Conservation in Action

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The Beacon under repair (Scotlands oldest lighthouse)

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Old with the new (well the new one was built 200 years ago)

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Close up of some of the work to be undertaken

Monday 23rd January comments: The winter months are an ideal time for getting any major work done on the island as the wildlife is away (so no disturbance issues) and the island is closed to the public. As a result working in partnership with the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) the old Beacon is getting a makeover.

The Beacon is Scotland’s oldest lighthouse, built in 1636 and was originally three floored (now just one). A metal basket on top burnt one ton of coal nightly but this was eventually superseded by the impressive Stevenson lighthouse which was constructed in 1816.

As part of the modern day work, the Beacon is being cleaned and re-rendered with lime mortar (it’ll look white once complete) which will help protect this valuable building for another few hundred years. However today was just the start of that process and as it progresses we’ll be bring you more news and photos. It just goes to show how varied the Isle of May (and the job!) is as we help protect everything from the wildlife to the buildings that stand on it.

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