A total of 14 police personnel "will return to operational duties in Highlands & Islands Division"  as a result of major changes at the Police Scotland centre in Inverness, approved yesterday (Thursday 28th September 2017) 

When the Scottish Police Authority Board met in Inverness yesterday, permission was given for the closure of the Inverness Area Control Room (ACR) and Service Centre, with the transfer of ACR functions to Dundee and call handling transferred to the Police Scotland Service Centre (PSSC).

Assistant Chief Constable John Hawkins also presented a proposal for the creation of a new National Database Enquiry Unit (NDEU) based in Inverness and Govan, and this was approved.

Growing fears over the future of Portree Hospital have been raised with the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon by Skye's constituency MSP Kate Forbes.

Ms Forbes spoke out during First Minister's Questions in the Holyrood chamber earlier today (28 September) to highlight the increasing concerns about the long-term future of Portree Hospital.

Afterwards she said she will not be satisfied with anything less than a robust emergency service at the hospital.

On October 10 work will begin at Scorrybreac to make the area safe again, it has been announced on the The Nicolsons of Scorrybreac Facebook page.

A three man rope access team will be working on the area for 7-10 days.

The Scottish Government launched “Crofting Consultation 2017: A consultation on the future of crofting Law” on 28th August and this is open for responses until 20th November 2017.

The consultation seeks views of crofters and those with an interest in crofting on the form of potential new crofting legislation and the priority areas for changes to Crofting Law.

An consultation roadshow event will be held at Skye Camanachd Social Club, Struan Road, Portree IV51 9EG on Tuesday 3 October 2017 at 7pm.

Please help show these scallywags the power of social media, say Skye and Lochaber police this morning on Twitter. 

They are asking: "How far can the unicorn go by October 2?"

Twitter users are being asked to retweet, follow and tell the pupils and their mentors where the retweet is coming back from.

And they got more 1000 RT's in just over 12 hours!

So please - if you have a Twitter account - help spread the word!

Raasay Community Centre  has issued a reminder that the hall is open tonight from 6 till 9 for you to come along and try bowls and / or table tennis and it's also the Boathouse and Pontoons meeting.

Police buildings in Dunvegan and Broadford are among 53 which Police Scotland has said it is considering closing across Scotland.

The force is seeking permission from the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) to open a "public engagement exercise" on the future of the buildings.

Forty-three of the buildings are currently empty, but the others are still used as a base for police officers or staff.

A final opportunity to see Runrig live after 45 years in the music business, comes at an event titled The Last Dance, in Stirling’s City Park on Saturday 18th August 2018. 

And the tickets (standing and seated) for The Last Dance go on sale at 10am this Friday (29th September) and are available to purchase from Ticketline (www.ticketline.co.uk: 0844 888 9991).

Billed as one of the biggest events the band has ever staged, the show will be a celebration of the band’s significant achievements over the last 45 years, as well as a thank you to their loyal fans who have followed Runrig throughout the decades.

This week film producer Chris Young (pictured above, right), based for many years in Sleat, is launching a major film centre in the south of Skye that aims to emulate actor and director Robert Redford’s famous Sundance complex in Utah.

 “The Sundance Institute’s feature film programme has really inspired us,” said Young in an article in this weekend’s London-based Observer newspaper.

“At their base in Utah, with the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, participants are encouraged to take creative risks and experiment.”

Young’s fortunes changed overnight in 2011 with the success of The Inbetweeners Movie, based on the popular Channel 4 sitcom that his company produces.

Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s Annual Report was published at the organisation’s AGM in Ballachulish this weekend (September 22-24) showing that it engaged with at least 71,000 people in 2016-17. 

According to a survey conducted by the Traditional Music Forum, the work of the Fèisean now accounts for a third of all traditional music tuition for young people across Scotland.

In his foreword to the Annual Report Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s Chair, Duncan MacQuarrie MBE, says: “This report demonstrates that our year-round programme, agreed with Creative Scotland, HIE and Bòrd na Gàidhlig, was successfully delivered through an impressive body of work during the period.

"We were pleased to deliver services for The Highland Council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Argyll & Bute Council as well as securing a number of contracts from other local authorities and public bodies, which were delivered through our Fèisgoil service. “

Fèisean nan Gàidheal’s priority is to ensure continued support for and development of local Fèisean and during the year a new Fèis in Tarbert, Loch Fyne was welcomed.  Fèis an Iar Dheas held its inaugural event in October 2016 in Dumfries.  A new committee was formed by Fèis Obar Dheathain, which held its first events following an 8-year hiatus.  Fèis Rois celebrated its 30th anniversary and Fèis a’ Bhaile commemorated its 25th year.  Work was instigated to re-establish Fèis Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu.

