How you can
help us plan for St Kilda's future
to tell us what you think
New World Heritage Site Bid
The National Trust for Scotland, in partnership with other organisations,
is preparing a new management plan for St Kilda. The current management
plan comes to an end this year. This coincides with the fact that
in 2003, the Scottish Executive will bid to extend St Kilda's World
Heritage Site status. St Kilda was of course designated a World
Heritage Site in 1986, for its natural heritage - its cliffs and
its internationally important colonies of seabirds. The Scottish
Executive is now working with the Trust, and with Scottish Natural
Heritage and Historic Scotland, to gain recognition for its underwater
features and cultural landscape.
Marine and Cultural Treasures
Marine designation would recognise the spectacular underwater scenery
of cliffs, caves and gullies - and the rich animal and plant life
that it sustains. Cultural landscape designation would acknowledge
the long and close relationship between people and the natural environment
on St Kilda, still seen today in the amount of well preserved built
remains visible in the landscape.
Gleann Mor towards Boreray
Plan - Comments Please!
The World Heritage
Site bid will be submitted in early 2003 and must be accompanied
by an up-to-date management plan. We are consulting very widely
on the plan because we recognise that there will be much that we
want to achieve on St Kilda that we cannot do without other people's
After several months' work gathering ideas, we are now starting
to write the plan and have drafted the two statements that form
its cornerstone - the Statement of Significance and Vision Statement.
We now want to hear your comments on these.
So please do get in touch at the address below if you have any comments
and let us know what you think about the future management of St
Find Out More
If you would like to find out more about the management plan work,
Lorraine Bell, Management Planner
National Trust for Scotland
28 Charlotte Square
Edinburgh EH2 4ET
We will also
continue to post updates on the St Kilda website: www.kilda.org.uk
Being able to
e-mail newsletters helps us to save money for conservation work.
If we have sent this copy to you by post, please let us know if
you have an e-mail address that we can use to contact you in the
future. Thank you.
Residents Have Their Say
Public meetings on Benbecula and Harris
Conservation organisations like the Trust know which special features
have earned St Kilda a clutch of national and international designations.
But until now we have had no real idea what those who live nearest
to the islands value most about them. Two public meetings held towards
the end of last year are starting to change that. We visited Lionacleit
on Benbecula and Tarbert, Harris, and asked Western Isles residents
to come along to give us their views on St Kilda.
The importance of St Kilda
We asked everyone to tell us what they think makes St Kilda important.
People mentioned the unique story of the native St Kildans and the
relationship between man and the environment. The remoteness of
the islands is seen as a key factor and many people also mentioned
the underwater scenery and wildlife. A lot of people also stressed
the importance of an intangible sense of mystique - a real indefinable
What needs to be done?
Next we asked people whether there were any issues they thought
needed to be addressed in the future management of St Kilda. We
heard a strong message that people who live in the Western Isles
would like more opportunities to visit St Kilda. Many have never
been. Allied to that, people asked for more interpretation about
St Kilda in existing centres across the Western Isles.
People were also concerned that the islands should be properly protected
and a lot of people shared the view that the greatest potential
threats to St Kilda were the danger of oil spill from tanker traffic
and the introduction of invasive animal species - e.g. rats.
We have taken away a lot of good ideas from both meetings and will
be considering all of them as we develop the new management plan
for St Kilda. Some of these ideas will be implemented over the five
year period of the plan, alongside other Trust objectives. Others
may only be realised over the longer term, as resources allow. One
thing we have definitely learnt is the value of talking to people
on the Western Isles about our plans for St Kilda and we hope that
this is just the beginning of an ongoing dialogue.
and Scottish Natural Heritage
The National Trust for Scotland owns the islands of St Kilda, accepted
as a generous bequest from the 5th Marquis of Bute in 1957. In the
same year they were declared a National Nature Reserve and since
then, the islands have been managed by Scottish Natural Heritage
(SNH). Next year, the Trust will take management of the islands
back in hand, but will continue to work in close partnership with
SNH. SNH has a statutory obligation to ensure effective management
of the site as a National Nature Reserve and the Trust will also
tap into the knowledge, experience and Western Isles contacts that
their South Uist office has built up over the last half century.
MoD QinetiQ Hebrides
Western Isles Council
Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Department of Trade & Industry
All the organisations
directly involved in the management of St Kilda are taking part
in the plan work. This includes the Scottish Executive, conservation
organisations (Historic Scotland and JNCC) and the Ministry of Defence
contractors running the guided weapons and missile range on the
Western Isles and its radar tracking station on St Kilda.
on the main island of Hirta