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Community / Future of Firth lighthouse unsure due to coastal erosion

Photo: Northern Lighthouse Board

COASTAL erosion has prompted a review of the lighthouse in Firth, which has been described as a “local landmark”.

The Northern Lighthouse Board said it is looking at options more inland.

The Firth’s Voe lighthouse is located at the edge of the shore, and it sits near Yell Sound. It was established in 1909 by David A Stevenson.

Minutes from a Delting Community Council meeting at the end of March suggested a new structure would be put in place instead, which was described as a “pole with a light on it”.

Photo: Northern Lighthouse Board

But a spokesperson for the lighthouse board said this week that no final decision has been made.

“Due to coastal erosion the sea is gradually washing away the land on which the existing light stands,” they explained.

“We are looking at alternative solutions slightly inland to meet the needs of the mariner.

“We are currently looking at a range of design possibilities, but no final decision has been made yet.”

Delting Community Council chairman Alastair Cooper, who is from the area, said it was a “feature” of Firth.

He said the issue was not with the lighthouse itself, but the conglomerate it sits on.

Cooper said some of the “old guard” in the community would like to see the lighthouse kept – but some of the younger folk do not have the same affinity for it.

The lighthouse is fairly distinct in that there is an old stone building next to it. It used to have keepers, and is now fully automated.

There are not many original lighthouses left in Shetland, with modern structures described as “flat pack” lights being brought in as replacements.