Recent visitors to St Kilda could not have failed to notice the construction work at the beach. The concrete slipway used for landing craft supples has been refurbished by building contractors working for QinetiQ who mange the logistical side of island life. In spite of an early hiccup - the underlying concrete was too decayed to be overlain with fresh - the job is now just about complete. As Ranger I have to keep a weather eye on such operations, ensuring our biosecurity and making sure environmental impact to our World Heritage Site is minimal. We are still a part of the UK and all statutory building site regulations were, I am happy to say, complied with.
The arrival of heavy plant and equipment was reminiscent of a D-Day landing and the work proceeded without too many glitches. There was a steep learning curve for the builders from the word go. On the second day they turned up to find the sea had undone the previous day's good work by burying it with wet sand. So a coffer dam was erected around the excavations and fresh concrete.
While the impressive 360 degree excavator was on site we made use of it to clear the boulders that been accumulating at the foot of the old slipway beside our historic jetty.
I am sure the ghosts of St KIldan men who helped build the early 20th Century jetty and slipway would have been well impressed!