How Is Tourism Affecting Orkney’s World Heritage Site?

Brodgar improvements 2

Ring of Brodgar

Saturday, 15th of February, is the last drop in event being held in Orkney for Historic Environment Scotland’s consultation on its future management of ‘The Heart of Neolithic Orkney’.

You can visit the event at the Milestone Community Church, Dounby at any time between 2.30pm and 4pm.

The online survey can still be accessed. Deadline for submissions is Friday 21st of February.

Click on this link to the online survey:

Heart of Neolithic Orkney Community Consultation

Hard copies of the survey are  also be available at the drop in event and at:

  • Kirkwall and Stromness libraries
  • The reception of the Orkney Islands Council offices at School Place, Kirkwall. 

At the drop in event you can also contribute your comments on post-it notes to various questions posed by the independent consulting team. These include questions about the wider implications of the growth in the tourism industry in Orkney. The post it notes will be grouped together and also form part of the completed report to HES.

Skara Brae

Skara Brae Neolithic Village

The Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site is located in the West Mainland and comprises the domestic settlement at Skara Brae, Maeshowe Chambered Cairn, the Stones of Stenness circle and henge and the Ring of Brodgar stone circle.

Maeshowe sundown Martin Laird

Maeshowe at sundown

UNESCO inscribed the Heart of Neolithic Orkney in 1999 for the outstanding testimony the monuments bear to the cultural achievements of the Neolithic peoples of northern Europe.

Stones of Stenness

The Standing Stones of Stenness

The individual sites that form part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney are managed by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) on behalf of Scottish Ministers. The World Heritage Site is managed in partnership by HES, Orkney Islands Council, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the RSPB.

Alice Lyall, Deputy Head of World Heritage at HES, said:

“One of six remarkable World Heritage Sites in Scotland, The Heart of Neolithic Orkney is also one of the richest surviving Neolithic landscapes in Western Europe.

“As well as supporting the local economy as a key driver for tourism to Orkney, we know the World Heritage Site also plays an important role in shaping local identity.

 “It’s important that the public have the opportunity to have their say as we begin development of our new management plan for the site, and we’re keen to engage as widely as possible to find out what the World Heritage Site means to people in Orkney, and how best we can protect and promote the site for the future.”

The community consultation and engagement will inform a new five-year Management Plan for the World Heritage Site, to be published later in the year.

Heart of Neolithic Orkney mural at Maeshowe Visitor Centre

Mural at The Maeshowe Visitor Centre of The Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage site

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