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Summer is at an end

12 September 2011

As the season draws to a close it is a time to prepare for winter. Minor and some not so minor repairs need to be done to prepare for the onslaught of winter here on St Kilda.

On the Street one of the historic blackhouses had a bulging end wall and a prudent repair was called for. Here you can see NTS Archaeologists Ian McHardy and Carol Knott working to preempt collapse of this iconic Hebridean building. Photographs are taken before work commences and each stone put back securely in the position it came from.Blackhouse B Repair 2011

As the hours of daylight fade our Soay sheep are beginning to eat with a sense of urgency.  Only the sheep with the best intake are likely to survive until spring. There is no supplementary feeding here. The sward is being reduced to bowling green like condition in places. In the few places the sheep cannot easily reach the natural vegetation is very different.Grazed Vegetation

Ungrazed Vegetation


At the time of writing I am somewhat disappointed we are not going to witness the Force 11 Violent Storm we were promised. One of the attractions of being here is to experience nature in the raw, the sublime experience at the ‘Edge of the World’. My email inbox is full of messages telling me many other NTS properties are closing early today due to bad weather. Out here on St Kilda I sit cheated, almost becalmed, in the eye of the storm and as it leaves the pressure rises gradually behind. It is rather like being under the tail of a meteorological comet. Hurricane Katia's winds may have passed us by but the sea swell coming in from the south-east promises a dramatic evening. Eye of the Storm


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