Congratulations to Sumburgh Lighthouse for obtaining 5 stars at a cost of over one million pounds per star and I hope they continue to receive support funding to maintain the high standard of the restored infrastructure.
I look forward to the day when other visitor attractions of equal interest to visitors and relevance to Shetland’s past are afforded the same level of support.
Just a fraction of the kind of money spent on Sumburgh could go a long way to enhance other decaying and neglected visitor attractions and help maintain our excellent heritage centres in other parts of Shetland.
The St Ninian’s Isle Chapel site no longer has a signpost to direct visitors to this historic site. At the site the access gate hinge is held in place held by a bit of plastic ribbon.
Inside the fence the whole site has been a neglected, overgrown disgrace for years with rabbits again starting to rework the graves.
The donated bench-seat provided for visitors to sit in quiet reflection and enjoy the panorama is a weathered, neglected eyesore.
How can we have the neck to ask for the treasure back when we cannot even cut down a few nettles, fix a gate hinge and a fence, or paint a seat?
At Catpund, the historic Viking soapstone quarry, the interpretative signs are decaying and access to the site has been dangerous for years requiring visitors to climb broken stiles and barbed wire fences.
Other sites, such as Old Scatness, Huxter Water Mills and Viking Unst, have had large sums of money spent on them in the past and are now decaying or abandoned.
All these neglected sites are an embarrassment to Shetland’s tourism industry which cannot be offset by the success of one high profile attraction.