World Heritage and Nature webinar - St Kilda 27th June 7.00pm-8.00pm02 June 2023
St Kilda is the UK’s only dual/mixed Natural and Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to nearly 1 million seabirds, including the UK’s largest colony of Atlantic puffins. After 4,000 years of human presence on the island, St Kilda was evacuated on 29 August 1930 when the remaining 36 islanders decided to leave as their way of life was no longer sustainable. As well as more than 1,200 stone cleits, there are also cottages, a church and a manse, which are all designated Scheduled Monuments. In addition to annual maintenance, archaeological survey, conservation, bird monitoring, tours and general care, there are also the challenges of urgent conservation works.
Susan Bain, Property Manager of St Kilda World Heritage Site. Susan first travelled to St Kilda in 2002 as the newly appointed St Kilda Archaeologist for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS). She spent the next three summers there working with the Work Parties and recording and monitoring the buildings and their condition. In the winter months she wrote up reports and worked on projects such as cataloguing the large collection of St Kilda photographs owned by the Trust. In 2005 Susan changed roles and became the Manager for the NTS properties in the Western Isles, that include St Kilda and Mingulay, Pabbay and Berneray. Her current role is to oversee all aspects of St Kilda including wildlife monitoring and research; building repair and maintenance; visitor management and biosecurity in order to ensure St Kilda remains a very special place. She works closely with management partners in Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and the Ministry of Defence.