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Introduction

In order to protect the historical sites and wildlife of St Kilda, official byelaws are in force on the islands. The National Trust for Scotland, as proprietors of the island group of St Kilda which they hold inalienably for the benefit of the nation, and in exercise of the powers conferred upon them by Section 33 of The National Trust for Scotland Order, 1935 (confirmed by The National Trust for Scotland Order Confirmation Act, 1935) and by Section 4 of The National Trust for Scotland Order, 1961 (confirmed by The National Trust for Scotland Order Confirmation Act, 1961) and after consultation with Scottish Natural Heritage and the Ministry of Defence, with Scottish Natural Heritage as tenants of the Nature Reserve, as hereinafter defined, and in accord with the Ministry of Defence as sub-tenants of part of the Reserve, do hereby make and enact the following byelaws for the protection of the Island Group of St Kilda in the Parish of Harris in the County of Inverness.

Explaining the byelaws to a group of visitors
Photograph: Davina Graham
The St Kilda Byelaws   (The National Trust for Scotland )
  1. (i) In these byelaws "The Reserve" means the islands of Hirta, Soay, Dun, Levenish, Boreray, Stac Lee and Stac an Armin, and their off-shore islands in the archipelago known as St Kilda in the Parish of Harris and the County of Inverness, and declared to be a Nature Reserve by Declaration by Scottish Natural Heritage dated 4th. April, 1957.

    (ii) The Interpretation Act, 1889, applies to the interpretation of these byelaws as it applies to the interpretation of an Act of Parliament.

    (iii) Certain of these byelaws do not apply to members of Her Majesty's Forces (hereafter referred to as "military personnel") on duty in the reserve by virtue of their duties. The exclusion of military personnel (where granted) is indicated in each byelaw.

  2. No person shall explore Hirta without first reading a copy of these byelaws which will be on display in the Pier Head area. No person shall enter any part of the Reserve, outwith the Pier Head area, without the authority of the Authorised Representative of The National Trust for Scotland (hereafter referred to as "The Trust").

  3. No person shall bring into the Reserve any dog, or other animal belonging to him or in his charge, without lawful authority.

  4. No person shall take, chase, molest, or wilfully disturb, injure, kill or attempt to kill, whether by shooting or otherwise, any bird or other animal in the Reserve, or spread or use any net, or set up or use any lamp or other instrument, or any snare, or lure for the taking, injuring or destruction of any bird or other animal.

  5. No person shall in the Reserve take or wilfully disturb, injure or destroy any bird's nest or eggs.

  6. No person shall in the Reserve wilfully remove, displace, cut or damage any plant or other vegetation whether living or dead, without lawful authority.

  7. No person in the Reserve shall wilfully remove any soil, rock or shingle without lawful authority.

  8. No person shall wilfully bring, or permit to be brought, into the Reserve any living creature, or egg of any living creature, or any plant; or any seed, or any other part of any plant in such circumstances that it is likely that such a creature or plant will reproduce or propagate itself, or that such egg will hatch, or that such seed will germinate which might tend to alter the existing flora or fauna of the island, or to injure or disfigure such lands or property to interfere with the use and enjoyment thereof by the public.

  9. No person shall bring or cause to be brought into the Reserve any wheeled or tracked vehicle, except authorised military vehicles, without lawful authority.

  10. No-one (apart from military personnel) will be permitted to leave the Village Bay area singly, and no-one will be permitted to climb any of the cliffs without first obtaining the Trust's Authorised Representative's permission, which permission will only be given to those who can satisfy him of their own experience and reliability.

  11. No person shall spend a night on the Reserve, or occupy a tent, shed, caravan, or other structure, unless they can satisfy the Trust's Authorised Representative that they are self-sufficient in food, clothes and accommodation, and that there are not already too many people on the Reserve. This byelaw does not apply to military personnel.

  12. No person in the Reserve without prior consent from the Trust's Authorised Representative, shall light a fire or do anything likely to cause a fire, but the use of an incinerator by military personnel, in terms of the sub-lease granted to the Ministry of Defence, is permitted.

