I want to mention of the destructive criminal behaviour of some on mainland Orkney that needs to be addressed. With the historic importance of the Orkneys as a military access to the UK mainland during wartime there are extensive remains of military buildings, many are decaying shells that were part of extensive complexes to protect the islands and prevent enemy access to the UK.

Many of these former military buildings are protected in law as monuments and any deliberate damage to them is a criminal act, there is also a series of Core Paths that give access to many parts of the island, the Orkney Island Council has established these paths due to their importance to the Island, these are also protected in law, and as I said damaging any of these or deliberate destruction is a criminal act.

If you go to Hoxa Head you will see one of these former military complexes (the Balfour Battery) and is one of the most impressive on the mainland, in addition there is a ‘Core Path’ that will take you there on foot.


I was furious to see that someone who obviously has easy access to the land has deliberately removed complete a ‘kissing gate’ complete with its concrete base, replacing it with a barbed wire fence to close a Core Path. Immediately beside the kissing gate are a number of former military buildings that form part of the Balfour Battery complex the concrete roofs have been deliberately destroyed when I was there  the marks on what was left of the concrete roofs were still unweathered indicating that this was relativly recent.

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I mentioned that this would require someone to have easy access to the land, the reason for this is that to create this sort of deliberate damage and destruction would required access with a large excavator or other similar agricultural equipment.

In any part of the UK local authorities are hugely protective of their domains and whilst it may take some time they do enforce the existing legislation if only as a matter of process. In destroying the military buildings at Hoxa Head (that are protected as monuments) is in effect treating the history of the World War 2 and those who gave their lives for their Country with contempt and potentially with derision if no enforcement action by the appropriate authorities is not taken.

This is important for a number of reasons, firstly whoever is responsible for these acts should be held accountable,  secondly in doing this a clear signal needs to be seen to be sent to deter further damage,  and thirdly nobody should benefit from the criminal damage that  has taken place.