News Archive - May 2016


Rangers show the way on the Peatlands of the Flow Country
Peatland Walk - May 2016
Over forty members of the public attended a series of high profile guided walks on the peatlands of Caithness and Sutherland led by the Highland Council Rangers. Andy Summers, Senior Countryside Ranger said: "We saw lots of exciting wildlife including great views of a peregrine falcon, breeding greenshanks and red-throated divers, dragonflies hunting around bog pools. People were able to get up close and personal to examine insect-eating sundews and butterworts and enjoyed the chance to look at some pre-crofting carved stones and sheilings. All the guided walks were well received and many participants wanted to know when we are doing it again."                       Community Index

Come and play Tchaikovskys 5th Symphony With The Caithness Orchestra
Coma dn play Tchaikovskys 5th Symphony with the Caithness Orchestra

YOU can enjoy rehearsing Tchaikovskys 5th Symphony as part of our orchestra under the baton of Susie Dingle. We are the community orchestra that ANYONE can join! For over thirty year years The Caithness Orchestra has been making music for fun and enjoyment in the Far North of Scotland.
Book early to avoid disappointment!

Inside New Noss Primary School
Noss Primary School Inside - 27 May 2016
The new Noss primary school in Wick is brght and airy. The rooms are different colours and windows are full length with air condition to control temperatures.  Unfortunately due to a burst joint in heating pipes the school has had to be closed for a few days this past week.  However work has been ongoing with all plasterwork and paiting completed and industrial cleanersin over the wekend to allow the school to open agian on Monday.  Damage was slight as the janitor spotted the burst early.  Photos from the start of the project
Assembly of the new steel towers between Dounreay and Thurso South
Dounreay Turso Transmission towers almost completed
Work to reinforce the overhead power line that forms the spine of the existing electricity transmission network in Caithness passed the half way mark this month (May 2016), with progress continuing apace in the good weather. The new 275 kilovolt line will link substations at Dounreay, Thurso and Spittal, where the underground and subsea cable to Moray is set to begin its 100 mile journey. An additional 132 kilovolt line is also to be built to strengthen the existing network to the south, between Spittal and Mybster. Almost all tower foundations along the full length of the overhead line upgrade have already been completed, together with temporary access tracks required for their construction.

Subsea 7, Seaway Heavy Lifting Land Ten-Figure Offshore Wind Contract
Subsea heavy lift contract 896 million
Subsea 7 has teamed up with Seaway Heavy Lifting on an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract for wind farm turbine foundations and array cables to be installed at the 558MW Beatrice offshore wind farm located in the Outer Moray Firth, Scotland. The value of the contract is over 896 million, according to Seaway Heavy Lifting. Subsea 7 and Seaway Heavy Lifting will project manage, design, engineer, fabricate and install jacket foundations and array cables for 84 wind turbines, and perform the transportation and installation of the offshore transmission module.

Highlands of Scotland renews Fairtrade status
Hamish wood and Bill Fernie - Fair TradeThe Highlands of Scotland has renewed its status as a Fairtrade Zone which was first achieved on 13 September 2012. Highland Councillor Hamish Wood and Fairtrade champion said: "Highland has now renewed its Fairtrade status - a process which takes place every 2 years - which is very good for the region. Chair of The Highland Council's Resources Committee, Wick Councillor Bill Fernie, echoed Cllr Wood's comments: “Thanks to all for getting the Highlands of Scotland Fairtrade Zone status renewed and thank you Cllr Wood for spearheading this extremely worthwhile venture."
90 Jobs For Wick in 2.5 Billion Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm
Beatrice off shore wind farm to start 84 turbines will provide 588MW of power once operational in 2019.

90 permanent jobs for Wick.

Around 10m of investment is planned at Wick Harbour to house the wind farm’s operations and maintenance facilities.  65 Jobs In Construction of new Wick Facillties.

New windfarm expects to provide an average annual gross employment in Scotland of over 890 jobs during construction and is one of Scotland's largest private infrastructure project.  

