SSE plc is an energy company headquartered in Perth, Scotland. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange, is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. SSE operates in United Ireland, it is involved in the generation and supply of electricity and gas, the operation of gas and telecoms networks and other energy related services such as gas storage and production, contracting and metering. SSE is considered as one of the "Big Six" companies which dominate the energy market in the United Kingdom; the company has its origins in two public sector electricity supply authorities. The former North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board was founded in 1943 to design and manage hydroelectricity projects in the Highlands of Scotland, took over further generation and distribution responsibilities on the nationalisation of the electricity industry within the United Kingdom in 1948; the former Southern Electricity Board was created in 1948 to distribute electricity in Southern England. Whilst the Southern Electricity Board was a distribution only authority, with no power generation capacity of its own, the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric board was a broader spectrum organisation, with its own generating capabilities.
Because of its history and location, the Hydro-Electric Board was responsible for most of the hydroelectric generating capacity in the United Kingdom. Both authorities were privatised in 1990/91 retaining their pre privatisation geographic and functional bases; the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board became Scottish Hydro-Electric, whilst the Southern Electricity Board became Southern Electric. Scottish and Southern Energy was formed in September 1998, following a merger between Scottish Hydro-Electric and Southern Electric. In August 2000, Scottish and Southern Energy acquired the SWALEC energy supply business. SWALEC operate in Wales while SSE operates in Scotland and England. In July 2004, the company acquired the Ferrybridge and Fiddlers Ferry Power Stations for £250million. In January 2008, it went on to buy an Irish wind farm business. In August 2009, it agreed to purchase Uskmouth power station from Welsh Power Group Limited. In April 2010, the company purchased the natural gas exploration and production assets of Hess Corporation in three areas of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf – Everest/Lomond and Bacton.
In January 2010, Scottish and Southern Energy changed the core company branding from Scottish and Southern Energy to SSE. In November 2017, it was announced that SSE was looking to separate from its retail subsidiary which would merge with the npower division of rival Innogy, it is planned that SSE shareholders will own 65.6% of the demerged entity and Innogy would hold the remainder. The resulting company would be listed on the London Stock Exchange and include npower's residential and business retail business, SSE's residential energy supply and home services business, excluding its business in Ireland; the merger received preliminary regulatory clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority on 30 August 2018, full clearance was given on 10 October 2018. On 17 December 2018, the merger was abandoned, blaming "very challenging market conditions"; the company is the second largest supplier of electricity and natural gas in the United Kingdom, the largest generator of renewable energy in the United Kingdom.
Its subsidiaries are organised into the main businesses of generation, transmission and supply of electricity. Grid connections are more difficult in North Scotland, which receives funding from the rest of the United Kingdom to reduce tariffs. In March 2016, SSE announced it would be closing all branches of its Scottish Hydro Electric shops and the accompanying online store, citing "changing shopping habits and more customer choice meant the shops have been loss-making for a number of years". SSE had 2,975MW of renewable capacity at 30 September 2016, including its share of joint ventures, with 2,731MW of this in Great Britain; the British portfolio comprised: 1,150MW conventional hydro, 900MW onshore wind, 344MW offshore wind, 300MW pumped storage and 37MW dedicated biomass. SSE had 8,069MW of thermal capacity at 30 September 2016, comprising: 5,305MW of gas fired and oil fired generation and 1,995MW of coal fired generation. SSE is the largest accredited Living Wage Employer in the United Kingdom.
Nearly 20,000 staff across the United Kingdom are guaranteed to receive the living wage rate of at least £7.85 an hour. In October 2014, SSE became the first company on the FTSE 100 to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark, an independent accreditation process for identifying companies making an effort to be transparent about their tax affairs; the SSE Hydro is an arena located in Glasgow, Scotland, on the site of the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. The arena opened on 30 September 2013, has a capacity of 13,000, it was designed by the London based architects Foster + Partners. The SSE Hydro hosts international musical stars, global entertainment and sporting events, with an aim to attract one million visitors each year; the Odyssey Arena located within the Odyssey Complex in Belfast, Northern Ireland, is known as The SSE Arena and has a sponsorship agreement for ten years, which began in June 2015. Wembley Arena located in London, England, is sponsored by SSE, is known as The SSE Arena, Wembley since April 2014, has a sponsorship agreement for ten years.
