ONE hundred years on from the scuttling of the German High Seas Fleet at Scapa Flow on Orkney, a consultation will seek views from the public on the designation of the site as a Historic Marine Protected Area (HMPA).

The consultation was announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday at Scotland’s International Marine Conference 2019, hosted in Glasgow by Marine Scotland.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has recommended that the Scottish Government protect this hugely important part of Scotland’s wartime heritage.

HMPAs aim to preserve marine historic assets of national importance so that they can be protected, valued and understood.

Orkney has one of the most outstanding collections of First and Second World War naval wreckage remains, both above and underwater.

Since 2001, the remains of three battleships and four cruisers of the German High Seas Fleet scuttled in Scapa Flow in 1919 have been protected as scheduled monuments. The change to a HMPA is a more appropriate way to manage this.

Philip Robertson, deputy head of Designations at HES, said: “We want to promote access to Scapa’s heritage and the HMPA will help to ensure that people enjoy marine heritage responsibly.

Sturgeon added: “It is important that we conserve sites of historic interest and the public are able to have a say on how we do this.”

To view the report and to take part in the consultation, visit the HES website.