Auskerry

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Not to be confused with Out Skerries.
Auskerry
Auskerry lighthouse
Auskerry lighthouse
Location
Auskerry is located in Orkney Islands
Auskerry
Auskerry
Auskerry shown within Orkney
OS grid reference HY675165
Names
Norse name Austrsker
Meaning of name east skerry
Area and summit
Area 85 hectares (0.33 sq mi)
Area rank 157=[1]
Highest elevation 18 metres (59 ft)
Population
Population 4[2]
Population rank 77=[1]
Pop. density 4.7 people/km2[2][3]
Groupings
Island group Orkney
Local Authority Orkney Islands
Flag of Scotland.svg Lymphad3.svg
References [3][4][5][6]

Auskerry (Old Norse: Austrsker, east skerry) is a small island in eastern Orkney, Scotland. It lies in the North Sea south of Stronsay and has a lighthouse, completed in 1866.

Description[edit]

Auskerry is a small, flat, red sandstone islet, 3 miles (5 km) south of Stronsay.[7][8] A standing stone and mediaeval chapel are signs of early settlement.[7] 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.[7]

Auskerry has been inhabited for 30 years by a family who keep a flock of rare North Ronaldsay sheep.[9] 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.[10]

Lighthouse[edit]

The Hastings County, a 116 metre Norwegian cargo ship ran ashore on north west of Auskerry in 1926 during thick fog.[11] 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.[12] It was built in 1866 by engineers David and Thomas Stevenson.[13] 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.

Wildlife[edit]

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.[14]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Area and population ranks: there are c. 300 islands >20ha in extent and 93 permanently inhabited islands were listed in the 2011 census.
  2. ^ a b 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.
  3. ^ a b Haswell-Smith, Hamish (2004). The Scottish Islands. Edinburgh: Canongate. ISBN 978-1-84195-454-7. 
  4. ^ Ordnance Survey. Get-a-map (Map). 1:25,000. Leisure. http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/oswebsite/getamap/. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ Pedersen, Roy (January 1992) Orkneyjar ok Katanes (map, Inverness, Nevis Print)
  7. ^ a b c "Auskerry". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  8. ^ http://www.britainexpress.com/scotland/Orkney/Orkney-Geography.htm
  9. ^ "Isle of Auskerry". Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  10. ^ "Why postage should be cheaper in UK if Scots vote 'Yes'". BBC. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Hastings County". North Isles Diving. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  12. ^ "SS Hastings County Ashore On Auskerry". Scran. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  13. ^ "Auskerry History". Northern Lighthouse Board. Retrieved 2009-08-09. 
  14. ^ "Special Protection Area description: Auskerry". JNCC. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 

Coordinates: 59°02′03″N 2°34′05″W / 59.03429°N 2.56798°W / 59.03429; -2.56798