As well as supporting local Fèisean, Fèisean nan Gàidheal is involved in many initiatives such as the Gaelic medium residential event, 5 Latha, with participants experiencing a wide range of community activities, in addition to music sessions, all delivered through the medium of Gaelic from the event’s base at the Gearrannan Blackhouses in Carloway.

Skye's MSP is backing plans for a new park and ride scheme designed to unblock pressure at Skye's tourist hotspots as well as showcase the island's stunning landscapes.

Following months of meetings and extensive consultation with residents, businesses and key strategic partners, Kate Forbes MSP is supporting a proposal designed to help improve tourism management and visitor experience.

The plan could give birth to what is thought to be the world's first bilingual Geopark in partnership with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig – which would promote the use of Gaelic as well as highlight Skye's acclaimed geological features such as the Old Man of Storr, the Fairy Pools and Neist Point.

Check your pockets, piggy banks and jars of change and spend your old pound coins before they cease to be legal tender on October 15.

The revolutionary new 12-sided £1 coin entered circulation on 28 March 2017, March to September has been the "co-circulation" period, during which both old and new £1 coins have been accepted in shops. However, from October 16th the old round coins will no longer be accepted in shops, restaurants and other retailers.

The public are being urged to use their old £1 coins or bank them before they lose their legal tender status. The UK Government estimated around a third of the £1.3 billion worth of coins stored in piggy banks or saving jars around the UK are the old £1 style.

Any unspent £1 coins after October 16 can be traded in at banks or Post offices - but this is only a temporary option – so it is a good idea to spend or exchange the coins now.

If you are being handed back old £1 coins in retail outlets, you have the right to ask the cashier to give you a new £1 coin instead, if they have any. However businesses don't have to comply.

More opportunities for live entertainment will be brought to the people of Sleat. 

Talla Duisdale, a converted church, will host its first show, Mozart's Magic Flute, tonight (Wednesday 20 September.)

The venue will have a capacity of around 76.  

Kathryn Cameron told The Skye Times: "We currently have a programme of events encompassing the Royal Opera House, The Royal Ballet and the National Theatre.

"We are looking at providing cinema and live sports events.

"It is an opportunity to bring the local communities together over the winter months and in to the spring.

CalMac have advised that their booking system will be unavailable today (Wednesday 20 September.)

The company say that this is for essential maintenance and will last for approximately 30 minutes.  

Sleat Community Trust have advised that the Post Office will be closed for staff training.

The closure will take place on Wednesday 27 September.

The Trust say the shop will be open as usual and manned by volunteers.  

It was back to the Sixties in Waternish Community Hall on Friday 15 September.

Complete with psychedelic lights, the Hall was laid out in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love.

Wonderful effort was put into recapturing the vibrant fashions of the 1960's.

Emergency planning drills will be tested on the Armadale - Mallaig crossing tomorrow (Wednesday 20 September.)

The drill will involve close collaboration with the emergency services and the public will notice increased activity from the police, coastguard, ambulance and fire services.

The exercise will focus on an incident on the MV Loch Fyne which, has been deployed specifically for the drill and will not be carrying passengers during the exercise. There will be no disruption to the normal timetabled service.

CalMac's Director of of Safety, Environment and Security, Louis de Wolff said: "As a transport operator health and safety is our number one concern. This exercise will give us the opportunity to put into practice our emergency planning drills in real time.

"By carrying out as realistic an exercise as possible we will be able to tweak our procedures to make a safe service even safer."

Publicity regarding the exercise is being posted on vessels and in both ports to keep passengers informed of what is happening.

For more information on the exercise please contact the Port Office in either Armadale or Mallaig or visit the CalMac website.

Updates to Freeview services may result in having to retune TV equipment.

This essential technical work is part of a UK-wide programme being carried out region by region.

Following a decision by Ofcom, some airwaves used by Freeview are being reallocated to allow for the future development of new mobile broadband services.

Transmitters across the UK are being updated as part of a major engineering programme being carried out between now and 2020.

Skye's retune date is Wednesday 20 September.  Services will be subject to disruption during this work, which is expected to complete around mid-afternoon. If you find you are missing channels you can retune at any time after this. 

Freeview channels from the Borve, Bruernish, Clettraval and Lochmaddy local relays will be temporarily off-air mid-morning but viewers receiving their signal from these do not need to retune.

On-screen messages will let you know when changes to Freeview signals are taking place in your area.

Further information can be found here.

Nearly 40 classic cars will shortly be touring through the Isle of Skye.  

The cars gracing the roads include a Jaguar XK8, Triumph TR5, Jaguar E-Type, Aston Martin DB7, Jaguar MK 2, Porsche Boxter S and a Morris Minor.  

The "Haggis Trail" trip, organised by Country Lanes Tours, will take drivers through the Western Isles, and North 500, after starting from Penrith.

Participants hail from the UK, Australia, Monaco and the USA.

