Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ward of Scousburgh

A flat calm and sunny day in mid February is an unusual event and worth heading off somewhere interesting. The light is also excellent for photos - so heres a few.

Absolutely flat calm, the Sumburgh Airport windsocks cant be wrong.

There's still a reasonable amount of snow from last week - especially along sheltered banks.

Swinister (Sandwick) looking south - Hoswick top right.

Sandwick looking south.

On to the Ward of Scousburgh. The Ward of Scousburgh rises to 263m (862 feet) and the settlement of South Scousburgh lies a quarter-mile (0.4 km) to the south. You can easily drive to the top although there is debate as to who owns the access roads.

The Roads on the Ward of Scousburgh are all private roads, the public use them only because no-one has prevented them from doing so. The full public road that heads NE from Scousburgh ends at the Vanlop. Everything thereafter was formerly the old peat road which the RAF took over and upgraded in the early 60's to be access to the Mossy Hill station which was then being built. There used to be a "No Unauthorised Access" sign where the public road ended and the private one began. Since the Army vactated Mossy Hill and demolished the station the road has just been there.

There is no public road from the east side, the one from north of Clumlie was originally built in WWII to be access to the various military installations on the Ward of Scousburgh, it ended at the top of the hill. BT took it over when they built the THRS station in the early 70's, upgraded it and constructed the section down the west side to connect to the Mossy Hill station access road, so that they had a choice of alternative routes in times of snow. Again since BT vacated the THRS station, its just been there.

When the Army vacated the station they effectively abandoned the road, it was not officially handed back to the Peat Road Committe from whom it was obtained, nor was the Peat Road Committee or the adjoining Grazings Committee advised responsibility for it had been passed on to any third party, as they should have been if it had. I was on both committees at that time, and would have been told.

Technically from the Vanlop onwards the road still remains a private Army road, but whether the Army would accept responsibility for it now is a whole other matter. If they disclaimed any interest, it should fall back to the Peat Road Committee, but whether they would accept it back, is again a whole other matter, so without any move being made by anyone, it just sits in limbo.

The Police consider it a "private road with public access", so only a limited number of public highway regulations apply. Which ones, and to which parts of the road they apply, as the section up to where it joins the one coming up the east side is seen in a slightly different light than the section from that junction to the Mossy Hill station site, has not as yet been tested in court. (text from

see also

The views from the top of the hill are exceptional - looking West is St. Ninian's Isle with Foula top left.

St. Ninian's Isle with all of Foula in distance.

Foula in distance.

Looking North West, Bigton in foreground - da Wast side further out.

Looking north-east - Bressay far left and Noup of Noss far centre.

Looking south towards Sumburgh Head.

And so - on to the snow. This was the snow on the road.

and the snow in Cloddisdale Quarry

Ward of Scousburgh as the sun starts to go down

Looking north to Fitful Head

Sun going down over St. Ninian's Isle

Sun going down over Foula

Sunset over Bay of Quendale

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your comments here, all comments are moderated before publishing.