Page last updated at 11:04 GMT, Tuesday, 15 July 2008 12:04 UK

Royal's lighthouse tour praised

Lighthouse at Tarbat Ness on the Moray Firth (Pic: Iain Maclean)
A lighthouse at Tarbat Ness, one of more than 200 across Scotland

Princess Anne's tour of Scottish lighthouses has been praised by a Nationalist politician.

Western Isles MP Angus MacNeil has tabled a motion in the House of Commons highlighting her visits and hailing the work of the Northern Lighthouse Board.

The Princess Royal has been patron of the board since 1993.

Her tour includes trips to Arran, to be shown the Pladda and the Holy Island inner and outer lights, and to Skye on board the maintenance ship Pharos.

In his Commons motion, Mr MacNeil proposes that the House "applauds the efforts of the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, in attempting to visit all Scotland's 209 lighthouses spread over Scotland's 10,000 kilometres of coastline and 790 islands.

"And further applauds the work of the Northern Lighthouse Board, their ships and employees who work so hard to keep these magnificent feats of civil engineering in working order to maintain vital safety around Scotland's coasts."

The earliest mention of a lighthouse in Scotland is in 1653 when permission was granted for one on the Isle of May, Firth of Forth
Skerryvore, south-west of Tiree, is Scotland's tallest at 48m (156ft)
Mystery still surrounds the disappearance of three light keepers from the Flannan Isles Lighthouse in the Western Isles on 15 December 1900
Source: Northern Lighthouse Board

Roger Lockwood, chief executive of the Northern Lighthouse Board, said the princess had an active interest in the buildings and their staff.

He said: "By visiting them, she can see the difficulties in which they have to work."

Mr Lockwood added: "She accepted the position and takes it very seriously. She attends our board meetings from time to time."

The board is responsible for lights in Scotland and Isle of Man. Its resources include 209 lighthouses, 163 buoys and 37 beacons.

Mr Lockwood said weather conditions would dictate whether Princess Anne was able to visit all 209 lighthouses.

He said: "She would be very pleased to visit them all, but I think it's an extremely tall order.

"Some are very small and on very little, rocky outcrops."

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific