By Bernie Bell
I’m not on Facebook or Twitter, but I saw this on Fiona Grahame’s Twitter – https://twitter.com/TheBrochProject/status/1316419000650346497, and emailed The Caithness Broch Project, asking them to please not give up, while being pretty sure that they won’t!
Why people should choose to drive out to a beauty spot, or place of historical/archaeological interest, to dump their rubbish, is beyond me – and, in this case, dumping a pallet –which can be a very useful thing!
I received a reply, saying that they intend to get a camera up at Ousdale because enough is enough.
There are some problems, due to the location of the site – out in the countryside (no power, limited mobile data signal, distance to drive and maintain) which means it’s going to be very expensive to have a camera there full time, with no guarantee that the camera itself wouldn’t be vandalised.
There appears to be a rise in folk dumping stuff, during the epidemic – maybe because the Council dumps are shut, or restricted?
I suppose – what it comes down to is …too much stuff. Too many people – demanding too much stuff – and new stuff all the time. Then, throw away the old.
That’s a whole other area of discussion. But – everything is linked, and so – it all connects up.
In a situation such as the one which faces the Caithness Broch Project vs. The Dumpers, the main thing is to stop them doing it, or catch them when they do.
Then, I got thinking – once again, about how we’re saving money by being at home all the time. I am one of those folk who, due to health difficulties, has been staying home since March, which has saved us quite a bit by not going out socialising – or on holiday!
I have no idea what those kind of cameras cost – but imagine that they cost a good bit. I know that money is tight these days – many fundraising opportunities have had to be to be missed by many charities.
Having discussed with Mike, we decided to donate towards a camera to help to guard the brochs of Caithness from these…… people….who are not right in the heid.
We were advised that the best way to donate, is here: https://www.thebrochproject.co.uk/donate
Which we did – deep joy on the part of the Broch Folk – but, they need more – these cameras do not come cheap – and I thought that maybe some Orkney News readers might like to help out, too?
I made a couple for suggestions to the CBP, about possible action they could take, as well as positioning cameras, in the form of – you guessed it – a couple of stories….
Years ago, Mike and I were walking in Standish Woods, near where we lived, and came upon a heap of rubbish – dumped. Someone had gone to the trouble of carrying it deep into the woods, to …dump it.
Very cautiously, poking with the toes of our boots, we had a look through it, and saw that there were some bits of paper which looked like they might have an address on them.
Time spent working in a Solicitors office, meant that I knew not to touch anything. We got home, and rang the cops – who went along, found the rubbish – and……..prosecuted the *******.
Here’s another story, with some relevance….
When we lived in Suffolk, we used to walk on the farm behind where we lived – we knew the farmers, so it was fine to do so. By the way – a place of much interest, with a henge monument .
Something of this – here……. https://theorkneynews.scot/2018/07/12/an-encounter/
This farm had a patch of old woodland ( Mike can tell, by the species). It had a little path through it – lovely place. Children, presumably little girls, used to leave little offerings on a tree stump – buttons, an ear-ring, beads. So, we started to do so too.
All in all, a place of friendliness and sweet surprises.
Then, one day, we went through the wood, and……someone – I would guess lads – had been there – pulled down branches, lit a fire, sprayed paint on the trees, left bottles and cans – a mess. We cleared it up, and thought it might be a one-off. But it wasn’t – it started to happen repeatedly.
I rang the local copper – who asked me to show him where it was – he had no idea that it existed!
Long story short. I took him there, and showed him. He then started to, casually, park his car on the nearest bit of road, and have a wander, now and then. The damage stopped. Word got round – just word that the police might turn up at any time, and that did the trick. No more trouble.
Rural communities often work that way.
What I’m wondering is – would the local cops be prepared to do something similar, for the brochs?
What the Caithness Broch Project is doing, is a VERY GOOD THING.
Mike and I have been following it from the start – not particularly actively, as he has work commitments which take a lot of his time, and I’m a bit knackered – but – it is a good thing, and these …..people…who are behaving in this way, damaging the efforts made by the CBP who are doing something which will eventually benefit the local community by bringing in visitors, are …well, I repeat, they are not right in the heid.
For those of you reading this, who do appreciate a good broch…..
……….if you see anything dodgy when out and about – please, do report it!
And finally, a message to the Caithness Broch Project folk –