Work will begin next month on improvements to a historic Lewis cemetery, delayed from March due to the pandemic.
Sandwick cemetery outside Stornoway will be extended for the fourth time since 1910 o provide up to 1,200 more lairs and associated access.
Work is scheduled to begin on August 3, expected to last for 12 weeks.
Western Isles Council says the cemetery will remain open, but access and movement through certain areas of the cemetery will be restricted for the duration of the works.
The section of the cemetery being developed has an area large enough to accommodate 1,200 lairs but the total number of available lairs will depend on the ground conditions, drainage requirements and any access road needs, with the worst case scenario being 850 lairs, the council says.
Local firm Duncan Mackay and Sons Ltd will undertake the £233,000 project.
Sandwick Cemetery is the largest operated by the council in the Western Isles.
It has been split into two sections – an older section and a modern stretch that runs by the A866 Stornoway to Portnaguran road.
Malcolm Macdonald, chairman of Stornoway Historical Society, said: “I think it’s very important that people in Stornoway and district are able to visit relatives that have passed away and that the cemetery is maintained for its historical past.”
The older section has 3,678 known lairs and dates back to the 18th century, and was last used for the interment of ashes in September 2000.
New Sandwick cemetery came in to use in 1910, with extensions added in 1939, 1954 and 1990.
It has 5,779 lairs, a particularly poignant one belonging to a victim of HMY Iolaire, the Admirality yacht which sank with great loss of life at the entrance to Stornoway harbour on January 1, 1919.
John Macaskill of 12 Lower Sandwick perished in the tragedy, and was washed up on Sandwick shore, on the beach on the other side of the old cemetery wall.
The local bard, Murdo Macfarlane of Melbost said at the time that he was virtually washed up on his own door step.
There are graves of sailors lost in the Iolaire tragedy in both the Old and New Sandwick Cemeteries.
The cemeteries also hold 51 Commonwealth War Graves, 27 from World War 1 and 24 from World War 2.
There graves for three civilians, two women and a boy, killed on SS Staffordshire, in the new cemetery.
They were not afforded Commonwealth War Grave status, unlike three service personnel who were also killed in the tragedy.
Passenger ship SS Staffordshire was bombed and damaged in the Atlantic Ocean by Luftwaffe aircraft with the loss of 28 lives in March 1941.
A Norwegian seaman killed on MS Eli in World War 2 rests in the cemetery, but has no headstone.