Photos From Spring Moon Watch Event
"The north of Scotland recently joined the rest of the country celebrating the first MoonWatch week of the International Year of Astronomy  Caithness Astronomy Group held 3 MoonWatch events on consecutive nights at 3 different venues across the north of Scotland. Good weather each night allowed people attending the events to enjoy spectacular telescopic views of the Moon and Saturn. Those that came along also got the chance to see and hold Moon rock brought back by the Apollo missions and meteorite samples from the Natural History Museum one of which was thought to have originated from Mars and another thought to be older than the Earth itself. Other content included talks on astronomical topics and a variety of hands-on activities for all ages.  Caithness Astronomy
The next scheduled event is an astronomy fun day on Saturday 13th June
Saturday 13th June – Thurso High School (1400-1600 and 1830-2100)
FREE ENTRY - All Welcome
Come along and celebrate 400 years of the telescope and 40 years
since the Apollo 11 moon landing - Illustrated Talks - Solar Observing
Display of telescopes and other observing equipment
· Hands-on activities for all ages, including rocket launching!
· A selection of the local astroart and astrophotography competition entries

Caithness Of The Gall and The Gael
As part of Homecoming a talk is being presented in Swanson Art Gallery, Thurso on the 17th of June, by teacher and researcher Alasdair Mearns about the shared culture of Caithness dialect and north coast Gaelic. Raymond Bremner will also sing and Joan Elder recite Caithness dialect at it. It is free of charge and refreshments will be provided.


Great Yellow Bumblebee Blog - Can You Report Sightings and Send Photos
Bob Dawson the Scottish Conservation Officer with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust has been in touch to ask for help from everyone in notifying sightings or sending photos of this rare bee. Caithness and Sutherland are the last places on the UK mainland where this rare bee can be found, so are particularly special. It would be great to reach as many people as possible to raise awareness of the bee and encourage people to look out for it, as it will visit gardens.  He said, "I was up in Caithness at the start of Scottish Biodiversity Week and did a talk at the Park Hotel in Thurso. I will be up again in the summer."  See Full Size
The blog is at
Find this link later on these pages - Nature - Biodiversity - Bees

Highland Councillors Remuneration and Expenses For 2008/09 Now Published
Councillors receive remuneration at Councillor or Senior Councillor level, being paid in 12 monthly payments. They are also entitled to claim for travel and subsistence expenses, together with other expenses actually incurred in carrying out their duties as Councillors. Claims for expenses can only be paid on production of receipts.  Remuneration and expenses are governed by legislation, regulation and Council policy. There is no scope to make additional payments to councillors outwith the regulations. In addition to directly paid expenses, the Council also provides councillors with equipment such as telephones and computers to assist them in carrying out their duties.

Competition 2009 "Another World"
'A Beautiful Monster' suggests our Monster may have come from another world ! Is there life on another planet? What is it? Where is it? Write a story or draw a picture about life on another world... There will be a prize for the best story and the best picture from age groups Primary 1-2, 3-4 and 5-7. See for more details. and attached poster. The best school from last years competition Castletown are currently practicing to record; 'The Loch Of Mey Monster Song' with the author this should come out later this year. The fourth book in the 'Loch Of Mey Monster' series
'A Beautiful Monster' is appearing step by step on You tube and of course - Here is the link to have a look at the first 10 minutes read by the author -  The story will appear in book form later in the year.

"X" Marks the Vote in Euro Elections
The Local Returning Officer in the Highlands for the forthcoming European Parliamentary Elections, Alistair Dodds, wants voters to be aware of what they need to do to cast their vote on Thursday 4 June. In the 2007 Scottish Parliament and local Government elections voters were asked to use three different voting methods on three ballot papers. This time they only need to put one X on one ballot paper.
Click Here For All The Details Of Candidates. Polling Stations Etc
Candidates (PDF 900Kb)
BBC: European Elections 2009
BBC: Q&A European Elections 2009


Swanson Gallery, Thurso - Matisse: Drawing with Scissors
3rd June - to 27the June 2009
The French painter, sculptor and designer, Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was one of the 20th century's most influential artists. His vibrant works are celebrated for their extraordinary richness and luminosity of colour. Drawing with Scissors is a Hayward Touring exhibition from the Southbank Centre, featuring 35 lithographic prints of the famous cut-outs which were produced in the last four years of his life when the artist was confined to his bed. It includes many of his iconic images, such as The Snail and the Blue Nudes.

St Fergus Gallery, Sinclair Terrace, Wick - Precious Cargo
30th May to 27th June 2009
2009 is Scotland's Year of Homecoming and the calendar's theme of migration, boats and the sea reflects this. The exhibition has been designed by Brodie Nairn and Nicky Burns from Glasstorm in Tain as an innovative installation of closed Cargo boxes, one of which opens every day over the festive period to reveal a new object or contemporary 'souvenir' of the Highlands which travellers to lands across the sea might have cherished to remind them of 'home'.