Energy policy of Scotland Electricity in Northern Ireland Energy use and conservation in the United Kingdom Green electricity in the United Kingdom Peterhead Power Sta
Kilmorack is a small hamlet in Inverness-shire, in the Highlands of Scotland and now in the Highland Council area. It is situated on the north bank of the River Beauly, 3 miles west of Beauly and 15 miles west of the city of Inverness; the river is part of the Affric-Beauly hydro-electric power scheme, with a dam and power station at Kilmorack. Kilmorack Gallery website
The Highlands is a historic region of Scotland. Culturally, the Highlands and the Lowlands diverged from the Middle Ages into the modern period, when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout most of the Lowlands; the term is used for the area north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault, although the exact boundaries are not defined to the east. The Great Glen divides the Grampian Mountains to the southeast from the Northwest Highlands; the Scottish Gaelic name of A' Ghàidhealtachd means "the place of the Gaels" and traditionally, from a Gaelic-speaking point of view, includes both the Western Isles and the Highlands. The area is sparsely populated, with many mountain ranges dominating the region, includes the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis. Before the 19th century the Highlands was home to a much larger population, but from circa 1841 and for the next 160 years, the natural increase in population was exceeded by emigration and migration to the industrial cities of Scotland and England.
The area is now one of the most sparsely populated in Europe. At 9.1 per km2 in 2012, the population density in the Highlands and Islands is less than one seventh of Scotland's as a whole, comparable with that of Bolivia and Russia. The Highland Council is the administrative body for much of the Highlands, with its administrative centre at Inverness. However, the Highlands includes parts of the council areas of Aberdeenshire, Angus and Bute, North Ayrshire and Kinross, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire; the Scottish highlands is the only area in the British Isles to have the taiga biome as it features concentrated populations of Scots pine forest: see Caledonian Forest. Between the 15th century and the 20th century, the area differed from most of the Lowlands in terms of language. In Scottish Gaelic, the region is known as the Gàidhealtachd, because it was traditionally the Gaelic-speaking part of Scotland, although the language is now confined to The Hebrides; the terms are sometimes used interchangeably but have different meanings in their respective languages.
Scottish English is the predominant language of the area today, though Highland English has been influenced by Gaelic speech to a significant extent. The "Highland line" distinguished the two Scottish cultures. While the Highland line broadly followed the geography of the Grampians in the south, it continued in the north, cutting off the north-eastern areas, Eastern Caithness and Shetland, from the more Gaelic Highlands and Hebrides; the major social unit of the Highlands was the clan. Scottish kings James VI, saw clans as a challenge to their authority. Following the Union of the Crowns, James VI had the military strength to back up any attempts to impose some control; the result was, in 1609, the Statutes of Iona which started the process of integrating clan leaders into Scottish society. The gradual changes continued into the 19th century, as clan chiefs thought of themselves less as patriarchal leaders of their people and more as commercial landlords; the first effect on the clansmen who were their tenants was the change to rents being payable in money rather than in kind.
Rents were increased as Highland landowners sought to increase their income. This was followed in the period 1760-1850, by agricultural improvement that involved clearance of the population to make way for large scale sheep farms. Displaced tenants were set up in crofting communities in the process; the crofts were intended not to provide all the needs of their occupiers. Crofters came to rely on seasonal migrant work in the Lowlands; this gave impetus to the learning of English, seen by many rural Gaelic speakers to be the essential "language of work". Older historiography attributes the collapse of the clan system to the aftermath of the Jacobite risings; this is now thought less influential by historians. Following the Jacobite rising of 1745 the British government enacted a series of laws to try to suppress the clan system, including bans on the bearing of arms and the wearing of tartan, limitations on the activities of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Most of this legislation was repealed by the end of the 18th century as the Jacobite threat subsided.
