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Apologies for the photo galleries not working recently.  The problem is now fixed.

Photos In April From Earlier Years
April 2003   April 2004  April 2005   April 2006  
April 2007   April 2008   April 2009

April 2010   April 2011   April 2012   April 2013   April 2014  April 2015   April 2016

April 2017   April 2019   April 2020

Kite Buggy Days At Dunnet Beach April 2003
Photos in March in Earlier Years
March 2020   March 2019   March 2018   March 2017   March 2016   March 2015   March 2014

March 2013  March 2012   March 2011   March 2009   March 2008   March 2007

March 2006   March 2005   March 2004   March 2003

Final Service At Bridge Street Church March 2009
Community Groups Benefit From Caithness And North Sutherland Fund Grants
Caithness and North Sutherland Fund Latest Grants
The CNSFund has committed over 79k to community groups in Caithness & North Sutherland in its recent grant rounds. Funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, a wide range of community-led projects throughout the Dounreay travel to work area are to benefit from the grant support.
Grants have been awarded to
Strathnaver Museum - Farr North Community Development Trust, - Advocacy Highland,
Wick Gala Committee - Reay Golf Club - Farr High School Parent Council

Caithness International Science Festival 2021 Reaches Out Digitally
Caithness International Science Festival 2021 Online

This year everything is available online. All you need to is book your FREE places.
Community Index
Public Invited To Have Their Say On
Wick Pulteneytown Conservation Area Appraisal And Conservation Area Management Plan
Argyle Square in the Wick Conservation Area
Members of the public are invited to view and comment upon the recently created draft Wick Pulteneytown Conservation Area Appraisal and Conservation Area Management Plan. Pulteneytown remains a unique area of considerable architectural and historic interest. It is Thomas Telford's (1757-1834) only fully executed town plan for the British Fisheries Society, and its most successful investment; in the 19th century it was the largest herring fishing port in Europe. Today, the integrity of the original plan and built form of Pulteneytown remains largely in place. The design of the 19th century Inner and Outer Harbours is still intact.

Membership Of Caithness Voluntary Group Free In 2021
Caithness Voluntary Group Free Membership Join Now
Caithness Voluntary Group has been around for many years helping many groups and individuals with help and assistance on a range of projects and pointing the way to funding and many other sources of assistance.  Funders like to see high levels of local community support for places they fund.  Previously a smal fee was charged to join but now your group can join FREE.

Funding Opportunity Reminder From Caithness Voluntary Group
Beatrice Partnership Fund has reopened for the final time. The fund supports projects that are based in the East Coast of Caithness and Sutherland plus the following Community Council areas in Rosshire, Edderton, Tain, Inver and Tarbat.
The closing date for the fund is Wednesday 28th April 2021 at 12 noon. You can apply for funding from 10,000 - 50,000.
Exciting new development needs local support - please!
St Johns PoolSt Johns PoolSt Johns PoolSt Johns Pool
St John's Pool Bird Reserve near Dunnet is a unique visitor attraction in the north of Scotland. With over 200 bird species recorded since 1989, and the largest tern colony in Caithness, it is a spectacular summer experience for anyone interested in nature. But it needs your help to develop into an even more impressive haven for birds - and for people to enjoy. We just need to show the funding bodies that there is genuine community support. If you would like to see the SJP 2020 Project succeed (see below) - please write a letter or email to by 31 January 2021, highlighting the reasons..more
Support For Taxi And Private Hire Drivers
Grants for taxi an dprivare hire operators
New fund to support taxi and private hire drivers affected by the pandemic will launch this week. Local authorities will directly approach an estimated 38,000 private hire and taxi drivers inviting them to claim a 1,500 grant to assist with fixed costs, boosting the support from other funding for loss of income available through the Scottish and UK Governments. A new total of 57 million has been allocated by the Scottish Government - three times more than the allocation announced in December. Councils will start contacting eligible drivers this week to brief them on their potential entitlement and ask them to provide supporting information and bank account details. They do not need to apply, or contact the local authority.