Solid Rok Support for Highland Culture Programme
A national building company has entered into a commercial sponsorship partnership with The Highland Council to support the Highland Culture Programme.........Now in its third round of funding, the Highland Culture Programme is supporting events, festivals and other cultural activities organised by community organisations, promoters, artists, performers, youth groups and schools across the Highlands......Proposals are currently being invited from applicants to apply for Highland Culture Programme funding and these will be assessed jointly by representatives of The Highland Council and Rok. The deadline for applications is 7 August 2009. Information on how to apply can be found on the Highland events and festivals website at or by telephoning Fiona Hampton on 01463 7020....

Watten Village Hall Licensed Dance - Friday 29th May
Starts: 21:00
Live music with Irelands Sean Wilson and Tony Mac. Dancing, bar, raffle in aid of Watten Hall funds.
Tickets available from Robbie Flett, 01955 621955
Price: £10 per ticket
Phone: 01955 621955 (Robbie)

Caithness Lupus Support Group
We are a registered Scottish charity based in Caithness. We provide help and support for people with Lupus, and their families alike. This support can come in many different forms, from a friendly ear, to providing practical help to ensure all day-to-day needs are met. Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body produces to many antibodies. Therefore instead of protecting the body from infection it attacks it's own healthy tissue. If you wish to find out more about our group or learn more about lupus please go to our website where you will find all the information you need, along with details of local contacts.

Halkirk Gala Week Friday 5th June - Saturday 13th June - Programme now in

Halkirk Village Council are organising their 2nd Sunset Walk, which will take place on Sunday 7th June to coincide with the start of the village Gala Week (5th - 13th June). This years walk will start from the Recreation Park and cover a distance of 8½ miles around Harpsdale and finish at the Ross Institute. The proceeds from this years walk are to be split among Crossroads Carers, Alzheimer’s Scotland, CEYAC The Autism Centre and stage improvements at the Ross Institute. Application forms can be downloaded from website or by contacting Sonja Sinclair on 01847 831401.

Tenant Groups Help To Shape New Strategy For Housing in the Highlands
Tenant housing group representatives from across the Highlands have been working with The Highland Council to produce a new strategy that puts tenant involvement and communication very much at the centre of future housing service delivery and development. Launched on Monday 25 May 2009 the strategy replaces The Highland Council's previous strategy and, running up to 2012, it aims to improve opportunities for tenant participation across Highland and develop and maintain effective working relationships to progress the design and delivery of housing services.

The Age Of Stupid Coming To Caithness Horizons - Saturday 13th June 2.30pm and 6.30pm
The Climate Buster Movie by the McLibel Director
The Age of Stupid
is the new four-year epic from McLibel director Franny Armstrong. Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite stars as a man living alone in the devastated world of 2055, looking at old footage from 2008 and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?
For Much More Click on to The Age Of Stupid Web Site 
Bookings required by 12th June.

Can You Help With the Corncrake Survey? - From James Horner RSPB
I am working for the RSPB and am based in Caithness for the next eight weeks following up historical records of Corncrake in the area and also visiting Sutherland and some areas of Wester Ross. We managed to hear two birds in the vicinity of Durness on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning but I have not been so lucky locally. Most people I have spoken to have said birds have been here but not in the last few years.  I would be very interested to hear as soon as birds are heard locally even if they are on suspected passage north. I have regular email access at but can also be contacted on these numbers:- 07951757609 or 07590441397 Any information would be gratefully received.
Thankyou - James Homer

BIRD BIKE CHALLENGE ONE - By Julian Smith - Local Artist and Bike Rider - Sponsor Him
This adventure cycle tour of Caithness aims to complete one lap of the county - including scaling Morven - within 24 hours, and at the same time attempting to see or hear as many species of birds as possible - the target is over 120! Julian Smith hopes to raise several hundred pounds for the benefit of young people with cancer and BirdLife International's worldwide campaign to stop the slaughter of albatrosses and other seabirds. If you'd like to help either of these worthy causes please visit: and follow the links to sponsor online.
Weather permitting the ride will take place in late May or early June. Photos will be posted on the site as soon as possible after the event.
St Johns Pool is near Dunnet open all year Bird Watching Bird Watching Forum

Caithness Family History By John Henderson Now Online Courtesy of Fiona Sinclair
Came across this today and thought it might be of interest to anyone researching their Caithness ancestors.  Fiona Sinclair said,""Caithness Family History" is a book written in 1884 by John Henderson, who was factor (land steward) to many of the estates of Caithness. The book deals with all the landed gentry of the various estates of Caithness, from the earliest records in wills and leases up until the 1880s. This is written by a man who knew the families personally, and had no trouble telling apart the many people of the same name who were around at the time. I have just transcribed and cross-referenced this book, which is available on my website,

Google plans wave-powered data centre - UK Trade and Investment
Internet giant Google is planning a wave-powered floating data centre in Scotland`s Pentland Firth

Eight-ton Fans Will Drive Fuel Plants Clean-up
Like a giant Meccano set, some 1500 parts are being fitted together to create a new ventilation system that will protect workers decommissioning some of Dounreay's most hazardous facilities. The network of fans, electrical infrastructure, supports, ducts, chambers and stacks will vent the airflow during the next stages of cleaning out and dismantling the key plants that made up the Fuel Cycle Area. This was the part of the site dating from the 1950s where nuclear fuels were assembled, dissolved, examined and re-assembled in support of Britain's research and development of nuclear energy. Decommissioning the Fuel Cycle Area is expected to cost £550 million and involves dismantling sealed facilities that are contaminated with some of the most hazardous radioactive debris.

