This week, we were contacted by a member of the public who noticed what appeared to be a cup-and-ring marked rock when watching an edition of the ITV television programme 'Britain's Best Walks with Julia Bradbury'. In one section of the programme, the presenter visited some repair work that was being carried out to a section of the footpath on the eastern side of Loch Lomond by volunteers from The Mountains and The People. During the segment, the team were shown placing a large stone across the line of the path to act as a tread. Unfortunately, the stone used for this purpose appeared to have a cup-and-ring marking in one corner
From this picture, it looked as if the stone may have been partially buried in the ground previously, as moss has only grown on part of the surface. On the programme, it was stated that all of the material used for repair of the path had been sourced from the hillside, so it appeared possiblethat the stone may originally have been sited nearby - however, no rock art had been recorded from the area in the Historic Environment Record database. We therefore contacted the charity responsible for the repair work to the path, and visited the site to attempt to determine whether this represented a genuine unrecorded example of rock-art.
However, once at the site, it quickly became apparent that the markings visible on the television were not present on the stone. Following discussions with staff from The Mountains and The People, it appears that the markings shown on the television were in fact formed by the base of a bucket, which had been sitting on the surface of the rock immediately prior to filming! While it was slightly disappointing that a previously-unrecorded rock-art example was not present on the stone, it nevertheless provides a useful demonstration of the value of seeing an object in the flesh, and of how photographs can sometimes be misleading!