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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 August 2005, 13:44 GMT 14:44 UK
Far-flung pub calls last orders
St Kilda - Huw Williams
St Kilda's pub is calling time on passing yachtsmen
Last orders have been called on visiting drinkers at one of Britain's most remote pubs - the Puff Inn on St Kilda off the Western Isles.

It has become popular in recent years with sailors and cruise ship passengers but time has now been called, because of security concerns.

The island is home to a tracking base linked to the Benbecula rocket range.

Only drinkers with prior approval from the Ministry of Defence will now be able to enjoy a pint.

The pub was opened to give soldiers on the remote island, which has World Heritage status, a place to relax.

It proved popular, however, with tourists to the island - possibly because of its cheap prices.

The missile tracking base is now run by defence company QinetiQ and officials have decided to pull down the shutter on visiting tipplers.

They said the decision was made for security reasons but denied it was linked to increased fears following the bomb and attempted bomb attacks in London.

It means the Puff Inn is now off limits to everyone except the dozen or so staff on the island.

Cultural body

A disastrous breeding season led to fears being aired last month over the future of the famous puffin colony on St Kilda.

A survey of puffin colonies found that in the archipelago, which is owned by National Trust for Scotland, substantial numbers of chicks had starved to death.

The United Nations' cultural body, Unesco, last year extended the World Heritage Site to include the seas around the island, as well as its bird colonies.

A plan to put remote controlled cameras on St Kilda was turned down in 2003 by the Western Isles Council.

The cameras would have allowed visitors to the National Seabird Centre at North Berwick to view live pictures of the bird colonies on the islands.

But councillors said they would have been detrimental to the island's World Heritage status.




SEE ALSO:
Cameras to give bird's eye view
24 May 03 |  Scotland
Islands bid to join heritage elite
07 Feb 03 |  Scotland
Islands at the edge of the world
18 Jul 02 |  Scotland
Cultural boost for remote islands
31 Jan 01 |  Scotland


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