Culture

Unstable Cliffs!

By Bernie Bell

We first visited the Brough of Deerness about 20 years ago, when we accessed the small bay by a flight of wooden steps.  I sat on the beach while Mike and Ben-The-Dog went up on to the Brough – I have no head for heights and the path is a bit precipitous!

A few years ago we went along there again, and found that a huge lump of the cliff, which we had taken a photo of…..

…..had fallen down, and the debris of the fall lay across the beach. Not being a good clamberer, I couldn’t get over the big rocks.  Never mind, it was still a great place to visit…… https://theorkneynews.scot/2019/09/15/two-go-glouping-in-deerness/

And then, last December, this happened…… https://www.orcadian.co.uk/land-slip-closes-brough-of-deerness-path/

We haven’t been there since to see what the situation is, so we decided to go and have a look. 

Parking in the car park for the Gloup, Brough and Mull Head, we noticed a new information board detailing the walks and points of interest there…

Then along the path, to find that the wooden steps are now cordoned off, with warning signs about the land slide!

Walking a little bit further along the cliff-top path and looking back, we could see where the earth had slipped down across the wooden steps, leaving something of a gauge taken out of the cliff-side…

A little farther still, and we could look down to the bay – not accessible for the time being, but, hopefully, work will be done to provide access again before too long.

I wouldn’t like to think that folk wouldn’t be able to go there again, and follow the stone steps and path up to the ruins on the top of the Brough, just visible in this picture….

And then, we retraced our steps to the car park – sandwiches, choccie bar and tea with a dropeen of Jameson’s, just as the rain got serious…

I remembered a limerick I wrote years ago….

‘There was an old monk

Near Mull Head

Whose robes flew up

Over his head

He was seen by a Nun

Who thought it great fun

Now it’s not just the sandstone

That’s red!

Boom Boom!

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