Inverness Castle - Update
Inverness Castle Update
Statutory applications lodged today with The Highland Council signal progress in the planned transformation for Inverness Castle to become a tourism gateway for the Highlands. The applications are for: Listed building consent Building warrant approval. The applications, submitted by project architects LDN Architects, are in preparation for the main building works contract. This contract will be subject to a tender process beginning in spring of 2021.
More architect pictures of how  the castle will look

Earlier Views of Inverness

Regulator Appoints Manager To Charity Wick Academy Development Fund As Part Of Decade-long Inquiry
The Scottish regulator has appointed a manager to take over a charity as part of a decade-long inquiry to ensure its trustees do not part with its property without consent. The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator opened an inquiry into Wick Academy Development Fund in September 2010 after concerns were raised about its public benefit, and a failure to make use of its accumulated funds.
Wick Pulteneytown Conservation Area Appraisal And Conservation Area Management Plan
Many interesting photos and maps
Wick Pulteneytown Conservation AppraisalWick Pulteneytown AppraisalWick Pulteneytown Appraisal

On Thursday 21st January Caithness councillors will consider a report "Wick Pulteneytown Conservation Area Appraisal and Conservation Area Management Plan" and agree a public consultation that will lay out the potential for the area in coming years. The report has two highly detailed appendices. They both contain many photos and Appendix One also outlines the history of the conservation area and details many facts about individual buildings.

Caithness Horizons To Be Relaunched As The North Coast Visitor Centre
Caithness Horizons to relaunch as North Coast Visitor Centre
The Caithness Committee of Highland council will next week a paper covering the present position of the former Caithness Horizons that closed when it ran into financial difficulties. The facility closed in February 2019 having operated since 2008. The building is owned by the The Highland Council, and THC retains responsibility for the collections housed therein.

The HLH marketing team will ensure that the community are kept appraised of developments through social media and other channels as the facility prepares for relaunching as the North Coast Visitor Centre.   Caithnes A to Z
New UK Government Covid Testing Site Opens In Wick At Riverside
The UK Government has today, Thursday 7 January, opened a new walk-through coronavirus testing centre at Riverside Car Park in Wick (KW1 4EA). The centre is easily accessible for people without a car. The test centre is part of the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities created in British history. In Scotland, this comprises of six drive through sites, 23 walk-through sites, 23 mobile units, plus the Glasgow Lighthouse Lab which is working round the clock to process samples.
Scotland In Lockdown From Midnight Tonight - Stay Home
Mainland Scotland is to go into lockdown from midnight tonight with a new legal requirement forbidding anyone from leaving their home except for essential purposes.   More in Business Section

Coronavirus Covid-19 - Stay At Home Guidance
To minimise the risk of spreading the virus, you must stay at home as much as possible. By law, in a level 4 area, you can only leave your home (or garden) for an essential purpose.

Retired Surgeon Pradip Datta Publishes His Memoirs
Pradip Datta pubishes his memoirs in a book
The Naked Mountain Lands  - This is the unique story of an Indian surgeon, describing the challenges he faced, whilst achieving his life-long ambition of higher surgical qualifications in the UK. He worked as a Consultant General Surgeon in Wick in the Scottish Highlands, where he still lives. It was here that he established a postgraduate surgical course for which he was awarded the MBE. After retirement he was struck down by a stroke, details of which are described. He subsequently completed this book. The story of a consultant's life, peppered with anecdotes and interesting facts in medicine in the far north of Scotland.

Happy New Year To Everyone From

Caithness Health Action Group (CHAT) Petition on Maternity Discussed Today At The Scottish Parliament
Petitions Committee debate the CHAt maternity petition on 16 December 2020
A petition sent by Caithness Health Action Group (CHAT) was disucssed to day the Petitions Committee of the Scottish Parliament.  Rhoda Grant MSP opened the debate and local MSP Gail Ross was amongst the speakers. Maria Aitken's petition appeared before the Public Petitions Committee and called on "the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to ask all relevant health boards to review their maternity model to ensure that it meets the needs of remote and rural communities". The committee heard that the decision to change the status of Caithness maternity unit from an obstetric unit to a midwife unit in 2016 was made on the basis of safety. Mothers and/or babies who are assessed as needing obstetric or neonatal care are transferred to Raigmore Hospital.
See the petitions and link to the debate inside.
Expressions Of Interest Invited For New Highland Coastal Communities Fund
Caithness Awarded - 409,652
The Council is inviting communities to come forward with expressions of interest for projects that, if successful, could receive a share of funding aimed at supporting coastal communities throughout Highland. The Highland Coastal Communities Fund has been set up by the Council following an allocation of over 3 million from the Scottish Government of Crown Estates revenue funding. Most of the funding (2.6m) is to be devolved to Area Committees with a strategic fund of 15% being retained for Highland wide projects. The eligibility criteria for deciding which projects go forward for consideration and the decision on how much funding is available to each geographic area has been calculated in line with same formula used by the Scottish Government to allocate the funding across Scotland.
New Guide "Worrying About Money" Highlights Help Available
Money Worries Guide
A new useful guide has been produced to provide people across the Highlands with information and advice on the financial and other support that is available to them. The Highland Council, along with NHS Highland Public Health, Independent Food Aid Network and the Trussell Trust, have brought a wide range of relevant financial advice and support with contact details together in a user-friendly format aimed at people who are struggling to make ends meet. The Worrying About Money? guide covers information for people waiting for claims to be assessed as well as those already receiving benefits. Topics including advice on what to do if anyone finds themselves having a sudden loss of income or if their statutory sick pay does not cover their living expenses. There is also information on how to apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund, maximising income and benefit advice, debt advice and how to challenge a decision.
Otter Spotted Between Bridges At Wick
Otter near Service Bridge, Wick