The North Highland Initiative announces new Chairman
David Whiteford has been appointed as the new Chairman of The Prince's North Highland Initiative. Mr Whiteford will take up the position on 1st June 2009.  Mr Whiteford brings a wealth of agricultural and food industry experience with him to the position, having previously chaired Scottish Food Quality Certification and Scottish Pig Industry Initiative amongst others. Mr Whiteford is currently employed as a partner in two family farming operations. Mr Whiteford replaces Lord Maclennan, who served as Chairman since the NHI was launched in 2005.

Annual Auction Sale At Lybster To Help Laidhay Funds
This Saturday 23rd May once again see the popular annual Laidhay Auction Sale in the Lybster Community Center starting around 1pm. A wide selection of articles and collectibles will go under the hammer of Auctioneer Mr Peter Mackay Forss, All proceeds from the Auction go towards the upkeep of the Laidhay Preservation Trust Museum in DUNBEATH. Articles can be viewed from 11am on Saturday morning.

£1.5 Million Project Regenerating Wick's Pulteneytown
Funding to transform a derelict site in Pulteneytown, Wick, into high quality houses has been awarded this week by The Highland Council's Planning, Environmental and Development Committee. Members have approved £297,836 of funding from the Pulteneytown Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme to the Highland Housing Alliance towards a £1,512,836 redevelopment project, which will transform a derelict site into 11 residential properties and bring new life into Pulteneytown's historic streets. The remaining funding is to be met from funds that the Council has secured from the Scottish Government's Vacant and Derelict Land Fund as well as income from the sale of the 11 properties.......

Dry Stone Dyking Course At Dunnet Forest Re-Scheduled for Sunday
The dry stone dyking at Dunnet Forest car park was cancelled because of the weather last Saturday. It will now take place on Sunday coming, and the car park will again be closed. Alternative parking will be available at the industrial entrance to the forest.

Mary Ann's Cottage Now Open For The Summer - Well Worth A Visit
Mary Ann's opened today Friday 22 May for Bank Holiday weekend and will be staying open thereafter for the season. Open 2.00 - 4.30 pm every day except Mondays. Volunteer guides always needed - just come along.


Home Heating Oil Stolen From Tank At Thrumster
Police in Wick are appealing for information regarding the theft of oil from an oil tank at Stewart Crescent, Thrumster. This theft is believed to have occurred between 6pm on Friday 15th May 2009 and 6.40am on Saturday 16th May 2009. In order to prevent any further oil thefts, the Police would like to urge the public to ensure that their oil tanks are sufficiently secured......

Thurso Precinct Refurbishment Completed
Work on the refurbishment contract in the Thurso Pedestrian Precinct has now been completed apart from the laying of coloured bitumen over the tarmac area running through the centre of the precinct and a few other minor works. The project which cost just over £370,000 was financed by The Highland Council's T.E.C and Planning & Development Services was designed by the councils Wick based engineering team who consulted with the Community Council and members of the public before finalising their plans.
More Photos Of Thurso Precinct

Coming To Mackays Hotel Next Saturday Night - Kent Duchaine
Hear one of the great bluesmen on yet another tour and once again taking time to play in Wick at Mackays Hotel next Saturday 23 May from 9.00pm.  Kent DuChaine travels all over the USA every year and still manages to tour worldwide. The last couple of times he was in Wick he was on his way to play in Orkney. Once again there will be only one performance at Mackays Hotel in Wick - a great chance to hear this exponent of the legendary Johnny Shines blues playing style. Kent loves angling and hopefully he will once again be able to sample his favourite sport once again in Caithness. Hear Some of his music on his web site

Dounreay Gains Planning Permission For Two Big Construction Projects
Dounreay Site Restoration Ltd has received planning consent for two of the biggest construction projects needed to complete the site clean-up. The new facilities will look after low and intermediate-level radioactive waste from the remainder of the site closure programme. With a combined value in excess of £300 million and a capacity for almost 200,000 cubic metres of waste, they will be the largest facilities ever built in Scotland for managing radioactive waste. "The planning consents keep our clean-up programme on course for completion in 2025," said Tony Trayner, head of construction at DSRL.

2009: A Sinclair Odyssey - May Newsletter
Hello to you all and welcome to the first Odyssey newsletter!
We had our first walk on Sunday 10th of May, lead by Dieter Tuerlinckx of Caithness Ranger Services. It was a beautiful day and many thanks to all those who turned out and made it (I think) such a success. It was thoroughly enjoyable and I hope that the next walk (The Battle Site at Altimarlich on Wednesday 8th July) will be just as much fun!........

