Helicopter drop allows path repairs on remote seabird colony

More than 120 tonnes of stone and path-building materials have been airlifted to Handa Island reserve to allow Scottish Wildlife Trust contractors and volunteers to repair the paths. 

Helicopter dropping material on Handa
 © Rachael MacKenzie 

The worn paths on the reserve off the west coast of Sutherland are being repaired to allow visitors to safely experience one of Europe’s most important seabird colonies and enjoy spectacular views from the island. 

Handa Island reserve is owned by Scourie Estate and managed in partnership with the Scottish Wildlife Trust. The island is a summer haven for around 70,000 breeding seabirds including puffins, guillemots and razorbills. 

Reserves Manager Sven Rasmussen said: “Around 7,000 people visit Handa every year, which puts the paths under a fair amount of pressure. Well maintained paths are essential for our conservation work because they help people avoid disturbing nesting birds or trampling delicate habitat.” 

The path around Handa takes visitors past a ruined village abandoned in 1847 towards stunning sea views from the high cliffs in the west of the island.

The path repair project has been funded by a contribution from Highland Council through the Landfill Communities Fund. 

 

Preface

More than 120 tonnes of stone and path-building materials have been airlifted to Handa Island reserve to allow Scottish Wildlife Trust contractors and volunteers to repair the paths.   © Rachael MacKenzie  …

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