Minister sees first hand our vital caves

From left:  David Torrance MSP, Fiona Hyslop Culture and External Affairs Secretary, and Mike McFarlane, chairman of  Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society in the centre at East Wemyss.
From left: David Torrance MSP, Fiona Hyslop Culture and External Affairs Secretary, and Mike McFarlane, chairman of Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society in the centre at East Wemyss.
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A Government minister has been learning about the importance of preserving the Wemyss Caves during a special visit.

Fiona Hyslop, Scottish culture and external affairs secretary, was given a tour of the caves on Friday by Mike McFarlane, chairman of the Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society (SWACS), along with representatives from Historic Scotland, Fife Council and SCAPE.

The visit came after the future of the caves was brought up in a recent debate in the Scottish Parliament.

Local MSP Claire Baker highlighted the challenges facing the site whilst praising the work of the Save Wemyss Ancient Caves Society.

It was set up in 1986 with the aim to protect and promote as much of the caves and their unique drawings as possible.

Following a motion raised by Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance in Parliament last year, which highlighted the importance of preserving the caves, the minister has taken a keen interest in the local landmark.

The visit gave her the chance to see the caves which are a valuable asset - not only to the local area but to the whole of Scotland.

Ms Hyslop chaired a meeting with interested parties to discuss, assess and co-ordinate future plans for the development of the area.

Mike McFarlane said: “It was an immensely encouraging day and we hope that it can lead to positive developments in the future.

‘‘We would also like to thank all those who have assisted with the promotion of the caves.”

Mr Torrance added: “I would like to thank the minister for giving up so much of her time to visit the centre and acquaint herself with the area and gain a fuller understanding of the issues surrounding the preservation of the Wemyss Caves.’’

for future generations.”