Caithness Health Action Team Petition To Scottish Parliament on Maternity Services - Sign HERE
Earlier this year CHAT had planned to hold another march and public meetings ut the pandemic halted any action like that.  To make sure the ongoing issues connected to maternity in Caithness are not forgotten and to highlight more of the data that continues to be brought forward by families a petition has been laid at the Scottish Parliament.

Read the full petition application HERE  

Comments can be left on the CHAT Facebook page

Chairman of CHAT Bill Fernie and Vice-chairman Ron Gunn will meet with the new chief executive of NHS Highland Pam Dudek on 12th November to discuss a range of issues including maternity.
Coronavirus Covid-19 Allocation Of Levels To Local Authorities Areas
Highland Placed In Level One
New protection levels that will apply in each local authority area in Scotland from Monday 2 November 2020.
Daily Covid Data for Scotland

No Thurso Community Fireworks Display this year
Scarcrow competition in Thurso
The Rotary Club of Thurso is sad to announce that we are unable to present a public Fireworks Display this year, due to Coronavirus. Like all other events in our calendar which have been lost to the virus, our annual Fireworks Event will be greatly missed. As an alternative to the Fireworks, Thurso Rotary are inviting the public to participate in our Create a Scarecrow Guy Competition, which runs until 5th November. There are cash prizes for the best entries and Thurso Rotary will donate an additional 100 to the charity of the winner's choice.

Scottish Urban Legends: 50 Myths And True Stories
Aaron Mullins new book Scottish Urban Legends - 50 Myths and True Stories - some from Caithness
Caithness residents have shared their scariest paranormal experiences in a new book released this week by former Wick High School pupil Aaron Mullins, which has gone straight into a top 100 bestsellers list on Amazon. Scottish Urban Legends: 50 Myths and True Stories features legendary stories that reveal Scotland's mysterious past. It also contains exclusive personal tales from Caithness residents, their stories published for the very first time, including a haunted Wick primary school and a scary premonition. This new release follows on from the success of his bestselling Caithness-inspired book, Mysteries and Misadventures: Tales from the Highlands. Caithness is represented in the new book with a pretty gruesome tale about Adam Melrose, a former bishop of Caithness, based in Halkirk, back when Caithness was still part of the Jarldom of Orkney, which belonged to the Kingdom of Norway.

Lyth Arts Centre Look To The Future Following Funding Award
Lyth Arts entrance - The centre has been awarded money from the Covid19 fund
Worries over the financial outlook for Lyth Arts Centre (LAC) have been eased for the time being after the venue was awarded 97,000 in Scottish Government funding. The sum - from the Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund - represents the full figure requested by co-directors Charlotte Mountford and Tom Barnes, who say the money secures LAC's short-term future up to the end of March next year.
They acknowledge there is still much uncertainty in the performing arts sector as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, but say they will remain "agile, flexible and optimistic". The Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund, which is run through Creative Scotland and has a total budget of 12.5 million, seeks to bridge the financial gap for venues until they have a clearer idea of their reopening plans and income projections. Welcoming the 97,000 package in a statement on the LAC website, Charlotte and Tom said: "It is the figure we calculated which would enable us to remain solvent, avoid redundancies, and continue some form of creative output while we are closed up to March 31, 2021 (a date defined by the fund).