Take The Challenge For Cancer Charity In Wick Gala Week - 160 Metres Across The Wick River
Remember the 2009 Wick Gala Week For Your Flight Over Wick River and Raise Vital Funds For the Children's Cancer Charity "CLIC Sargent"
CLIC Sargent the children's cancer charity are gearing up to run an exciting adrenalin event to help raise funds.  Johnson Controls based at Dounreay have agreed to help with the construction of a 3- 40 foot tower on ground near Wick Police Station.  From the platform a 160 foot slide will be put in place for an amazing "adrenalin rush" as participant whiz 160 metres to another receiving platform between the boating shed and the Coghill footbridge over the river. As part of Gala Week other events on at the same time will include many stalls and the fair in the afternoon, horse and donkey rides. Joy from Shelligoe Archery will be giving archery lessons and we hope to have musicians there and any other groups who will give the whole day a bit of atmosphere and family fun. Participants need to be 16 or over and weigh less than 18 stones.  Fancy dress encouraged..  No experience or strength is need and very experienced team will be in charge on the day. £20 to register and raise a minimum of £80 in sponsorship.  If you have abseiled the Wick Hospital Chimney then have go whizzing over Wick river on the Zipslide on Saturday 25th July.
Complete A Registration Form and Send It In
Go on you know you always wanted to slide fast over the Wick River..........

Distance No Object For Photography Competition
Caithness and Sutherland photographers are being encouraged to get creative for a prestigious digital photography competition which has been launched to celebrate innovation in the Highlands and Islands. Anyone with a camera and a creative eye is being invited to send entries to 'Innovation Exposure' which has been organised by Fusion, an organisation supporting entrepreneurial business, and Distance Lab, the digital media and communication technologies research institute. Innovation Exposure is seeking stunning and inventive photographic examples of "innovation" and "creativity" in the Highlands and Islands. These images can originate from any realm of life, not just business.........

Pulteneytown People's Project, Wick - Learning Centre Summer Schedule
Run by Colin Stewart - Tel 01955 606950 - Excel Course - Tuesday Morning - 10 .30 – 12.30

10 week course Commencing on Tuesday 26th May 2009 until Tuesday 28th July 2009. Course will guide you from the basics of Excel up to where you can do spreadsheets. Ideal for business use or for home budgeting.
Web Site Building for Beginners – Monday Mornings - 10.30 – 12.30pm
10 week course Commencing on Monday 25th May 2009 until Monday 27th July 2009. Course will provide you with the necessary knowledge to develop your own website either for business or personal use.
Job Club – Wednesday Mornings -9.30 -1.00 - Commencing on Wednesday 27th May 2009
Unemployed? Why not drop in on a Wednesday morning and use our facilities to help you obtain or return to employment. (CV preparation, Job search, Application completion). Open to all age groups.
For above courses contact Julie or Tracey on 01955 606950 To book your place.
Community Crafts Project At PPP
Pulteneytown People’s Project, Wick has a new community crafts project, designing and constructing a community signboard and making birdbaths using mosaic glass, among other things. This new project runs on Tuesday mornings with Bettine Bain, who has already run several popular classes with PPP. This fun, creative project is free of charge and we have places available for anyone who would be interested in getting involved.
More Courses From Pulteneytown People's Project, Wick
PPP and Springboard are looking to work in conjunction to offer introductory courses in Hospitality, Leisure, Travel & Tourism, including Food Hygiene and Health & Safety certificates. Please contact Tracey or Julie at PPP to register your interest. For more details or to reserve a place on any of these courses contact Tracey or Julie at PPP on 01955 606950.

Ormlie’s Busy Bees Clean Up Day - Go Along and Give A Hand
Ormlie Community Association will be holding its annual clean up day in Ormlie Estate, Thurso on Sunday 17th May between 2pm – 4pm. Volunteers have worked hard over the last few years to maintain and re-plant over 25 flower tubs throughout the area and the spring clean day will give the community the opportunity to plant summer flowers in the containers, the wavy wall, magic circle and garden area beside Ironside Place. The recently renovated Macaulay View garden will also be included in the planting programme and has become a real showcase for the community. The children will also have the opportunity to plant a sunflower seed and the tallest plant will receive a prize during the annual fun day which will be later than usual this year in August........

Castle Of Mey 10k Results

Castle Of Mey 10k Race

Caithness Gymnastics Club At Castle Of Mey 10k Run 

The Papers
'Dead end' job at John O'Groats attracts 25 hopefuls - Scotsman
Pentland side to the four in cup romp - Press & Journal

Tulips Bring A Splash Of Colour To Thurso

Coming Ranger Events In North Sutherland
Armadale Burn - Tuesday 19th May 10am – 2pm

As part of ‘Scottish Biodiversity Week’ join the local ranger and enjoy a lovely guided walk along the beautiful steep sided river gorge at Armadale. See lots of Interesting plants, geology and archaeology along the way as we head out to a hill loch for our lunch. One small river ford to navigate.
Meet at A836 road bridge car park near Armadale. Grid reference: NC795639
Strathy Point Sea Watch - Friday 22nd May 5pm – 7pm
As part of ‘Scottish Biodiversity Week’ bring along your binoculars and help the ranger look for whales, dolphins or porpoise. Learn about the species regularly seen from this local ‘hot spot’.
Meet at Strathy Point (Totegan) car park NC 827687 at 5pm. Bring binoculars if possible, telescopes provided. Weather Dependent! If unsure, please phone to check - No Dogs - Donations Welcome Phone 01641 521884

Childminders Induction Course At Castletown - 6th, 13th 20th June - Free Course
A chance to again training and certification on a free course run by the Scottish childminding Association funded by the European Social Fund.  Assistance with child-care costs and start-up grants may also be available.  Contact Gail Duff on 01463 798634 for more details and to enrol or email   Place are limited and pre-booking is essential.


