A £45,000 crowdfunding appeal is underway to save Bragar Cemetery from coastal erosion.
The historic cemetery, which contains the remnants of the 15th Century Teampall Eoin and the graves of Iolaire victims, is in danger of falling into the sea.
But Barvas Cemetery Committee is hoping a global online appeal can stop the impact of the Atlantic devastating the cemetery and disturbing graves.
Last winter’s storms have made the situation worse, and the estate is looking to raise £45,000, their contribution to a proposed £200,000 rock armour protection scheme.
Donations have been received from as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, and Denmark, as well as locally, from the families of those buried in the cemetery.
The cemetery in South Bragar has for centuries served the communities of North Shawbost, South Bragar, North Bragar and Arnol. It has been expanded several times in the past, and their plans for a further extension.
However, due to the severity of coastal erosion and the cemetery’s proximity to the sea, the integrity of the cemetery is now in jeopardy.
On their crowdfunding appeal page, the Bragar Cemetery Committee point out: “Over the years and particularly more recently the coastal foreshore adjacent to the cemetery has suffered significant erosion which unless it is addressed will result in yet further erosion resulting in the cliffs collapsing and the cemetery being seriously affected. The sea is currently eating into the cliff and removing the shingle from below.”
A recent marine engineer survey prompted action for protective works to be put in place to protect the cemetery. However, potential external funding sources have identified £105,000, leaving a shortfall of £45,000 still to be raised.
At the time of writing, just over £3,800 had been donated.