Auskerry shown within Orkney
|OS grid reference||HY675165|
|Meaning of name||east skerry|
|Area||85 hectares (0.33 sq mi)|
|Area rank||157= |
|Highest elevation||18 metres (59 ft)|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Council area||Orkney Islands|
|Population rank||77= |
|Population density||4.7 people/km2|
Auskerry is a small, flat, red sandstone islet, 3 miles (5 km) south of Stronsay. A standing stone and mediaeval chapel are signs of early settlement. The island was uninhabited for a time after the automation of the lighthouse in the 1960s. It was previously a popular location for hunting seals.
Auskerry has been inhabited for 30 years by a family who keep a flock of rare North Ronaldsay sheep. There are three small wind turbines and four solar panels on the island, which provide most of the power. After a series of expansions and renovations, the single roomed stone bothy is now a modern house with four bedrooms, kitchen, shower room and living room. The chemical toilet is outdoors due to the complication of installing septic tanks. Mail is delivered from Stronsay, once a month, by a fishing boat.
The Hastings County, a 116-metre Norwegian cargo ship ran ashore on north west of Auskerry in 1926 during thick fog. The vessel broke in half and wreckage is spread over a wide area, with the engine on the beach.
The lighthouse lights the north entrance to the Stronsay Firth. It was built in 1866 by engineers David and Thomas Stevenson. It is attached to two flats; the lower one is used all year as a store and the top one is used mainly in summer.
Auskerry is designated a Special Protection Area due to its importance as a nesting area for Arctic Tern and Storm Petrel; 4.2% of the breeding population of Storm Petrel in Great Britain nest on the island.
- Area and population ranks: there are c. 300 islands >20ha in extent and 93 permanently inhabited islands were listed in the 2011 census.
- National Records of Scotland (15 August 2013) (pdf) Statistical Bulletin: 2011 Census: First Results on Population and Household Estimates for Scotland - Release 1C (Part Two). "Appendix 2: Population and households on Scotland’s inhabited islands". Retrieved 17 August 2013.
- Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7.
- Ordnance Survey. Get-a-map (Map). 1:25,000. Leisure. Ordinance Survey. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
- Anderson, Joseph (Ed.) (1893) Orkneyinga Saga. Translated by Jón A. Hjaltalin & Gilbert Goudie. Edinburgh. James Thin and Mercat Press (1990 reprint). ISBN 0-901824-25-9
- Pedersen, Roy (January 1992) Orkneyjar ok Katanes (map, Inverness, Nevis Print)
- "Auskerry". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "Isle of Auskerry". Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "Why postage should be cheaper in UK if Scots vote 'Yes'". BBC. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
- "Hastings County". North Isles Diving. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "SS Hastings County Ashore On Auskerry". Scran. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "Auskerry History". Northern Lighthouse Board. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "Special Protection Area description: Auskerry". JNCC. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-24.
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