Hedge Of Native Trees Planted At Mount Pleasant School, Thurso
Some pupils from Mount Pleasant's Primary 7, with help from the Countryside Rangers, planted a hedge of native trees in the school grounds. The funding came from CSV Action Earth which is supported by Morrison's supermarkets. The hedging will provide shelter and good habitat for wildlife.


Generation Game At Mey Hall Raised Over £200 For Parent Council At Crossroads School
Jackie Mackenzie for the Parents Council of Crossroads school sends thanks to everyone for making the night a huge success and raising over £200....It's Crossroads Schools 40th anniversary this year where we hope to hold numerous events over the course of the next few months, culminating in a buffet dance in October in the Mey Hall to Whisky, tickets will be on sale soon.

Battery Stolen From Quarry At Dirlot, Strathmore Estate
Police in Thurso are appealing for witnesses to a Theft from a derelict quarry at Dirlot, Strathmore Estate, by Halkirk, between Monday, 27th April 2009 and Saturday, 9th May 2009. A Lucas Lite Battery was stolen from a tractor in the quarry.

Another win in a fine season for Wick - Press & Journal
munro’s delight after away win at brora  Score - Brora Rangers 1 - Wick Academy 2
WICK came out on top in an entertaining Dudgeon Park derby.
Wick Academy Web Site   Club AGM - Friday 15th May at 7.30pm, in the Assembly Rooms Wick

National Spring Clean Success Strengthened By Council Enforcement
57,639 enthusiastic and passionate volunteers blitzed litter across Scotland in April as part of Keep Scotland Beautiful's National Spring Clean 2009 - and 2,768 of those volunteers carried out clean ups in the Highland council area. To honour and support this immense achievement, Highland Council officers will be out on 12th May to enforce the message that dropping litter is a crime. Litter was cleared from business districts, orphan spaces, parks and residential areas by 55 groups of volunteers from the Highlands last month. In fact, across Scotland, enough black sacks of litter to fill 28,819 standard wheelie bins were collected as part of National Spring Clean 2009.

Call For New Foster Carers To Come Forward
The Highland Council is joining in with the UK-wide campaign Foster Care Fortnight which starts today (Monday 11 April), to attract more local people into fostering. The fortnight is co-ordinated by fostering charity Fostering Network, to raise the awareness of fostering and highlight the shortage of foster carers across the whole of the UK. In the Highlands there are 100 foster carers aged between 21 and 65 who look after 130 children and young people.

Caithness Girl Receives BP Student Tutoring Award
Students from Robert Gordon University, the University of Aberdeen and Aberdeen College have successfully completed the BP Tutoring Scheme, a 14 week volunteering experience as student tutors in primary and secondary schools throughout Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. A total of 87 students from the three institutions took part in the Scheme, which aims to improve education in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire - 46 students from Robert Gordon University, 21 students from the University of Aberdeen and 20 from Aberdeen College......Lucy Bremner, (20) from Caithness, a third year Management with Human Resources student from Robert Gordon University spoke enthusiastically about her tutoring experience at Mackie Academy and commented, 'I have been accepted for my PGDE teaching course and I think I owe a lot of this to the practical experience gained from the BP Student Tutoring scheme'.....

Council Warns Residents to Be Alert
The Council's Trading Standards service have issued a warning to the public to take great care before agreeing to any work on their house or garden by any itinerant businesses. Chairman of TEC Services, Councillor John Laing said: "Every year we receive a number of complaints from people who have experienced poor workmanship, inflated prices and aggressive behaviour in connection with home and garden repair and maintenance works undertaken by this type of trader. The way they operate may have changed over the years, with some of them now driving official looking vehicles, the distribution of professionally printed sales literature and the workers wearing high visibility clothing and hard hats, but the problems remain the same.

Session A9 - The New Scottish Music
Gordon Gunn will be setting off on his travels once again with Session A9 in June.  The only far north date  is at Strathy hall so get in early for your tickets.  If you happen to be in other parts check out the list for venue near you.  Session A9 are Adam Sutherland, Brian Mcalpine, Charlie Mckerron, David "chimp" Robertson, Gordon Gunn, Kevin Henderson and Marc Clement. Over the years Session A9 have been described as a "Scottish super group", "The best band to have come out of Scotland in 100 years", "Tighter than James Brown" and an "Amazing Festival band", great praise indeed for a band formed through informal music sessions up and down the arterial Scottish road, the A9, culminating in their first ever tour in 2001.