There was soon a rehabilitation of Highland culture. Tartan was adopted for Highland regiments in the British Army, which poor Highlanders joined in large numbers in the era of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Tartan had been abandoned by the ordinary people of the region, but in the 1820s, tartan and the kilt were adopted by members of the social elite, not just in Scotland, but across Europe; the international craze for tartan, for idealising a romanticised Highlands, was set off by the Ossian cycle, further popularised by the works of Walter Scott. His "staging" of the visit of King George IV to Scotland in 1822 and the king's wearing of tartan resulted in a massive upsurge in demand for kilts and tartans that could not be met by the Scottish woollen industry. Individual clan tartans were designated in this period and they became a major symbol of Scottish identity; this "Highlandism", by which all of Scotland was identified with the culture of the Highlands, was cemented by Queen Victoria's interest in the country, her adoption of Balmoral as a major royal retreat, her interes
Scottish Gaelic or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to as Gaelic, is a Celtic language native to the Gaels of Scotland. A member of the Goidelic branch of the Celtic languages, Scottish Gaelic, like Modern Irish and Manx, developed out of Middle Irish. Most of modern Scotland was once Gaelic-speaking, as evidenced by Gaelic-language placenames. In the 2011 census of Scotland, 57,375 people reported as able to speak Gaelic, 1,275 fewer than in 2001; the highest percentages of Gaelic speakers were in the Outer Hebrides. There are revival efforts, the number of speakers of the language under age 20 did not decrease between the 2001 and 2011 censuses. Outside Scotland, Canadian Gaelic is spoken in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Scottish Gaelic is not an official language of either the United Kingdom. However, it is classed as an indigenous language under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which the British government has ratified, the Gaelic Language Act 2005 established a language development body, Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Aside from "Scottish Gaelic", the language may be referred to as "Gaelic", pronounced or in English. "Gaelic" may refer to the Irish language. Scottish Gaelic is distinct from Scots, the Middle English-derived language varieties which had come to be spoken in most of the Lowlands of Scotland by the early modern era. Prior to the 15th century, these dialects were known as Inglis by its own speakers, with Gaelic being called Scottis. From the late 15th century, however, it became common for such speakers to refer to Scottish Gaelic as Erse and the Lowland vernacular as Scottis. Today, Scottish Gaelic is recognised as a separate language from Irish, so the word Erse in reference to Scottish Gaelic is no longer used. Gaelic was believed to have been brought to Scotland, in the 4th–5th centuries CE, by settlers from Ireland who founded the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata on Scotland's west coast in present-day Argyll.:551:66 However, archaeologist Dr Ewan Campbell has argued that there is no archaeological or placename evidence of a migration or takeover.
This view of the medieval accounts is shared by other historians. Regardless of how it came to be spoken in the region, Gaelic in Scotland was confined to Dál Riata until the eighth century, when it began expanding into Pictish areas north of the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. By 900, Pictish appears to have become extinct replaced by Gaelic.:238–244 An exception might be made for the Northern Isles, where Pictish was more supplanted by Norse rather than by Gaelic. During the reign of Caustantín mac Áeda, outsiders began to refer to the region as the kingdom of Alba rather than as the kingdom of the Picts. However, though the Pictish language did not disappear a process of Gaelicisation was under way during the reigns of Caustantín and his successors. By a certain point during the 11th century, all the inhabitants of Alba had become Gaelicised Scots, Pictish identity was forgotten. In 1018, after the conquest of the Lothians by the Kingdom of Scotland, Gaelic reached its social, cultural and geographic zenith.:16–18 Colloquial speech in Scotland had been developing independently of that in Ireland since the eighth century.
For the first time, the entire region of modern-day Scotland was called Scotia in Latin, Gaelic was the lingua Scotica.:276:554 In southern Scotland, Gaelic was strong in Galloway, adjoining areas to the north and west, West Lothian, parts of western Midlothian. It was spoken to a lesser degree in north Ayrshire, the Clyde Valley and eastern Dumfriesshire. In south-eastern Scotland, there is no evidence that Gaelic was widely spoken. Many historians mark the reign of King Malcom Canmore as the beginning of Gaelic's eclipse in Scotland, his wife Margaret of Wessex spoke no Gaelic, gave her children Anglo-Saxon rather than Gaelic names, brought many English bishops and monastics to Scotland.:19 When Malcolm and Margaret died in 1093, the Gaelic aristocracy rejected their anglicised sons and instead backed Malcolm's brother Donald Bàn. Donald had spent 17 years in Gaelic Ireland and his power base was in the Gaelic west of Scotland, he was the last Scottish monarch to be buried on Iona, the traditional burial place of the Gaelic Kings of Dàl Riada and the Kingdom of Alba.
