Helicopter drop assists in path repairs on Handa Island

More than 120 tonnes of stone and path-building materials have been airlifted by helicopter to a remote island to allow Scottish Wildlife Trust contractors and volunteers to repair the paths.

The worn paths on Handa Island 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.

Photo: Rachael Mackenzie

Photo: Rachael Mackenzie

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.

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.