Caithness Firm "Berry Good" Wins Award At Food And Drink Oscars
Caithness company, Berry Good were absolutely delighted with their very first award from the Scottish Food and Drinks Excellence Awards held recently in Glasgow. The awards which are hailed as the 'oscars' of the Scottish food and drink industry were held on the 7th May in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. The company which is run by Jill Brown of Watten have only been running since June 2008. The judges were delighted with the product and felt that it really has the 'wow factor'! The product is distributed throughout Scotland & UK through Elgin based Gordon & Macphail.  Berry Good web site

Vandalism in Duncan Street and Rose Street, Thurso

Pine Martin and Badger Deaths Being Investigated By Police In Caithness
Wick Police are currently investigating two separate incidents of protected species of wildlife being killed by illegal means. A pine marten was found in an illegal trap in the area between Watten and Mybster last weekend. The pine marten was found by a member of the public and was passed to the SSPCA who in turn had a vet examine its injuries. However, the extent of injuries meant the pine marten had to be put down. Pine martens are a rare species and protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. A badger was found with a snare around its neck on the A99 road by Clyth, near Lybster one week ago. Badgers are strictly protected from any form of disturbance or killing under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.

Council clamps down on irresponsible dog owners
The Highland Council has issued a clear warning to irresponsible dog owners that it will not tolerate owners allowing their dogs to foul public areas without clearing up after them. The Council this week announced that during a crackdown week in April, officers issued eleven fixed penalty notices to members of the public and warned that this was just the start of the clampdown with other enforcement weeks to follow.

2009: A Sinclair Odyssey - You Can Get Involved
A Sinclair Odyssey combines arts and archaeology to tell the stories of the Sinclair Clan of Caithness. With a glittering Street Parade and an opportunity to step back in time at The Gathering, Odyssey will explore the themes of Ancestry and Homecoming in the county of Caithness. With many activities planned for the coming months there will be a chance for everyone to be involved and make their contribution to Homecoming Scotland 2009! Check out the Community Arts pages at Lyth Arts Centre web site where you can sign up to have updates emailed to you over the year. See and click on Community Arts.

Boating and Tennis Courts Now In the Highlife Scheme - Getting Better All The Time
Even better prices for Highlife members are now available at facilities such as the boating pond and tennis courts in Thurso.
Opening Times in Thurso are
Monday - CLOSED - Tuesday - 2 - 5pm, 6 - 9pm
Wednesday 2 - 5pm, 6 - 9pm - Thursday 2 - 5pm, 6 - 9pm
Friday 2 - 5pm, 6 - 9pm - Saturday 12 - 6pm - Sunday 12 - 6pm
More  reasons to check out the Highland Council's High life scheme.

Queen Mary Loses Her Head In Wick And Strathy
The National Theatre Ensemble comes to Strathy Hall on 12 May and Wick Assembly Rooms on 14 May for two professional shows, Dennis Kelly's 'Our Teacher is a Troll' and Liz Lochhead's 'Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off'. Area Cultural Officer, Adrian Clark, said: "I am really excited about this visit, which is in addition to the National Theatre's Transform project just starting up in Thurso. The Ensemble company bring all their own staging and seating and create an intimate theatre environment. The drawback is the reduction in available seating, so early booking is advised. He added: "Liz Lochhead's Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off has been a great success over the years. This in-the-round production, directed by Alison Peebles is garnering excellent reviews"

Caithness Gymnasts Perform At GYMFEST 2009
Nine members of Caithness Gymnastics Club Rhythmic Team attended the Scottish National Gymnastics festival for 2009 held in the Magnum Centre, Irvine from the 1st to the 3rd of May. The Caithness team travelled to Irvine in Ayrshire on Friday 1st May to attend the Scottish National Gymnastics festival for 2009. The Audience watched as over 1500 Gymnasts, in 59 teams from all over the UK, displayed their spectacular Gymnastic talents and abilities with routines of many different varieties. The Caithness team of Rhythmic Gymnasts performed a truly breathtaking routine, one of only two Rhythmic teams at the festival, the other coming all the way from Birmingham.

Police Looking For Witnesses To Serious Assualt At Camps Carpark, Wick
About 0235 hours last Sunday morning (3rd May) a young male was rendered unconscious by an assault at the Camp’s carpark, The Shore, Wick. It is known that a number of persons in the vicinity have yet to be traced as witnesses.

Anna McConnell Running In Castle Of Mey 10K for Caithness Mental Health Support Group
Caithness Mental Health Support Group and I'd really appreciate your support. It's easy to sponsor me online by credit or debit card - just go to my Justgiving page:
Justgiving sends your donation straight to Caithness Mental Health Support Group and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you're a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more. I hope you'll join me in supporting Caithness Mental Health Support Group.  250 Runners Start at 2.00pm On Sunday 10th May

'Reactorsaurus' To Pull Apart Dounreay Plant
In order to pull out the innards of the redundant reactor which once fed power into the national grid, DSRL's design engineers have had to come up with some pretty ingenious inventions since the reactor was switched off. Now a giant seventy-five tonne prehistoric looking device with two large pincer arms and roving photographic eyes, affectionately nicknamed 'Reactorsaurus' by the project team, has been designed to dismantle the plant. Due to the environmentally hazardous conditions the stripping out work needs to be carried out remotely.

