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Boreray


(Boraraigh)

The uninhabited island of Boreray (Gael: Boraraigh) is one of the St. Kilda group of islands that lie 52 miles (83 km) west of South Harris in the Western Isles. Situated 3 miles (5 km) northeast of Hirta, this island is little more than a rock outlier surrounded by steep cliffs that are home to great numbers of nesting sea birds. Owned by the National Trust for Scotland, it is a mile (1.6 km) in length (north to south), a half-mile (1 km) wide, has an area of 76.5 ha (189 acres) and reaches a maximum height of 384m (1260 feet) at Mullach an Eilein.

There are a number of small stone storage huts, known as cleits, scattered across the slopes of the island. There are also other buildings and the remains of an agricultural field system, although it is not clear whether these were used by a transient population who came from Hirta to collect seabirds or whether the island once supported a permanent population.

The island gives its name to a rare breed of sheep, which emerged through accidental breeding in the 19th century. These sheep are small and hardy, with dense brown wool. Many sheep remained when the islanders were evacuated from the archipelago in the 1930s and the residual population is feral.

The rock tower of Stac an Armin lies to the north, with Stac Lee to the west.


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