Local News for Thursday 3rd January 2019
SNH DIVERS SURVEY ST KILDA REEFS & SEA CAVES
St Kilda’s special reefs and sea caves are in good condition; a new report concludes.
The findings of a wide-reaching survey carried out in 2015 by a team of divers have now been published by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
Almost 90 years after St Kilda’s last 36 residents were evacuated to the mainland, the islands remain vitally important for the wildlife they support.
The World Heritage Site hosts huge seabird populations, including the world’s second largest colony of North Atlantic gannets, and the waters around St Kilda are part of Scotland’s Marine Protected Areas (MPA) network, designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) for their reefs and sea caves, which attract a wealth of spectacular sea life.
Crucial to the management of the MPA network, as with protected areas on land, is monitoring.
The purpose of the St Kilda survey was to judge the current condition of the site and to establish a baseline against which future assessments of its special features could be made.
Weather conditions severely interrupted the team’s plans but they managed to survey four caves at St Kilda, returning with valuable data and a collection of stunning photographs, which can be viewed and downloaded courtesy of SNH online at https://bit.ly/2QSoeQ2
The full report on the survey, which found that the cave and reef features were in good condition, can be also be read online at: https://bit.ly/2V8SuEK
CHANGING TASTES FOR CALMAC PASSENGERS
It may be the cup that cheers, but it seems tea is no longer the beverage of choice for travellers with Local ferry operator, CalMac.
Latest figures released by the company show that over the summer season it sold more than twice as many cups of coffee than the more traditional choice of hot drink.
The move away from tea in favour of mochas, espressos and cappuccinos is a reflection of wider changing tastes on board according to CalMac’s, Head of Customer Sales, Kurt Hart- he said:
‘Good food adds a lot to an enjoyable passenger experience. Many of our suppliers are from the islands we serve from Stornoway Black Pudding to Arran Ice Cream
Kurt continued: ‘There will always be a place for traditional fayre, it is our job to make sure it is of the highest quality, made with the freshest ingredients from traceable local suppliers where possible, it is what our customers rightly expect.’
Read more: Local News for Thursday 3rd January 2019
Local News for Wednesday 2nd January 2019
STORNOWAY PORT AUTHORITY CONSULTS ON HARBOUR PLANS
The public are reminded that Stornoway Port Authority is consulting on the next stage of developing the town’s 20-year harbour master plan.
Alex Macleod, Stornoway Port Authority’s chief executive, said: “A new marina, together with the reclamation and other developments at the site, will significantly enhance facilities at the port and bring major benefits to the local community and our visitors. Seeking the marine licences and harbour revision order is the next step towards achieving these goals.”
Copies of licence applications, including plans, and a copy of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report can be inspected, free at Stornoway Port Authority, Amity House, Esplanade Quay, Stornoway - Monday to Friday 9.30am – 4.30pm and at Stornoway Library, 15 Cromwell Street, Stornoway Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 5pm, plus late opening to 7pm on Thursdays. Both locations will be closed on public holidays.
The EIA Report can also be viewed online at www.stornowayportauthority.com
Copies of a short, non-technical summary are available from Stornoway Port Authority free of charge.
A copy of the draft Harbour Revision may also be inspected, free of charge, between 9am-5pm Monday and Friday at the port authority offices until 25 January.
Read more: Local News for Wednesday 2nd January 2019