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Residents 'relieved' Cape Wrath will not be closed off by MoD

The MoD plans to buy the land around the lighthouse if a community buyout plan fails.

Cape Wrath lighthouse in Durness, the Highlands.
STV

Residents in the far north are “relieved” the Ministry of Defence will not be closing off Cape Wrath to the public if it buys a parcel of land surrounding the area’s iconic lighthouse.

The community wants to buy the land but the MoD, which already owns 25,000 acres of the Cape, and uses it for bombing practice, said if this was not successful it would purchase the land - sparking fears tourists would be banned from travelling there.

More than 2000 people a year take the short boat and bus trip across from Durness to visit its Stevenson Lighthouse on Cape Wrath.

A letter from defence minister Mark Francois appeared to suggest that if this happened, members of the public would be “precluded” from visiting.

Durness residents and wildlife organisation The John Muir Trust banded together to lobby for support to keep the Cape open to visitors, gathering more than 2000 signatures.

The area's MP John Thurso has been assured in another letter from the defence minister that access would only be prevented when live firing is under way, as is the current situation.

Scottish Government Ministers are due to decide if a community buy-out can be given the go-ahead by the end of August.

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