My first trip to St Kilda was in 2002 as a work party member of work party two, back then to get to St Kilda involved a 14 hour boat trip from Oban, certainly a character building experience, and what better way to team build!

This year I return to St Kilda as work party leader for work party one, a huge honour, and an amazing opportunity to return to Hirta to spend time again on the islands.

Things have changed in the last 16 years, and the journey out is now from Harris with Kilda Cruises, a mere 3 hours, I hope my work party appreciate how easy they will have it!

Earlier in March, I was given the details of my cook for the trip, Hammie and the rest of the work party, who come with a wealth of experience between them, a love for hill walking, seabirds and most importantly St Kilda.

Discussions about midges, walking equipment and how everyone will be making their way to Leverburgh are well under way.

Hammie and I met last Friday in Edinburgh, along with work party two’s leader, Peter, for a meeting with Susan and Angela from the National Trust of Scotland and the work party leaders and cooks from last years work parties, to discuss logistics, health and safety and any hints and tips from last year, and learn what work we will be doing this year.

Being a dual world heritage site comes with its fair share of rules, and all work to be carried out has to be submitted for approval before we arrive, and part of my role as work party leader will be document and photograph all the work we carry out during our two weeks there.

Now with only six weeks to go, it won’t be long until we are all in the bunkhouse in Leverburgh waiting to leave for St Kilda.