one of Britain’s most iconic and remote lighthouses – surrounded by a bombing range – has been repainted for the first time in over a decade, and just before major war games are about to start.
The £150,000-plus job was carried out at Cape Wrath Lighthouse in Sutherland, which is near the 921-feet highest vertical cliffs on mainland Britain.
Some of the materials – including 130 litres of paint – had to be flown in by helicopter.
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The lighthouse is surrounded by Britain’s biggest bombing range and the only place in Europe where 1,000lb bombs can be dropped. The area is closed for war games up to 120 days a year.
Major Nato war games are set to start at the end of the month, so the half-a-dozen painters had to take advantage of the “peace dividend” in a race against time and the weather – before a brush with being in the firing line.
Workers are due to finish in time for Exercise Joint Warrior to begin.
It is the first phase of sprucing up Cape Wrath Lighthouse and nearby buildings.
There are 81 steps to the top of the 400 feet high tower of the lighthouse, whose 25-mile range beam is now controlled from the Northern Lighthouse Board in Edinburgh after the light was automated in 1998. Solar panels are planned to be installed in the future.
Craig Field, project leader with the Northern Lighthouse Board, said: “Cape Wrath lighthouse is an iconic and valuable part of the community and has been guiding mariners safely through Scottish waters for over 190 years.
“It’s vital, therefore, that we carry out this essential upgrade to ensure the lighthouse continues to serve the mariner for many more years to come.”