Dunnet Head Information Centre and Educational Trust

Submitted by Owen McCafferty on Thu, 2010-01-21

The Dunnet Head Educational Trust was formed in 2003, its main role being to run an information point at Dunnet Head supplemented by such projects as the Trustees deem necessary for raising the profile of the area.

The Trust is a registered charity with the Scottish Charities Commission, (SC 02531). Part of the running costs are paid by the public purse, with support from local businesses.

The Trust has a continuing drive to make the centre economically self sufficient. To this end, the premises are kindly donated by the proprietor, a percentage of monies from publications such as this are donated to the Trust, and every year the kindness of our supporters helps towards costs by cash donations. In June 2008 the Trust was reorganised and now includes Aberdeenshire and Orkney in its operational area, as well as Caithness, northern Scotland.

Seal viewing point which began in 2003. There is a network of paths through the trees, which provide ideal short and sheltered walks. The Trustees are currently drawing up a list of projects for 2010 which include the development of an historical archive and tours of the Dunnet area. Under the banner of “Green Tourism” we are also looking at widening the scope of the walking product in Caithness & Sutherland through our work with the Highland Council Ranger Service, the Forestry Commission, Step it Up Highland, and other organisations who offer guided walks.

The trustees shall hold the trust estate to advance the education and knowledge of the public in respect of the environment of Dunnet Head, Caithness and its immediate environs, as also its history, wildlife, flora and fauna. The information centre is not just an tourist information point, but as a place for locals to come for a tea and cake, learn about Dunnet Head and its immediate environs and its many facets, such as wildlife, flora, fauna, geology, geography, archaeology, and history. The Ranger Station at Dunnet Bay Caravan Park advised in the setting up of the centre, as well as support very kindly provided by the Dunnet Bay Initiative, Dunnet Forestry Trust, the Forest Enterprise, Scottish Natural Heritage, as well as the Brough villagers.

The Centre:

  • provides information and reference material relating to the history and natural environment of Dunnet Head and the Parish of Dunnet
  • maintains a photographic archive of the area
  • maintains an archive of historical material relating to the Second World War radar and radio stations on Dunnet Head
  • maintains material relating to the archaeological sites in the Dunnet area
  • provides refreshments to visitors
  • publishes quarterly newsletters which are widely distributed and provides information via a web site
  • issues permits on behalf of the Dunnet Head Fishing Club
  • provides a venue for community meetings and events
  • maintains a website at http://www.dunnethead.co.uk for electronic information provision
  • provides an email station and internet access
  • arranges evening talks and networking events
  • mounts exhibitions relating to the activities of the Centre
  • provides the only car off-road public car parking in Brough which is available to visitors
  • provides a public toilet facility
  • provides a viewing point over Brough Bay where there is a resident seal colony

Information Shelter

The Trust operates an information shelter in Brough village, the most northerly village on the UK mainland, and maintains a seal viewing platform overlooking the picturesque Brough Bay and across the tempestuous Pentland Firth where marine and tidal energy projects are planned in the near future. Consisting of a poster cabinet under a weather canopy the Information Shelter enables visitors to access information on Dunnet Head when the IP is closed. It also serves as a community notice board. The Trust is a member of the Orkney Tourism Group with the objective of creating joint projects for the benefit of both shores of the Pentland Firth – Orkney and Caithness.

World War II History archive

Open Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday – entrance fee £5 including refreshments. The Trust holds plans to the WWII sites on Burifa Hill and Dunnet Head as well as a wealth of other information and documentation from the UK Film Council (UKFC), Historical Radar Archive, letters and photos from people who were stationed at the bases.

Tours of Dunnet area including Dunnet Head

Tours of Dunnet every Monday commencing on 5th April 2010. Starting from Caithness Horizons in Thurso at 10a.m., the tour takes about 4 hours. We visit Dunnet Head, the most northerly point of the UK mainland, to see the birds, wildlife and 100m high sandstone cliffs, the three miles of golden beach at Dunnet and other local points of interest. Online booking

Walking

A 5 hour walk around Scotland’s most northerly point. Suitable for walkers, and, perhaps, very fit cyclists! Definitely not suitable for horses. Archaeology, geology and wildlife interests. Also trust provide great selection of self guided walks. Online booking

Dunnet Head Educational Trust organises the Caithness & Sutherland Walking Festival to extend the Trust’s reach and operational area. The festival takes place in May and offers walks led by the Forestry Commission, RSPB, Highland Council Ranger Service and local organisations to give a wide range of guided walks. Walks are graded easy, moderate and difficult but it’s more than just a walking festival. Other activities include a wildlife cruise, orienteering, cycling, natural history and photography walk, a visit to the Castle of Mey, home of the late Queen Mother. The events programme also includes a Scottish variety show by the Wick Pipe Band. More Info About Caithness & Sutherland Walking Festival: http://www.walkcaithness.com

Cetaceans – Brough Bay

Brough Bay is home to a seal colony. If you prefer not to go down into the Bay, you can view them from the seal viewing point in Brough.

The information centre opens from Easter to mid October.

Contact:

Dunnet Head Educational Trust
Email: i…@dunnethead.co.uk
Tel: 01847 851774 (You can book and pay on line or by telephoning)
Web: http://www.dunnethead.co.uk/
Also see: Dunnet Head Diving In Caithness


Fig: Walking on Dunnet Head

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