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Orkney and Shetland
Highlands and Islands
North East
West Central and South West
South East

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 marine life.

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.

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