Thurso High School Pupil Wins First Prize In Pushkin Awards
Thurso High School pupil Charlotte Gordon (13) has this week received the First Prize at the prestigious Pushkin Prize Award Ceremony, held in Edinburgh last Monday. Charlotte's prize-winning portfolio of writing included an extract from her fourth fantasy novel and a short poem entitled "Singing in the Rain". But her short story, which received the highest praise from all the judges, had a more local flavour - "Morris" is a fictional account of a Caithness Orchestra rehearsal, where a mysterious stranger arrives and no-one knows quite what to expect...
All the winning entries can be read at

More O'Neill Surf Photos From Caithness
Look at the the latest photos on two more web sites -
Laura MacDonald  James Gunn

Highlands and Islands Museums Forum Museum Directory Launched
The Highlands and Islands Museums Forum (HIMF) worked in partnership with the Highland Council to organise 'The Past Presents' on May 4th at the Highland Folk Museum Newtonmore especially for Show Scotland 2009 weekend. The event, which was free and open to all, officially launched HIMF's new directory. The booklet contains information from over 25 museums and archives in the Highland region. It has been produced to promote museum collections, exhibitions and activities during this The Year of Homecoming. The project has been supported by The Highland Council and Museums and Galleries Scotland. For Caithness Wick Heritage Museum and North Highland Archive based at Wick Library are included in the new guide.  Caithness Museums Etc

Caithness Bloggers Latest
Cattle Tied By The Neck - Rain On My Window
Dancing Doves and a Lonely Hare - Home In The Highlands
O'Neill Cold Water Classic Series - North Light
'ditty bags' and 'baggies'! - Joanne B Kaar's Mary Ann's Cottage
More Boats - Mary Ann's cottage Fund Raiser Blog

Latest Surf Photos From Caithness At the O'Neill Cold Water Classic Forum                    Northlink - Jamie Buchanan

Watch A Slide Show From Northlink

Martina Cross Surf Photos

Caro Jones Surf Photos

O'Neill Cold Water Classic Web Site

Watch Coverage From O'Neill's Cold Water Classic In Caithness - 58 Degrees North

Facelift Planned For Tourist Site - STV
Short News Film about Latest plans for John O'Groats with a short ad for Visit Scotland before you get to it - ach weel.....

Out And About With Caithness Field Club
the summer programme is already underway but there are still plenty of interesting walks to come.  Members and non members are always welcome.

Employment -Jobs - Vacancies Via
Administrators     Academic Leader – Energy Studies     Occupational Therapist
Temporary Countryside Ranger     Temporary Learning Support Assistant     Exchequer Assistant
cleaner required     Bar Supervisor      Relief Support Worker    
  More Jobs

Highland Council Meeting  - 7 May 2009
the next meeting of Highland council amongst other matters consider reports on -
Caithness & North Sutherland Regeneration Partnership - Dounreay Decommissioning Pdf
Highland Single Outcome Agreement- 2009 - 2011 Pdf

Police Seeking Witnesses For Various Minor Crimes
Galvanised Gate Stolen From Old Wick
Vandalism - High Street, Wick - Damage To Flowers
Vandalism - Grant Street, Wick - Blue Car Scratched
Damage To Truck At Co-op Wick
Damage To Car At Wellington Street, Wick

Wick Herring Queen and Court chosen for the HarbourFest       Click HERE For Big Photo
Wick has a new Herring Queen elect after a lapse of 56 years since the last Herring Queen was crowned. After interviewing 10 local girls for this historic pageant, the HarbourFest Committee are pleased to announce that Lynsey Bremner, Wick, was chosen as Herring Queen elect and her four Ladies-in-Waiting will be Zoe Mackenzie, Wick; Laura Oag, Thrumster; Kerryanne Smith, Watten and Erin Thomson, Wick. Gordon Doull, Chairman of the Wick HarbourFest Committee said “We were delighted with the quality of all applicants, and we were disappointed that we could not give them all a role in the ceremony. Plans for the crowning pageant are progressing well, and we are looking forward to re-enacting this most evocative pageant, dating back to the former herring industry times.”  Earlier Herring Queens   Wick Harbour Fest takes place on 26th, 27th and 28th June

Wick Branch Of MacMillan Cancer Support Ready For The Annual Fund Raising Walk - Join In
The Wick Branch of Macmillan Cancer Support are holding their annual Walk Wonders walk on Tuesday 12 May 2009 leaving from the rear car park of Caithness General Hospital at 7pm. Sponsor forms are obtainable from Kay Oswald (01955-880246), Isobel Nicolson (01955-880406) or June Pollard (01955-880403) at Caithness General Hospital or Jennifer Gunn at Wick Service Point. Alternatively, if you prefer, you can make a donation on the night. We hope you will join us and help us to raise funds for our branch. All monies raised goes towards supporting the Macmillan Nurse, the carers and the services they provide throughout the county.

HIE Commissions Firm To Plan New Future For John o Groats
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has commissioned Edinburgh based planning consultants GVA Grimley to produce a physical masterplan for John O'Groats. The masterplan will provide a sustainable long term model for creating an iconic visitor attraction which will include retail outlets, food and drink offerings and various levels of tourist accommodation. The masterplan is expected to be complete by August of this year. It follows last year's local public consultation on the project.

The Papers
Enterprise agency launches probe into contract awards - Press & Journal
Highlands and Islands Enterprise is to carry out an internal audit of contracts worth almost £100,000 that were awarded to a consultancy firm run by the agency’s chairman.........

