Hollywood movies starring the Loch Ness Monster are to be used in school lessons to examine how films use Nessie to portray ‘Scotland versus England’ stereotypes.
The move has provoked controversy in some quarters who insist the world-famous legend should be left out of politics.
Movies about the legend are to be used in the school curriculum to encourage secondary pupils to explore ideas about persuasion and bias.
But segments placing the creature on a political platform by suggesting the monster is a symbol of England dominating Scotland are being scotched.
The 17-page lesson plan, called ‘How Others See Us In Film’, is aimed at 11-14 year olds and says some films have shown Scotland as a ‘primitive country’ within Britain.
It also looks at the impact of movies ‘Brigadoon’ and ‘The Da Vinci Code’.
Loch Ness tourism expert Willie Cameron said “With regards to the ‘primitiveness’ of the area – historically, all the hills round here and right down the glen, the Pictish tribes were here and you could say it was slightly primitive but I think we have come a long way since then!
“Pre-pandemic, Loch Ness attracted over 1.5 million visitors, generating in excess of £45m to the economy so if they want to call us primitive, that’s fine, but as far as business is concerned, that’s excellent.”
Scottish Government agency Education Scotland says the study encourages students to debate and analyse bias and the role film has playing in shaping the global view of Scotland and supports pupils in learning about respecting the heritage and identity of others.
Those who have studied Loch Ness for decades say Nessie is bigger than any labels.
Self-proclaimed ‘Nessie Hunter’ Steve Feltham has lived on the edge of the Loch for 30 years.
He says “There is something out there in the Loch. It doesn’t wear a kilt, it hasn’t got a bonnet on, we haven’t got enough evidence but the object of the lesson plan is to stimulate a debate on how it’s portrayed in film globally.
“It’s definitely the Highlands of Scotland’s biggest brand and possibly the initial draw for visitors from around the globe to come here, and all for the good.”
STV News is now on WhatsApp
Get all the latest news from around the countryFollow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp
Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country