rathbarna Quadrivalleted Enclosure Complex, Co Roscommon.

Kite aerial photo by Christy Lawless



Yvonne McDermott - Galway Mayo Institute of Technology



Balla Secondary School, Co Mayo

^ The view across Balla with the school on the left and the old walled garden in the foreground, taken by the students (Flash Earth).

< Students at Balla Secondary School with Heidi left, Jim at the top and John with Geography teacher Anna Finlay, who helped make the meeting such a success.

Here is a still from a simple, virtual 3D model looking vertically downwards.  The model was constructed from 4 images, taken by the students, from roughly the same position, hence the lower resolution on the far, northern side. The camera positions are numbered and indicated in blue at the left of the image. Ideally, images should be captured from around any feature. The black areas are regions not visible to the camera.

General Background to Teaching Archaeology in School

A Continuing Professional Development Course for West Lothian Teachers, 4.30 to 6.30pm, 27th May

(Middle – Upper Primary Teachers.  Secondary teachers to S3)

SRUC Oatridge Campus

Ecclesmachan, Broxburn, EH52 6NH, West Lothian.

Russell.Smith@sruc.ac.uk   Tel. 01506 864800  Ext.192



First session with a member of staff from Archaeology Scotland, looking at a general background in archaeology in schools, with emphasis on skills, modern methods and techniques and how this applies to the classroom and grounds.

Kite Aerial Photography

Second session looking at the kite aerial photography, using kites and cameras with members of West Lothian Archaeological TrustKite aerial photography kits for all attending teachers to take back to their schools.

(Photo: Courtesy Rural Connect)

David Banks - ASD Outreach - Cedarbank/Deans Community High School - Livingston

First flight - Bing Land


Patrick - Kirkhill Primary



Tom Wallace - Autism Outreach - Deans/Cedarbank



 K.S. - Autism Outreach



Craig Potter - Knightridge Primary




Planned Project(s) of Bo'ness Schools and 'Friends of Kinneil' - Falkirk

Initiated and coordinated by Maria Ford, Friends of Kinneil.


Bo'ness Public School




Kinneil School



St Mary's RC School



Deanburn Primary School



Blackness Primary School



Grange School



Jill Masson - Broxburn Academy



Robin Sharp - Dunfermline & District Probus Club



Tamsyn Sloan


Jane Miller - Flodden Young Archaeologists' Club

Ford Moss

Dun Dornaigil

First outing!


Helen Webber - Kirkland High School and Community College / Buckhaven High School - Fife (Extension from Living Lomonds above)


  x x  

Jackie Sangster - SCRAN - RCAHMS

North Berwick

Tantallon Castle and Bass Rock





Primary 5 class, Law School,North Berwick















West Lothian

From June 2015




Ruth Watson / Susan Johnston - Low Port Primary School - Linlithgow



ActionCam and 2m delta


Paul Charlton - 4th West Lothian Scout Group - Linlithgow



 2 Celtic Delta, selfie stick and 4K ActionCam variants


Fiona McNeill - Conolly House School - Blackburn



ActionCam and 2m delta


Isla Wright - St Margaret's Academy - Livingston




Karen Rojboonthueng - Letham Primary - Livingston


ActionCam, 2m delta and 1.68m sled

Taryn Morag Gouck - Bathgate - University of Glasgow


Lana Wallace - Carmondean Primary School






Over 20 photographic poles have also been donated since 2008.

A member of Falkirk Young Archaeologists' Club using one of the poles donated to Archaeology Scotland, October 2009.

Jim, Cade, Heidi and John of West Lothian Archaeology with a (discontinued) Sutton Flow Form on Cairnpapple.

Blackness Castle looking south-westwards, June 2010 (Pentax Optio W60).


An inverted kite aerial image of an excavation taken with an earlier, lower resolution version of the Pentax WG10 that is now included in our Standard Kit.

3D version (8.34MB pdf) Ctrl+left mouse button to move image, left mouse button to rotate, wheel to zoom.

Excavation at Nesley Farm, Gloucestershire.   

June 2011


Cade and John Wells with the prototype kite thermal imager.

September 2011