Saturday 9 September will see the drivers gather in Penrith before heading to Arran and then Mull, Skye, Harris and Lewis.

The drivers will be on Skye on Thursday 14 September and spend their time enjoying a leisurely day, with a short circular tour of the lower part of the island and a visit to the Talisker distillery.

The following day will see them drive up to Uig in order to make their way to Tarbert. 

Country Lane Tours does not usually run a support vehicle on UK events but, in view of the remoteness of some of the areas and roads there will be one this time.  As the group will be travelling to remote locations, they will on some occasions be split up.  

The entire tour will take place from September 9 to September 22.  

 

 

 

Four Skye businesses are among the final 50 chosen for this year’s Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards 2016 short list.

Kinloch Lodge, twice, together with The Three Chimneys, Dunvegan Castle and Lochshore House B&B at Kildonan have all made it into various categories of the competition.

The finalists stretch across the entire length of the region – from Shetland to Dunoon – and represent the best of the industry in areas such as hospitality, catering, innovation, hosting sporting events and managing tours and activities.

Two pay phones on Skye are amongst 178 been considered for removal by BT across the Highlands.

The boxes, one at Glenbrittle and the other at Tighean-Na-Glibe, Staffin are now, along with the rest part of a consultation process to see whether they stay or go.  Two other phones, at Plockton and Duirinish, Kyle are also under threat.

Now locals are being urged to have their say as part of a massive online consultation being carried out by Highland Council.
Regulation set out by Ofcom, the independent regulator, states that local authorities have the responsibility to co-ordinate consultations to gather views about proposed pay-phone removals.

Portree is to host one of a series of national roadshows and workshops as part of the drive to improve healthcare across the country.

The OurGP project is funded by the Scottish Government, managed by the (Health and Social Care) ALLIANCE along with an NHS ‘co-design’ team called mHabitat.

Their aim is to work with citizens using and staff working in GP services to explore how they might use more online and digital tools to help improve people’s wellbeing in the future.

Now on Thursday 20 October Portree, Aros Centre will host a workshop from 12pm - 6pm, followed by drop in session from 6pm - 8pm

The Scottish Government’s water regulator is urging those who need to improve private supplies to take advantage of grant funding which is now available.

Drinking Water Quality Regulator, Sue Petch, said: "Where tourist accommodation is served by a private water supply, a notice is required to be displayed to make visitors aware.

“Those wishing to improve their private supply can make use of grant funding provided by the Scottish Government. Anyone seeking advice or financial support can access this by contacting the environmental health department of their local authority."

Stricken MV Hebrides sailing under her own power today

 

Caledonian MacBrayne's ferry MV Hebrides, today sailed under her own power Lochmaddy harbour heading towards dry dock in Greenock for repairs to the damage caused by last week-end’s collision

Her move frees up the linkspan at Lochmaddy and MV Clansman was expected to be the first vessel to dock at the port since Sunday with a 6pm berthing. She will be closely followed by MV Isle of Lewis at 1910. Both ships will help to ease the backlog of traffic, particularly freight. The Lewis will also drop off and embark lifeline loads for the Isle of Barra which, due to some sustained adverse weather, has had sailings cancelled this week.

 

He may have died tragically 35 years ago but Skye Camanachd will this week-end remember and old friend.

It was back in November 1981 when the body of their first team captain and half back George Michie was discovered near his home in Skeabost two days after he went missing. He was aged just 20 years old.

However, despite the passing of the years the close knit shinty club continues to remember his connection with the local game and so on Saturday (Oct 1st) Skye's encounter with rivals Kingussie in their Marine Harvest Premiership encounter will double up as the play off for the 2016 George Michie Memorial Cup. The game takes place at Portree's Pairc nan Laoch.

Kate Forbes MSP

The Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee is to delve deeper into growing concerns about plans to redesign hospital services in Skye.

They now want to further consult the Scottish Government and Scottish Ambulance Service on a petition from island campaigners which have called for an Independent Scrutiny Panel to examine NHS Highland's proposals.

Kyle lifeboat found itself called out in rough conditions once again yesterday after concerns for a person stuck on a small boat in Glenelg Bay.

The crew were paged at 6:20pm at the Request of Stornoway Coastguard,and launched just seven minutes later making best speed in poor conditions to arrive at the scene by 6:40pm.

They quickly found the male, who was unable to get off the small vessel due to the very high winds and large swell. They transferred hime onboard the lifeboat and headed for the jetty in Glenelg. However due to the conditions and debris in the water, the lifeboat was unable to get alongside and it was decided to transfer the gentleman to the Glenelg Ferry slipway.

If you want to see just how the rescue went and have the sealegs and stomach to cope then follow the link here

Up for sale

 

Just weeks after two Skye hotels were put on the market a third has gone up for sale.

