Countryside Rangers offer rare opportunity to explore Island of Stroma

The Highland Council Countryside Rangers are offering people the rare opportunity to disembark onto the Island of Stroma on 8 August this year to learn about its wildlife and history.

Whilst just two miles off the north coast of Caithness, the Island of Stroma is usually inaccessible to the public. There is no regular access to the Island as it has been uninhabited since the early 1960s. Ferry services and boat tours pass near it but do not offer the chance to explore the Island by foot.

This trip will sail directly from the Scottish mainland at Gills Bay to Stroma. Attendees will then be able to disembark onto the island to explore with the expert Countryside Ranger and learn about the flowers, birds, seals and history of Stroma.

Groups will be small, with only 14 places on the boat, including the skipper and the Ranger. There will be at least two crossings available on the day.

Alex Foulkes, Highland Council North Sutherland and Caithness Countryside Ranger, said: “This is a brilliant event. There is fantastic wildlife to see both on the island and during the ferry-ride including seals, porpoises, puffins and other sea birds. There have even been killer whales in the area this year.

“The island also has a fascinating history and we’ll visit some of its abandoned homes, harbour and other sites. Given its small size – it’s just one mile long by half a mile wide – you can get a really good feel for the Island during the trip: as you’ll see if you come along.”

The full trip takes place between 9.45am and 3pm, and costs £25. There are no concessions available. Numbers are limited so booking is essential. Contact Alex on 01847 821531 or alex.foulkes@highland.gov.uk

Councillor Thomas Prag, Chairman of the Planning, Environment and Development Committee at the Highland Council said: “I’ve often passed Stroma on the ferry and been intrigued by the place – so near yet unreachable.  With limited chances to set foot on this very remote island this is a great opportunity to grab your chance. Being on Stroma will be a real privilege as few people get to do it. Whether you want to explore the Island’s history, look for wildlife, learn about island flora, or even ‘bag’ one of the less accessible Scottish islands, I’m sure everyone who goes will have a memorable time.”

The Island of Stroma is located in the Pentland Firth, between Caithness and the Orkney Islands. It is the only island that is part of Caithness and is owned by a Caithness farmer. Its nearest neighbour, the Island of Swona, is part of the Orkney Islands. 

–ENDS–

30 Jul 2013
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