The Provincial Grand Lodge of Sutherland is the governing body for six lodges within the County of Sutherland, this is a widespread area, not heavily populated, in fact, quite the opposite. The 2001 Census states that Sutherland has a total population of 13,778. Of this, approx 8000 people live in settlements of over 800 people (Helmsdale, Brora, Golspie, Dornoch and Lairg), and the rest live in smaller towns, villages and crofting communities. With its small, scattered population, Sutherland does not have any extensive built-up areas. There are Masonic Lodges in 6 of its main villages, these are Brora, Durness, Dornoch, Golspie, Helmsdale and Lairg. Membership of the Provincial Lodge is open to any Master Mason who wishes to join, Masters and Wardens of the Daughter Lodges are automatic members, their membership being paid for by their respective Mother Lodges. Even so the attendance at Provincial meetings is extremely low. Every year the Provincial Master and his Office Bearers must visit the Daughter Lodges to ensure that they are keeping within the Laws and Regulations of the Grand lodge of Scotland. Each Lodge is run to very strict rules concerning membership, records and finance and all these are inspected on each annual visit.