However, during the reigns of Malcolm Canmore's sons, Alexander I and David I, Anglo-Norman names and practices spread throughout Scotland south of the Forth–Clyde line and along the northeastern coastal plain as far north as Moray. Norman French displaced Gaelic at court; the establishment of royal burghs throughout the same area under David I, attracted large numbers of foreigners speaking Old English. This was the beginning of Gaelic's status as a predominantly rural language in Scotland.:19-23 Clan chiefs in the northern and western parts of Scotland continued to support Gaelic bards who remained a central feature of court life there. The semi-independent Lordship of the Isles in the Hebrides and western coastal mainland remained Gaelic since the language's recovery there in the 12th century, providing a political foundation for cultural prestige down to the end of the 15th century.:553-6By the mid-14th century what came to be called Scots emerged as the official language of government and law.:139 Scotland's emergent nat
A9 road (Scotland)
The A9 is a major road running from the Falkirk council area in central Scotland to Scrabster Harbour, Thurso in the far north, via Stirling, Bridge of Allan and Inverness. At 273 miles, it is the fifth-longest A-road in the United Kingdom, it was the main road between Edinburgh and John o' Groats, has been called the spine of Scotland. The road's origins lie in the military roads building programme of the 18th century, further supplemented by the building of several bridges in years; the A9 route was formally designated in 1923, ran from Edinburgh to Inverness. The route was soon extended north from Inverness up to John O'Groats. By the 1970s the route was hampered by severe traffic congestion, an extensive upgrading programme was undertaken on the 138 mile section between Bridge of Allan and Inverness; this involved the bypassing of numerous towns and villages on the route, the building of several new bridges, notably the Kessock Bridge which shortened the route north out of Inverness by 14 miles.
In the south the road's importance has been eclipsed by: the A90 across the Forth Road Bridge and the M90 motorway, which now link Edinburgh more directly with Perth, bypassing Stirling and Bridge of Allan as important bridge points, the M9, now the main road between Edinburgh and Bridge of Allan. Between Edinburgh and Falkirk the old A9 route has been reclassified into the A803 and the B9080 amongst others. Between Falkirk and Bridge of Allan, the A9 survives as a more or less parallel road to the M9; the link between the M9 and the A9, by Bridge of Allan, is the Keir Roundabout. The A9's origins lie in the military roads building programme carried out by General Wade in the 18th century to allow deployment of forces in key locations within the Highlands. At this time there was an existing road between Perth and Dunkeld, between 1727 and 1730 a roadway was constructed between Dunkeld in Perthshire and Inverness. However, Wade had still to bridge the River Tay at Aberfeldy. Construction began in 1733 to a design by William Adam.
The bridge was completed within the year, but Wade wrote "The Bridge of Tay... was a work of great difficulty and much more expensive than was calculated." At a cost of over £4,000, the bridge became the most expensive item on Wade's road building programme. For most of its length between Perth and Inverness, the route was identical to the A9 prior to the commencement of the major upgrading works in the 1970s. In 1802, Thomas Telford was requested by the Lords of the Treasury to carry out a survey of the interior of the Scottish Highlands. In his report, he highlighted the inadequacy of the old military roads to meet the requirements of the general population. In particular, he noted the difficulties caused by the absence of bridges over some of the principal rivers; as part of the improvements to the road system that were carried out in the following years, a bridge was built at Dunkeld, designed by Telford. The original cost estimate was £15,000 with costs to be split between the government and the landowner, the 4th Duke of Atholl.
However, costs spiralled up to around £40,000. The government refused to increase their financial contribution, so the Duke of Atholl had to finance the extra cost; as a result, tolls were placed on the completed bridge to recoup costs. The realigned road north out of Dunkeld would evolve into the A9, the bridge carried the bulk of the traffic into the Highlands until the new A9 by-pass was opened in 1977; the formal scheme of classification of roads in Great Britain was first published on 1 April 1923. The original route of the designated A9 began in Edinburgh at the Corstorphine junction in the west of the city, branching north off the A8; the route went through onwards to Polmont and Falkirk. The road followed the now familiar route to Stirling and up to Perth and onwards to Inverness, going through numerous villages en route; the original A9 terminated at Inverness, but in the years that followed it was extended all the way up to John O'Groats. By the 1970s, the A9 went north-west out of Inverness in what had been classified as the A88, following the Beauly Firth coast westwards through Kirkhill and Muir of Ord.
