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Ministry of Defence consultation on operations at Hirta and impact on St Kilda World Heritage Site

19 June 2009

Ministry of Defence consultation on operations at Hirta and impact on St Kilda World Heritage Site.

Responding to the MOD announcement that it was consulting on the future of manned operations on the island of Hirta in the Western Isles Michael Russell, Minister for Culture, External Affairs and Constitution, said:

“St Kilda is the only of Scotland’s five World Heritage Sites to be recognised for both its natural and cultural importance and any possible detrimental impact is, of course, a concern.

“Having been fortunate to have visited it twice, the second time as a Minister, I made a film about its significance and am acutely aware of the outstanding value of the site and the place it holds in many people’s hearts.

“I will be meeting with the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland to discuss the impact that the withdrawal of the MOD would mean for the management and conservation of this globally important site and will be contributing to the consultation along with my Ministerial colleagues. We are committed to sustaining our only dual World Heritage Site and managing the wider impact this decision will have on the economy of the Western Isles.”


Information on St Kilda World Heritage Site can be found at

To view images and the film of the Ministers visit to St Kilda visit

For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873