Highlands and Islands MSP Emma Roddick met this week with the Caithness Broch Project to discuss the work they do and the challenges they face. The project consists of a team of volunteers who preserve and maintain the county’s brochs; circular stone structures unique to Scotland, known to be at least 2,000 years old. The ultimate goal of the project, through authentic building techniques from the time, is to build a replica of an Iron Age Broch, which becomes the base for a Tourist Centre and Drystone Workshop.
Dawn Mackay from the Broch Project highlighted access issues to brochs, and a lack of clear signposting in the area making it difficult for visitors to find them. Furthermore, they described recent issues with fly-tipping which has led to the installation of a costly CCTV system at Ousdale Broch. Plans for the broch replica build are in the pipeline as the group search for a suitable site.
Roddick spoke in support of the project:
“Conservation of our heritage is so important, and fantastic groups like the Caithness Broch Project, who seek to protect it, deserve to be supported both by politicians and the public. Caithness is a unique and beautiful region and it is vital that we attract locals and visitors to see all that it has to offer.
“I fully support the group in building a new broch in Caithness. I am in contact with individuals regarding funding and I will continue help wherever I am able to see their vision realised.”
Caithness Broch Project is a grass roots charity funded by donations and grants. For more information on their work, visit https://www.thebrochproject.co.uk/