Over the last few years conditions at the Ring of Brodgar deteriorated so much that Historic Environment Scotland (HES) who maintain the site had to take measures to conserve the site. Conditions underfoot were very poor.
They tried a series of measures:
- Limiting access
- Closing off part of the Ring whilst drainage work was undertaken
- Closing off the inner circle whilst drainage work was undertaken and new turf laid.
The site is the most visited place on Orkney and is frequented not just by visitors but by locals too. Set in the Heart of Neolithic Orkney it is a World Heritage Site.
To improve the visitor experience the HES Rangers hut was located this summer closer to the Ring. In the past this was in the car park which meant the Rangers were unable to keep a watchful eye over the Stones.
This also allowed people to have a pleasanter place in which to ask their questions rather than in a car park.
Work continues and the site is certainly looking much improved, as these before and after images show.
Sometimes the inner Ring is still closed off because of wet conditions and most people realise it is a temporary measure which will preserve the site for future generations and they observe the restrictions. Most people – but not all.
Many people were no doubt extremely disappointed to visit Orkney to find it was closed off but respectively they kept to the outer path. There are still those who run up and down the ditch trampling the protective layer of heather but they are few in number.
Historic Environment Scotland and the many respectful visitors to the site should be congratulated for the part they have played in ensuring the 5,000 years old Ring of Brodgar is here for a generations to come.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame