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Sheep dyke repair grant doubled

Islander councillors have recommended doubling the amount of funding it previously offered for repairs to the North Ronaldsday sheep dyke.

In November 2012, the education, leisure and housing committee approved a grant of £2,500 from the Community Heritage Projects Scheme, towards an estimated £10,000 cost for the repair of 200 metres of the dyke.

However, around two miles of the grade A-listed structure collapsed as a result of the storms on December 14 and 15, with further damage caused by high winds earlier this week. Accordingly, members of the committee agreed to recommend increasing the grant to £5,000.

According to a report before councillors: “With 3,200 metres of dyke to repair at an estimated cost of £50 per metre it will cost approximately £160,000 to complete the repair.”

The North Ronaldsay Trust — whose remit includes the preservation of the dyke which surrounds the island to keep sheep grazing on seaweed — plan to carry out the work on a phased basis as funding, time, and manpower allow.