Steps are being taken to prevent Skye's meteorite sites becoming further victims of geo-vandalism.
Located in south Skye, the sites gained widespread media coverage after Dr Simon Drake of Birkbeck College and Dr Andrew Beard discovered evidence of meteorite impact earlier this year. The deposits contained vanadium rich Osbornite and niobium rich osbornite - mineral material never before found on the planet.
However, the site at the chambered cairn was recently targeted by meteorite hunters, who sold samples online.
Ewen MacPherson from the Estates Office in Portree, advised that both he and the crofting graziers were pleased to agree to carry out a few small measures on the site in order to help protect it.
Dr Simon Drake told The Skye Times: "The site has existed for 60 million years through wind, rain and glaciation - and then is partly destroyed in minutes, presumably with a pick and shovel."
A plan of action has been agreed by Dr Drake and Dr Beard with the local crofters' association to help preserve the site.
In order to protect the site, it is planned to put the area behind toughed glass. Dr Drake explained: "This way, future generations will be able to see the site. There will also be a flat sign placed there saying: 'Fragile scientific site, please do not collect rock.'"
Image above: Google Earth image taken in 2015.
Image below: photograph from Simon Drake depicting current damage.