NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Plans considered to preserve North Ronaldsay sheep dyke

North Ronaldsay sheep

The deterioration of a historic sheep dyke on the remote Orkney island of North Ronaldsay is being considered by a working group.

The rare North Ronaldsay sheep breed naturally graze on the foreshore of the island.

They are kept on the foreshore by a 13 mile-long stone dyke, dating from 1830.

Scottish Business in the Community (SBC) is leading a working group which is looking at potential solutions to the problem.

'Sustainable future'

The dyke was historically maintained by the island population.

However, the number of residents on North Ronaldsay has fallen from 500 to below 50, too few to provide the skills for repairs after storm damage in recent years.

SBC deputy chief executive Mark Bevan said: "Remote and vulnerable communities are a key part of our country's heritage, and we hope to be able to find a solution that restores the historic dyke, protects the rare breed of sheep, and provides a sustainable future for the island."

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