79. Kirk O' Shotts, Lanarkshire. (NS 857 635)
Established in the early 1950s, the Kirk O'Shotts transmitter is
a microwave signal station that was built as part of the Backbone
series and which is used today for colour television signals. In
times of emergency the transmitter could be employed for military
and governmental functions.
In 1992, due to concerns from local residents in Sandbank, a team
of marine scientists undertook an underwater camera survey to examine
the amount of waste on the seabed. The survey revealed that levels
of some elements, including nickel, zinc, cadmium and selenium were
well above the national averages and there were about 60 drums filled
with an unknown substance. It was not until 1998, however, that
work began to clean-up the waste as there were disagreements about
whether the waste removed would pose a risk to local residents and
Tonnes of waste was slowly and systematically removed from the
area of the former base between February 1998 and February 2001
at a cost of nearly £11million. The work was carried out by
a contractor on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, and during the
recovery process, an assortment of objects were found including
propellers, cables scaffold towers, wire reels and gas cylinders
of acetylene, oxygen, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. In total, over
2,700 tonnes of waste and debris was recovered from the site of
the naval base and the MoD claimed that the vast majority of the
site had been cleared.
Responsibility for the Holy Loch was handed to Clydeport Authority
in April 2002.
However, in August 2002, a number of local people complained that
their boats were losing anchors because they were being caught on
debris on the seabed. The MoD admitted that some debris, including
shipwrecks and other non-hazardous objects were not cleared, as
doing so would cause more harm than good to the natural habitat.
In addition to the large U.S. presence at the loch, the Ministry
of Defence operated a Z-berth in the Holy Loch until the late 1990s.