A SURVEY of wartime wrecks in Scapa Flow has unearthed the remains of a Spitfire and a previously "lost" ship as well as many other discoveries, which experts say are huge "heritage assets".

Scapa Flow in Orkney is an international diving mecca for divers lured by the remaining wrecks of the German Fleet which was scuttled in its sheltered waters in 1919.

Some 52 ships were sunk then and the seven wrecks that remain are scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

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But the new investigation, commissioned by Historic Scotland, has revealed the extent, survival and condition of 25 or so of the Flow's lesser known First and Second World War wreck sites.

The Spitfire remains were found more than 70ft down at the Barrel of Butter.

The wreckage is densely concentrated in a small area and is likely to be from the cockpit area of an aircraft.

One of the report's authors, marine archaeologist Dr Annalisa Christie, from ORCA Marine, said: "This is of huge significance to people in Orkney, who are proud of the islands' strong links with both world wars."

The massive survey work was carried out between October 2013 and March this year by ORCA Marine and SULA Diving.