Fair Isle sea cave survey report now available

Tim Merrick @ Focal Plane Photo

We are very happy to share that the Fair Isle sea cave survey report has recently been published by NatureScot.

A diver from Heriot-Watt surveying Diamond Cave in Fair Isle. © Graham Saunders.

A survey team from Heriot-Watt University and NatureScot visited Fair Isle back in 2021 to carry out sea-based surveys of some of the caves around the isle. A total of 175 potential cave sites (including arches and tunnels) have been identified, with ‘Diamond’ cave being the most extensive surveyed at ~200m in length. Despite weather related challenges the team were able to carry out full biological surveys of 4 of the caves, which showed caves to contain typical cave biota and be in favourable condition.

Using a combination of local knowledge, direct observations during the surveys, cliff-top photography and historical records this information has been collated into a cave inventory for the isle which makes a brilliant addition to the DR MPA knowledge base and will form a detailed database for reporting on the Annex I habitat ‘submerged or partially submerged sea caves’ in that area and also provides an important baseline for future monitoring of cave condition.

The survey team and NatureScot would like to thank the Fair Isle community for the warm welcome they received during their time in Fair Isle and for sharing their local knowledge of the Fair Isle sea caves.

Report available online now

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