Posties To Collect As Well As Deliver The Mail On The Door
Royal Mail begin parcel collections from home
Royal Mail announces one of the biggest shake-ups to the daily delivery since the launch of the postbox in 1852. Royal Mail has launched a parcel pick-up service across the UK in a shake-up of the daily round. The new service - Parcel Collect - means postmen and postwomen will now be able to collect parcels as well as deliver them on their daily round. It is one of the biggest changes to the daily delivery since the launch of the postbox in 1852. As well as offering even higher levels of convenience, the move means that online sellers and online shoppers will no longer need to leave the comfort of their home if they want to mail or return a pre-paid item by post. Under the ground-breaking initiative, postmen and postwomen will collect a parcel from the customer's door or nominated safe place for 72p per parcel, in addition to postage costs. Parcel Collect is also available for pre-paid return items at a cost of 60p per item.
More Funding For Those Who Need It Most
More funding for free school meals in holidayy times and other money for low income households
A 30 million package of funding is being made available to local authorities to support people facing financial hardship as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19), including money to provide free school meals over the school holidays. Local authorities will be given flexibility to use 20 million, previously held in reserve for the Scottish Welfare Fund, to support people in their communities.
Free School Meals For Winter Breaks and Over Next Easter.

Financial support to tackle food insecurity or to meet fuel costs, or boosting local funding for Discretionary Housing Payments.

Remembrance Sunday And Armistice Day - No Gatherings This Year In Highland
No prades or gatherings this year - make donations direct thisyear to Poppy Scotland
Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day will be commemorated across Highland but in different ways than usual because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Following the latest Scottish Government guidance on commemorative events, Highland Council will not be organising any parades, events or services taking place on Remembrance Sunday, 8 November 2020 or Armistice Day, Wednesday 11 November 2020.

         Donate direct this year to Poppy Scotland web site

Castletown Heritage Society Moving On Youtube
Castletown Heritage Society First Film on Youtube
Technology is changing how we all work and play and Castletown Heritage Society like many other groups held its AGM last Thursday on Zoom. The group are not sitting idly by as things change and have decided to present more about their area on Youtube. Neil Buchan has launched the first video to show the area around Castltown and the Heritage Museum. Other films will follow in the future.

Third Sector Master Classes - Free
Free Third Sector Masterclasses
HTSI are very excited to bring you a series of Monday Masterclasses, training centred around supporting community groups. Set up a new group recently? Working to support your community? Want an update on current best practice in supporting community groups? Then HTSI's FREE Monday masterclasses are for you! Julie at Caithness Voluntary Group is doing two of these classes that are open to everyone in the Highlands and are free. The Third sector has played a vital part in supporting their communities this year and this is an opportunity to ensure organisations are up to date with current best practice. Seven FREE sessions covering...

Halloween Shop Window Competition Thurso For Boys Brigade
Boys Brigade Halloween Competition
This competition is open to all

Look around the shops in thurso for letters of the alphabet hidden in the window displays. Participating windows will display the BB Logo 

Council Provides Details On Accessing Covid-19 Self-isolation Support Grants
The Highland Council has published new information on the Coronavirus Covid-19 button on the front page of its website on how people can access the new Covid-19 Self-Isolation Support Grant.
Spirit Of The Highlands - Autobiography - Call For Stories
This "Spirit:Autobiography" will be an authentic insight into life in the Highlands today, and the heritage that has shaped this unique region, in the words of people from across the Highlands. We're looking for stories behind the headlines of history, stories about people you might hear at a ceilidh.  And we want to hear stories of communities too, large and small - the local events that shaped it, or how global events have affected it; about its singing sands or Viking graffiti - the things that give it a distinctive fingerprint.
Wick Community Council Looking For New People
Wick comunity council looking for new members

Hollandmey Renewable Energy Development - Public Information Event
Hollandmey Wind Farm Consultation

ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) invites you to participate in its Public Consultation on the draft proposals for the Hollandmey Renewable Energy Development (Hollandmey RED). SPR is proposing to develop Hollandmey RED, situated approximately 8 km south-west of John o'Groats and 16 km east of Thurso within the north-eastern part of the Caithness area of the Highlands.  The proposed Development is anticipated to consist of approximately 10 wind turbines with tip heights of up to 149.9 m. The deployment of other renewable technologies within the Site is also being proposed, including battery storage and solar photovoltaic (solar PV) generation.


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