The Caithness Heart Support Group continue with their fundraising activities in the Ross Institute Halkirk. Among those taking part are well known Bettyhill singer Magnus MacLeod, The Mina Mackay Dancers and well known trio Denis Manson, Noel Donaldson and Chris Duncan. There will also be some Caithness Dialect during the evening which will be compared by Willie Mackay Oldhall Watten. The event with a £5. entry which includes Tea/Coffee and sandwiches gets under way at

Caithness Celtic Supporters' Club Bus availability for the next games
The next buses are:-
versus Dundeee United (League) on 12/05/09 - 19.45pm kick-off - Bus leaving Wick Safeways @ 09:00 and Thurso Skinandis @ 09:30. &;
versus Hearts (League) on 24/05/09 - 13.00pm kick-off - Bus leaving Wick Safeways @ 03:00 and Thurso Skinandis @ 03:30.
Senior = £30 and Junior = £20.
Contact, Stevie King =
Official website -

GENERATION GAME Saturday 9th MAY at 7.30pm
Based on the former popular family T.V. game show the Generation Game comes to the new MEY HALL this Saturday 9th MAY evening with a 7.30pm start, Organised by the Crossroads Primary School Parents Forum the evening promises to be full of fun and games for the parents and children already chosen to take part. Compere for the evening is Willie Mackay Oldhall, Watten, assisted by his wife Glynis. Admission is only £3.and includes Tea/Coffee and Home baking, so it will be a case of "NICE TO SEE YOU TO SEE YOU NICE".

O'Neill Surf 2009 In Caithness - Latest News and Action HERE - Film footage, photos and results
Straight To The Videos - Yes it really is Caithness.......
Local Photographers Getting in On the Act with plenty of shots -
Martina Cross                 Laura Thurso               Caro Jones

Share Your O'Neill Surf Photos in The Forum
Cazmanian Minx First In
If you have photos it's easy to post them - have a go...

Surf Definitely Looks Like It Will Be Up On Saturday In Caithness
Weather Forecast Looks Good and wave heights rising.

British Surfin History Now On At Caithness Horizons, Thurso
'An art history of British surfing' opens at Caithness Horizons in the Old Town Hall on April 28th and runs through to July 26th 2009.

See Surfing From Caithness LIVE Compliments Of O'Neill - Starts 9.30am Saturday
Surfing is as always weather dependant but Saturday is already gearing up for a big swell.  Check in throughout the day to see live action if the waves are up.

Presentations & Talks by Four Glass Artists from Around the Globe at Caithness Horizons
Friday 8th May, 7pm

Carole Freve, Quebec, Canada - Joshua Hershman, Colorado, USA
Friday 15th May, 7pm
Alex Trommler, Pennsylvania, USA - Sean Campbell, Fermanagh

ADMISSION FREE - Refreshments

Can Wick Academy Defeat Top Of the League Team Cove Rangers On Saturday?
Wick Academy will go out on Saturday with a run of 10 wins under their belt to play top of the league Cove Rangers who are bidding to win the  league.  Whilst Academy cannot win the league they can improve their position to the best yet.  A defeat for Cove and win for Deveronvale against Forres Mechanics could mean Cove and Deveronvale fighting for top position in the last game of the season.  A win for Academy on Saturday would certainly give the fans something to cheer about heading into next season.  Whatever the result tomorrow Academy deserve congratulation for their recent magnificent run of wins.  A hard game but not impossible as Wick Academy have already beaten Inverurie Locos once and they beat Cove back in August.  Good Luck Academy on Saturday......Weather looks good for Saturday so get out and support them.......Scorrie Scoop Jackpot Reaches £4500 so get your tickets.

New Business Gateway For Caithness
The local office of Highland Opportunity Limited (HOL) - Wick Enterprise Centre, based in Miller Street, Wick - is now delivering locally the business support services of the national Business Gateway. From the beginning of April 2009, Business Gateway has been delivered by HOL throughout the Highland and Moray regions of Scotland. Business Gateway has operated in the south of Scotland for several years now and has been widely regarded as a successful driver of local enterprise.  To see what they might help with check the web sites Business Gateway and Highland Opportunity

Riding the road-map of devolution - BBC
John Knox the Political reporter for BBC Scotland arrived at John O'Groats after cycling from Gretna Green to find out what difference devolution has made to people's lives.

Council defends new bilingual signs - Press & Journal
Bilingual Problems? - It's not just Highland - USA See Here   Canada See Here  Cornwall See Here
Slovakia See Here

Guided Walk - Scullomie to Sletell - Wednesday 6th May 2009 - 12pm – 3pm.
Join the local ranger for a wonderful coastal walk enjoying great views of the Rabbit Islands and Island Roan. Hopefully see courtship displaying newts in a small burn. Stop for packed lunch at the abandoned settlement of Sletell. Return via same route. Meet at Coldbackie Beach A836 roadside car park (grid ref: NC 612601) at 12pm. Bring packed lunch. Donations welcome. All walks are weather/numbers dependent please wear warm waterproof clothing and walking boots. An adult must accompany all children under 16 years of age. Sorry but dogs are not welcome on guided walks.
Tel: Paul Castle, North Sutherland Countryside Ranger 01641 521884

Front Page Headlines Archive Index From 2000 Onwards