Culture

Ousdale Updates!

By Bernie Bell

In case any Orkney News readers are wondering about developments at Ousdale  Broch, as previously mentioned here…… https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/10/28/what-is-wrong-with-these-people/ – the Caithness Broch Project Newsletter had a full update, and the CBP folk have kindly agree to my ‘lifting’ it, to reproduce here in TON.

Here it is, for your delectation…………..

Lots of happenings at Ousdale as usual – most importantly we saw the inside of the broch filled with gravel, to inhibit the growth of weeds and ensure a more stable surface. 

So, it used to look like this:

But with a little (back breaking!) help from local contractors GMR Henderson…

Pictured above are some of the first visitors to the newly-gravelled broch: Karen and Freida from About Argyll Walking Holidays, who were thoroughly impressed with our work after meeting with CBP’s Chris Aitken.

They plan to invite American tourists and archaeologists to this broch next year, if all goes to plan. Exactly what we want to hear!

 👶The Birth of an Interpretation Panel 👶Another important milestone was met in our Ousdale project: the installation of our interpretation panels!

This has been a long process – and one of those things that when you’ll visit, you’ll maybe not realise just how much work went into it.

We started designing these panels a well over year ago. Most of the design work for the  frame and stone platform was done ‘in-house’ by Robin Herrick, Iain Maclean and Dawn Mackay. 

The content and design of the panels themselves were almost entirely created by Robin Herrick, with input from various members of the team – lots of chats about lots of topics – from complex geological processes to fabulous folk tales, and we hope you like our panels!

There are five panels overall, each discussing a different aspect of the broch or the landscape / history of the area. Please let us know what you think when you visit.

 Finally, our panels were inserted on top of that by Nathan of Watten Signs. And we think they look rather nice, if we do say so ourselves!

Bye Bye Caravan!

Bye bye fly-tipped caravan!

You might remember that some cretin dumped a caravan at our brand new car park at Ousdale Broch – that’s gone now, thanks to Speedy Skip!

Big thanks to Lorna and Sash for removing this from Ousdale Broch. And big thanks to them AGAIN for donating to our security camera cause – see below!

Revenge of the Foosum Brutes (again)! 😡

The good news only lasted for so long – we were frustrated to see flytipping (which inlcluded human waste!! YUCK!) happen again for a 4th time at Ousdale Burn Broch carpark – and just when we were about to open it to the public.

We suspect that the person(s) who dumped most of the other stuff is someone fairly local, unless holidayers are now taking pallets and bags of cement on their travels. That blue table (below) is quite distinctive – if anyone recognises it, give us a shout.

There is some good news out of all of this though. We decided to take some action: the trees at the car park have been cut, meaning the site is now more visible from the roadside, and so flytippers will hopefully be put off dumping here again.

On top of that, and to really ensure that this doesn’t happen again at Ousdale, we put a wee plea out on our social media to raise funds for security cameras…

Within a couple of days, we had raised over £2,000!! 

A big thank you to all who donated towards this cause – and a SPECIAL THANK YOU to the anonymous local family who donated a £1,000. This family have a special connection with the broch and wish to see it safe and protected for many years to come.

On top of their generous donation, the family have also set aside £500 for any information about the fly-tipping which leads to a prosecution

Thank you to everyone who has helped – we’re nearing the finishing line!

Do you recognise this table? Let us know if you do!

1 reply »

  1. If you’d like to become a Friend of the Caithness Broch Project, and receive the Newsletter regularly – you can do both, for FREE! https://www.thebrochproject.co.uk/friends

    To further befriend the brochs of Caithness, you might like to buy some Christmas presents from the CBP on-line shop….

    https://www.thebrochproject.co.uk/brochshop

    ‘Tis the season to be brochy! https://theorkneynews.scot/2019/10/18/poetry-cornertis-the-season-to-be-brochy/

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