Continuing north through Dingwall, the road began to follow the Cromarty Firth coast, where it followed the modern alignment, going through Alness and Tain. The A9 from here followed west along the south side of the Dornoch Firth coast before reaching Bonar Bridge where the road turned eastwards on the north side of the Dornoch Firth. On reaching the village of Dornoch, the A9 headed north along the coast, going through several villages before reaching the town of Wick; the final stretch continued north along the coast before it reached John O'Groats. The 138 mile section between Bridge of Allan and Inverness, via Perth, was rebuilt during the 1970s and 80s, but it follows the same route except where it bypasses towns and villages instead of running through their centres. Between Perth and Inverness, the road has been dubbed Killer A9, because of accidents and fatalities where dual-carriageway sections merge into single-carriageway - the principal cause being motorists driving at excessive speeds to overtake lines of slower-moving vehicles before the dual carriageway ends.
Dangerous overtaking manoeuvres on the long single-carriageway stretches of the road are common causes of accidents, as are the non-grade separated junctions along the northern sections, where drivers make a right turn across th
Beauly is a town in the Kilmorack Parish of the Scottish County of Inverness, on the River Beauly, 10 miles west of Inverness by the Far North railway line. The town is now within the Highland council area; the land around Beauly is fertile - corn was grown extensively and more fruit has been farmed. The town traded in coal, lime and fish. Beauly is the site of the Beauly Priory, or the Priory Church of the Blessed Virgin and John the Baptist, founded in 1230 by John Byset of the Aird, for Valliscaulian monks. Following the Reformation, the buildings passed into the possession of Lord Lovat. Beauly is the site of Lovat Castle, which once belonged to the Bissets, but was presented by James VI, to Hugh Fraser, 5th Lord Lovat and demolished; the population of Beauly was 855 in 1901. In 1994 Simon Fraser, 15th Lord Lovat sold Beaufort castle to Ann Gloag to pay off debts. In 2002, the Beauly railway station, built in 1862 and closed in 1960, was reopened. In January 2010, the Scottish government approved controversial plans for a power line upgrade that will begin in Beauly and end in Denny, Falkirk.
The new power line, part of a plan to carry electricity generated by wind farms on the Western Isles, was called "the most significant grid infrastructure project in a generation" by Jim Mather MSP. The 220-kilometre line will consist of a network of 600 pylons, ranging in height from 42 to 65 metres; the first part of the transmission circuit was switched on in July 2013. The population of Beauly was 1,126 in 1991, 1,283 in 2001 and 1,365 in 2011 Beauly is in the Aird and Loch Ness Ward of the Highland Council which has four seats which are held by two Independent councillors, one Scottish National Party councillor and one Scottish Liberal Democrat councillor; the extensive ruins of the abbey church of Beauly Priory with funerary monuments are managed by Historic Scotland. The town is known for the Beauly Shinty Club, its shinty team, who have won the Camanachd Cup three times and have been World Champions once. To the south-east of Beauly is the church of Kirkhill, Highland containing the vault of the Lovats as well as a number of septs of the Mackenzies, including Seaforth and Mackenzies of Gairloch.
3 miles south of Beauly is Beaufort Castle, the chief seat of the Lovats, a modern mansion in the Scottish baronial style. It occupies the site of a fortress erected in the time of Alexander II, besieged in 1303 by Edward I; this was replaced by several castles in succession. One of these, Castle Dounie, was attacked and burned by the forces of Oliver Cromwell in 1650 and razed again by the royal army of Prince William, Duke of Cumberland in 1746 during the Jacobite Rising. Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat witnessed this latter conflagration of his castle from a neighbouring hill. Major Patrick Hunter Gordon FRSE CBE MC DL lived in Ballindoun House near Beauly. Beauly Firth Visit Beauly from the Beauly Marketing Group
Far North Line
The Far North Line is a rural railway line within the Highland area of Scotland, extending from Inverness to Thurso and Wick. As the name suggests, it is the northernmost railway in the United Kingdom; the line has many sections of single track north of Dingwall. In common with other railway lines in the Highlands and northern Lowlands, it is not electrified and all trains are diesel-powered. Like the A9 road north of Inverness, the Far North Line follows the line of the east-facing Moray Firth coast. Much of the population of the far north of Scotland is concentrated in coastal areas and, in places, the railway is on the shore, the track running along the raised beaches left behind as land rebounded following the end of the last Ice Age; the railway links many of the same places as the road. Many more places were served by both the railway and the road before three new road bridges were built: across the Moray Firth, the Cromarty Firth and the Dornoch Firth; the railway is now, in many places, a long way inland from the route of the A9.
