Fears for future of Wemyss Caves

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THE chairman of Save the Wemyss Ancient Caves Society has issued a stark warning on the historically priceless attraction’s future.

The caves have been heralded in the past by historical experts with Fife Council archaelogist Douglas Spiers describing their Pictish wall drawings as “internationally important”.

However, chair of the society, Mike McFarlanesays that years of neglect, misuse, vandalism plus natural coastal erosion, may see them rot away.

He told the Mail: “It is a growing concern that an important site of Scottish heritage could soon be lost to future generations.

“The question often asked by people and visitors to our open Sundays is why are Wemyss caves, which have more markings than all the caves in Britain put together, in such a state of neglect?

“The answer lies in whether it is viable to spend money on saving these caves, which contain centuries of history, with the added bonus of creating employment, or do we let tide and neglect run its course?”

The society was formed in 1986 in a bid to protect the caves and their unique Pictish period drawings.

Today (Wednesday) crews from BBC Radio Scotland will arrive at the Wemyss caves where they will be guided through the historic tunnels.

The Beeb wants to feature the caves on the Saturday morning ‘Outdoors’ programme.

The caves have previously been the subject of national interest, when in 2004 Channel 4’s ‘Time Team’ visited the area.

Mr McFarlane, added: “I contacted them (BBC Radio Scotland) to ask if they’d be interested in coming down to look.

“They said yes right away so we’ll take them through the caves like we do when we’re holding open days.”

Archaeologist Mr Spiers reckons the caves are of huge significance for historians.

He said: “The archaeological study of the Wemyss Caves has the very real potential to revolutionise our understanding of the Pictish period.”

The society has urged that nobody goes down to the caves when they’re not supervised.

For details visit www.wemysscaves.co.uk.

No broadcast date has yet been confirmed for the caves’ feature on the radio programme.