PLANS to save a farm built by Robert Burns where he wrote some of his most famous works have been unveiled by a charity.

Ellisland Farm, on the banks of the River Nith in Dumfries and Galloway, was built by the poet in 1788 for his wife Jean Armour and their family, and it was there he wrote pieces such as Auld Lang Syne and Tam O’Shanter.

Now, the Robert Burns Ellisland Trust wants to develop the site as a visitor attraction, with plans to make the farmhouse into an “immersive space” where visitors can experience the couple’s domestic life.

The proposals also include artistic residencies in the buildings, allowing a new generation of artists, musicians and writers to be inspired by the same landscape that Burns described as “sweet poetic ground”.

New accommodation will be modelled on the Hermitage, a tiny bothy on the neighbouring Friars Carse estate, where Burns would escape to write.

The proposals are based on the principle of “conservation through use” with money raised from visitors and creative retreats to be used to subsidise community, heritage and educational events.

A new visitor centre will be built at the site outside the village of Auld-girth, with a cafe and an exhibition space where items and artefacts from Ellisland’s collection will go on show, including manuscripts and some of Burns’s possessions, such as his books, flute and fishing rod.

The National: Artist impression of the new visitor centreArtist impression of the new visitor centre (Image: Robert Burns Ellisland Trust)

The vision for the site has been drawn up by the Trust, together with consultants Delfinity Ltd, OCA Architects, HarrisonStevens landscape architects, Lindsey Clark Heritage Consultants and Jenny Hunter, a specialist in community arts engagement and education.

The plans go on display to the public from today, with a community drop-in event taking place, with a digital campaign being funded by Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Community Led Vision Fund.

Dr David Hopes, acting chair of the Trust, said: “Ellisland is the place to fall in love with Burns and see nature through the poet’s eyes.

“These plans mean we will preserve and enhance the landscape which inspired Burns by improving bio-diversity and enhancing accessibility.”

“Ellisland’s conservation management plan, funded by Historic Environment Scotland and published last year, identified the site as being of ‘exceptional significance’ but said it was at risk unless extensive repairs were carried out.”

Joan McAlpine, business development manager at the Robert Burns Ellisland Trust, said: “These proposals will bring Ellisland alive by enabling new generations to be inspired as Burns was inspired by what he called the ‘sweet poetic ground’ on the Banks of the Nith.

“We believe people will want to come from all over the world to immerse themselves in the landscape which inspired Auld Lang Syne, Ye Banks And Braes, John Anderson and many more songs.”