Western Isles heritage gems gears up for spring

The islands of Berneray and Mingulay
The islands of Berneray and Mingulay

WORK is underway at the National Trust for Scotland’s properties across the Western Isles as staff and volunteers prepare to welcome visitors once again.

It’s now 25 years since St Kilda attained the prestigious honour of becoming a World Heritage Site.

And this year, visitors to the remote archipelago will see the fruits of last year’s big project – the old manse on St Kilda – which has been sensitively transformed into a new shop and office, and a base for the rangers and archaeologist.

As the year progresses, there will be a major UNESCO conference on St Kilda and remote access, as well as the launch of two books: Karin Altenburg’s novel ‘Island of Wings’ and the latest edition of ‘Life and Death of St Kilda’.

Elsewhere in the Western Isles, on Mingulay, Pabbay and Berneray, the conservation charity will be carrying out a whole island seabird count and hopes to involved more volunteers in conservation work of these beautiful islands.

Western Isles Property Manager Susan Bain said: “We also hope to work with the local school on Barra to mark the occasion of the last permanent inhabitants leaving Pabbay, 100 years ago.”

For more information on the National Trust for Scotland and the work undertaken by the charity, visit www.nts.org.uk