The railway loops inland from Tain to Lairg, which has never been on the A9, a diversion intended at the time of construction to open the centre of Sutherland to trade. The route returns to the coast at Golspie. Beyond Golspie, the railway continues along the coast as far as Helmsdale inland up the Strath of Kildonan and across the Flow Country to Halkirk and back to the east coast at Wick. At Georgemas Junction near Halkirk, there is a branch to Thurso; the London and Scottish Railway introduced two titled trains in 1936, the Orcadian and John O'Groat. In 1963, the line was listed for closure on the Beeching Report. Following the elimination of steam traction by the early 1960s, trains on the line were hauled by Class 26 diesel locomotives. In the 1980s these were replaced by more powerful Class 37 locomotives, still with Mark 1 rolling stock; these were replaced by Class 156s in the 1990s by British Rail by Class 158 units. Three trains each way per day was the standard service pattern at this time.
The service provided by ScotRail replicated. ScotRail was owned by ScotRail until 17 October 2004. Since 2004 this service has been operated using Class 158 DMUs as two coach trains. Prior to this some Class 156 units were used and trains were split at Georgemas Junction - one half going to Thurso and the other to Wick. Along the full length of the line there were four services each way Monday to Saturday, including a service allowing a connection from the Orkney ferry, one service each way on Sundays. In the Winter 2008/9 timetable the number of trains to and from Wick was increased to four each way on Mondays to Saturdays. First ScotRail operated a number of shorter distance services on the line from Inverness terminating at Dingwall and Ardgay, as an alternative commuter route to Inverness in addition to the A9 road. Abellio ScotRail began operating the line from April 2015; the summer 2015 timetable shows twelve services on an average weekday from Inverness to Dingwall, of which four continue to Thurso and Wick, four run to Kyle of Lochalsh, the other four terminate at Dingwall, Tain, or Ardgay.
An additional service runs to Tain during late Saturday nights. A reduced service is run on Sundays. Towns and villages linked by passenger services: The line was built in several stages: Inverness and Ross-shire Railway - Opened 11 June 1862 between Inverness and Ardgay Sutherland Railway - Opened 13 April 1868 between Ardgay and Golspie Duke of Sutherland's Railway - Opened 1 November 1870 between Golspie and Helmsdale Sutherland and Caithness Railway - Opened 28 July 1874 between Helmsdale and Wick / ThursoMuch of the work was done by the Inverness-based Highland Railway company or, when completed, taken over by that company. In 1923 the Highland Railway was grouped into the London and Scottish Railway, under the Railways Act of 1921. Like railway lines in Britain, the line was not a product of any strategic plan, but was an ad hoc development, facilitated by Private Acts of Parliament and dependent on cooperation between companies and individuals, each with their own private vested interests.
The line became strategically important during World War I and World War II as part of a supply route for Scapa Flow, Orkney. That the line extends beyond Ardgay in the county of Ross and Cromarty is due, to a large extent, to the railway enthusiasm of the 3rd Duke of Sutherland; the duke realised his dream of running his own private train to and from his own station at Dunrobin Castle. The duke's enthusiasm took the line as far as Gartymore, a little south of Helmsdale, in the county of Sutherland, but this development was more of a financial liability than an asset: the long-term viability of the line depended on a Caithness willingness, not least from the 17th Earl of Caithness, to link the line to the population centres of Wick and Thurso. North of Helsmdale the line was built by the Caithness Railway. Turning inland, it reaches Forsinard in the Flow Country; the building of the line through the Flow Country - one of the most scarcely populated parts of Scotland - was to avoid the Berriedale Braes.
North of Helmsdale as far as Lybster, it would have been impractical to have built a railway without massive civi