The project is expected to power roughly 450,000 homes; approximately three times the number of homes in the Moray and Highland regions.

Work at the operations and maintenance facility in Wick and the transmission works in Moray will commence this year.
Your Cash Your Caithness - Come and cast your vote  - Saturday 28th May
Following the initial bidding process 20 projects now have a chance to put their idea to the public vote at an event in Thurso on Saturday 28 May. There is 30,000.00 on offer with applications received totalling 53,072.00. The participatory budgeting event will take place in the Main Hall of Thurso High School with registration from 9.30 am and will start at 10.30 am sharp until around 1.30 pm.

External review team inspects maternity services
An external review team visited NHS Highland this week to examine paediatric and neonatal services at Caithness General Hospital in Wick and Raigmore Hospital in Inverness. During the visit, the team met a wide range of clinicians and managers at both hospitals as well as staff from Scottish Ambulance Service. The team is made up of Dr Brian Magowan, obstetrician and gynaecologist, NHS Borders; Dr Jane Macdonnell, consultant paediatrician, NHS Borders; Mrs Nicky Berry, head of midwifery, NHS Borders; and Prof. Chris Kelnar, retired Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology, University of Edinburgh. At Caithness General they visited the maternity unit to gain an understanding of facilities and equipment available to staff.                           Caithness Health Area Team ( CHAT) - Acting to Protect Services
Mixed fortunes for seabirds in East Caithness
Razerbills and Guillemots
A new report shows a mixed picture of population increases and declines for many seabirds in a protected natural area in East Caithness - though with some faring better than seabirds nationally. The Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) report on the East Caithness Cliffs Special Protection Area (SPA) found that there has been an increase in the numbers of razorbills, great black-backed gulls and European Shags since the previous count in 1999. It appears that 2015 was a good year for breeding seabirds and that this resulted in some particularly high counts. Unfortunately, during the same period, a number of seabirds have declined, including northern fulmars, herring gulls, common guillemots and black-legged kittiwakes.   Community Index

Transforming Business, Society, and Self with U.Lab
Join the global movement to build a new economy by co-sensing and co-creating the emerging future. The Castletown Ulabscot# hub was created in 2015 where local people were able to join together in learning and creating a new future, an emerging idea and an inspired vision of what the future holds for our community and our country. A local "hub" or "coaching circle" where we met and journeyed with amazing people into the unknown. There have been many successful prototypes that have emerged from the processes and learning and that are currently being developed.
Taster event in Castletown
WHEN Tuesday, 7 June 2016 from 18:00 to 21:00 
WHERE Castletown ULab Hub - 5 Churchill Road Castletown, Thurso, KW148UW
Follow the links to sign up for the taster session.
   Community Index
Caithness Health Area Team - CHAT
A new local lobbying group "CHAT" has been formed by a group of local Caithness people concerned about  a variety of matters affecting health servicesin Caithness.  Support - Join - Send Your Stories about Health Services in Caithness. Almost 12 years since the last maternity campaign in Caithness concerns have led to a new group setting up. The new group will have a much wider remit as there are several areas of concern about Caithness Health Services.   Community Index
Can't Cook, Could Foster
You don't have to be a good cook to foster, revealed children and young people in foster care as part of a new survey conducted by The Fostering Network to mark the start of Foster Care Fortnight 2016 (16-29 May).

Are You Towing Legally?
Trailer Training
Are You Towing Legally?

Business Index

Council takes action to repair Highland roads
A specialised Jet Patcher will be coming to Caithness.
Business Index
Celebration Tree At Northlands Creative Glass

2016 Ready Steady Work course is open for applications
If you will be in 4th, 5th or 6th year in 2016/17 and you are unsure what path to take when you leave school then this course may be for you.
Highland students taking steps to success
Inverness UHI - Highland Students
Budding entrepreneurs in Caithness and Sutherland have been left inspired after they were given advice on how to succeed in business by local industry leaders. The students from North Highland College UHI joined more than 200 of their colleagues from across the University of the Highlands and Islands network for the interactive virtual student conference, which took place via video link. Led by the CREATE team at Inverness College UHI in association with Bridge 2 Business, part of Young Enterprise Scotland, the first session saw students receive presentations from local business leaders in a range of industries including craft brewing, personal training and tattooing. Among those addressing students was Jill Innes, founder of Storyboard Films, a Thurso-based film-maker and cinematographer.

Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan - Information Event
Marine Event about Pentland Firth waters
Events in Thurso (24 May, Caithness Horizons) and Stromness (25 May, Warehouse Buildings) where you can come along to hear more about the Marine Spatial Plan. The event will run from 12 - 7.30pm with a short presentation at 6.30pm.   Note this is a change of dates from those previously advertised in the press.

Gail Ross (SNP) Elected As MSP For Caithness Sutherland and Ross
Gail Ross elected as MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross 2016
Gail Ross - SNP - 13,937
Jamie Stone - Scottish Lib Dems - 10,024
Struan Mackie - Scottish Conservatives - 4912
Leah Francetti - Scottish Labour - 3334

    Expert Comment On Scottish Results
Living Better With Long Term Conditions - Free Self Management Course
Living Better With Long Term Conditions
BOOK NOW for a free self management course available for people with long term conditions being held by Let's Get on With it Together in Wick starting in June.

Wednesday 11th May - 09:00am -19:30pm
Thursday 12th May - 09:00am - 21:00pm
Pulteney Centre, Wick: Huddart St, Wick, Caithness KW1 5BA
The event will be a chance for people to learn about the new Archive as a whole, and find out what jobs are on offer by meeting the various different subcontractors, security, highlife highland etc.
New birthing programme for expecting mums expanding
Wise Hippo Progreamme for expectant mothers
NHS Highland is set to become the first health authority in the UK to provide an innovative birthing programme throughout its area. The Wise Hippo programme uses self-hypnosis, relaxation and massage techniques to help take the fear and anxiety out of giving birth so that couples actually look forward to the experience. Couples in Caithness and Sutherland have benefited from the Wise Hippo over the past two years, and NHS Highland feels the programme has been such a success that it's decided to make it available across its area.

New Jobs Today Even Though It Is A Bank Holiday
We up date our jobs section every day and often several times if it is busy.  For employers and job seeekers it is FREE. Employer only have to join the forum to post free ads in the section  We will remove ads shortly after closing dates or after two to three weeks if no closing date is given. New job ads in our forum flow each day out to our Facebook and Twitter pages for more coverage.

Gail Ross Campaigning Hard In Last Days Before Election
Gail Ross (SNP in l;ast days campaigning before Election On Thursday 5th May 2016
Local Candidate Gail Ross (SNP) is not slowing down in her campaigning to win a seat a the Scottish Parliament. She is still out travelling the width and breadth of the constituency. Today an article appears the The Nationalist - Affordable housing at very top of the agenda for SNP hopeful Gail Ross. ONE of the new faces in the Scottish Parliament after Thursday's election could be Gail Ross, currently an SNP councillor and Caithness civic leader. A councillor since 2011, she agreed to stand as an MSP candidate after Rob Gibson, the party's current MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, announced he would be retiring after the election. Having served five years as a councillor, it seemed a natural progression. If elected, Ross aims to concentrate on issues facing rural communities such as affordable housing, jobs and land reform.
Death from above: the ravens slaughtering newborn lambs -
Ravens Attack Lambs in Caithness - problem getting worse
Joe Shute today has written an article on the problems faced by Caithness farmers trying to protect their sheep from Ravens............................Selena Swanson stands on the fresh straw inside a stone shed on her family farm, cradling a few-days-old lamb in her arms. There are stab wounds across the infant’s soft white fur and a haunted look in its eyes. Where its tail should be is a bloodied stump turned dark yellow from the latest application of iodine. The hardy sheep farmers of Caithness in northernmost Scotland don’t often give their livestock names. But Selena has taken to calling this one “Stumpy”. It is more than a mere term of endearment; Stumpy is one of the lucky ones.  Crows are not fussy who they attack