  13. No person shall in the Reserve deposit, or cause, or suffer to be deposited, any paper, bottles, glass, rubbish or refuse except in a receptacle provided for the purpose.

  14. No person shall wilfully or negligently foul or pollute any water in the Reserve.

  15. No person shall in the Reserve wilfully or negligently remove, or displace, or deface, damage or destroy any man-made building, pier, dyke, cleit, gravestone, monument or other stone structure or remains, or articles of domestic use being relics of the pre 1930 occupation of St Kilda, nor any notice board, notice apparatus, wall, boundary bank, fence, barrier, railing, post, building, apparatus used in vehicles or other military equipment on the Island. No person shall enter any buildings on the area leased by the Ministry of Defence, which area is indicated by notice boards, without permission of the Officer Commanding R.A. Range Detachment, nor shall any person interfere with, or in any way damage, or remove any military equipment whether within the leased area or NOT.

  16. No person shall in the Reserve carry a fire-arm without lawful authority, and the landing of aeroplanes (including helicopters) is forbidden except authorised military aircraft.

  17. The National Trust for Scotland, the Trust's Authorised Representative, or any officer of the Trust, may refuse entry to the Reserve to any person without cause assigned. Such a person if he be on the Island will leave forthwith by the first available civilian transport or Ministry of Defence transport if available.

  18. No person shall in the Reserve wilfully obstruct any officer of The National Trust for Scotland, or any other person, or servant of any person employed by The National Trust for Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage or the Ministry of Defence, in the execution of their lawful work in the Reserve, or any other person in the proper use of the Reserve.

  19. The National Trust for Scotland may issue written permission authorising the doing of anything within the Reserve, and in accordance with the law of the land, which would otherwise be unlawful under these byelaws, and any such permission shall specify the acts that may be done by virtue thereof, and shall be issued subject to the following conditions:-

    (a) that it shall be valid only during such a period as may be specified therein, or, if no part is so specified in the whole area of the Reserve;

    (b) that it shall be valid only in such part of the Reserve as may be specified, in the whole area of the Reserve;

    (c) that it shall be valid only in respect of such a person, or persons, as may be specified therein;

    (d) that it shall be valid only for the purpose specified therein;

    (e) that it must be carried whenever a visit is made to the Reserve, and produced for inspection when requested by a member of staff, or any employee, or authorised representative of The National Trust for Scotland;

    (f) that it may be revoked by The National Trust for Scotland at any time. Any person who offends against any of these byelaws shall leave the Reserve forthwith by the next available civilian transport, or Ministry of Defence transport if available, if instructed to do so by the Warden, or any authorised officer of the Trust, and shall on conviction by a Court of Summary jurisdiction be liable to a fine not exceeding the sum of twenty pounds, and in the case of a continuing offence to a further fine not exceeding the sum of two pounds for each day during which the offence has been continued, after written notice of the offence from The National Trust for Scotland. Provided that the date of any such notice, which shall have been sent by post, or delivered personally by the Warden, or any such authorised officer of the Trust, shall be reckoned as the date after the day on which it was posted or delivered.

  20. Nothing in these byelaws shall prevent Scottish Natural Heritage personnel from carrying out their research programmes and conservation management operations.

 

NOTES

  1. In addition to the interest of The National Trust for Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Ministry of Defence, the Secretary of State for Scotland has declared the buildings and archaeological remains on part of the Reserve as a Monument, within Section 6 of the Ancient Monuments Act 1931 (consolidated in the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, to which subjects the regulations of that Act apply).

  2. The Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Ministry of Defence cannot take any responsibility for any accident which may occur in the Reserve. The Reserve is a designated place and anyone entering it does so entirely at their own risk.

  3. Should any visitor find in the Reserve any artefact, or any other unrecorded evidence of human occupation in the Reserve, they are requested to report the matter at once to the Warden or any authorised officer of the Trust.

© The National Trust for Scotland