Earlier this month the Kings Arms in Kyleakin and the three star rated Dunollie Hotel in Broadford were seeking new owners. Now one of island’s oldest establishments, the Ardvasar Hotel in Sleat, which dates back to the 1800s, has been put up for sale after long-time owner Richard Jeffrey decided to retire.

Mr Jeffrey, who has been in the hospitality sector for about 40 years, has appointed business property adviser Christie & Co to sell the 10 bedroom premises.

The hotel, which overlooks the Sound of Sleat with a view out to the Knoydart mountains beyond, has been owned and operated by Mr Jeffrey for 15 years.

Caledonian MacBrayne have confirmed that, weather permitting, the MV Hebrides, damaged after running aground, will move from her current location at the pier in Lochmaddy, North Uist tomorrow (Thursday September 29) and begin her journey to Greenock. She will enter dry dock at the end of the week.

However, although ships are to be moved around to covere for the stricken vessel there will be a knock on effect for Skye with a decrease in capacity on the run from Mallaig to Armadale, which Calmac say will continue to operate, albeit that the company accepts that it will encounter some tidal restrictions.

Scottish Crofting federation chair Fiona Mandeville said: “Surely now the convener will do what he should have done weeks ago – stand down and let the people who genuinely care about crofting get on with their work. So much time and energy has been wasted during this inexcusable debacle. We have had enough of Kennedy and want to see the back of him. By his action in walking out from the board meeting today and not meeting the Minister’s request for an apology, we take it that he has finally abdicated.

“We welcome the Commission board taking this decisive action at last and look forward to working with them to rebuild trust in the Commission and to developing strategies for crofting, taking up again all the positive initiatives which had been set aside while Kennedy was in control.

“We also naturally welcome the apology issued by the board after the convener’s departure.”

Hugh and other riders on the challenge

 

Skye certainly had Dunvegan's Clan Chief, Hugh MacLeod well prepared when he took part and completed a monster 250 km off road mountain bike ride in just five days...because it rained almost all the way!

As well as finishing the The European Nature Trust's Transylvanian Bike Ride in aid of the ‘Regatul Salbatic’ or ‘Wild Kingdom’ initiative now he has also almost hit his target of raising £3,000 for the cause with £2,648 pledged so far via his Justgiving page.

Crofters have won the day in the long running war of words with the Crofting Commission.

As anticipated the Commission have now issued a statement of apology but in addition the under siege Convenor, Colin Kennedy’s resignation has been requested by his fellow board members.

Events unfolded quickly today (Sept 28) when shortly after the start Mr Kennedy, closed the meeting and left.

The remaining Commissioners decided to continue with business and hold a special meeting to work through the agenda. A motion was accepted at that meeting requesting the Convener to tender his resignation.

Kyle RNLI in action

 

Kyle lifeboat was launched in rough conditions yesterday (Sept 27) although in the end their life saving services were not needed

The crew were paged at 2:33pm after a member of the public reported seeing a group of Kayakers in distress close to Eilean Donan Castle. The lifeboat launched at 2:40pm and made best speed towards Loch Duich.

FIREFIGHTERS have urged the public to help prevent devastating electrical fires striking their homes.

Every day Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews respond to an average of two house fires caused by the misuse of electrical equipment, faulty leads and appliances.

The emergencies can devastate lives and the service has teamed-up with the UK Chief Fire Officers Association to help people recognise the risks.

It also joining London Fire Brigade in calling for a single, easily accessible register of recalled faulty electrical products.

Assistant Chief Officer David McGown, the SFRS director of prevention and protection, said: “House fires have a terrible impact and basic precautions with electrical devices really could prevent tragedies.

Portree's A.C.E. Target Sports owner Matt Harrison is hoping to score more than just a bulls eye with a big charity fund-raiser.

For on Saturday 8 October, from 11am-3pm,  he's planning to help not one but three different charities with a fun packed taster day at his Straun Road target range.

Matt, who business will be open through the winter, said: "Participants will be allowed to have a taster of Archery, Axe Throwing, Air Rifle Shooting in return for donations.

Quorn Foods is recalling its Meat Free Moroccan Soup and its Meat Free Red Thai Soup because they contain egg which is not mentioned on the labels. This means the products are a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy or intolerance to egg.

For a full list of all the products listed by the Food Standards Agency follow the link here

One of the affected dryers

 

Highland Council’s Trading Standards team and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are asking owners of certain tumble dryers to be sure they are aware of some important safety advice issued by a prominent white goods manufacturer.

Highland Council’s Trading Standards Manager, David MacKenzie explains: “Certain tumble dryers manufactured between 2004 and 2015 under the brand names Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda are subject to a product safety recall because some of them have been linked to house fires.  In rare cases excess fluff can come into contact with the dryer heating element and present a risk of fire.  Many registered owners of the affected dryers have already been contacted by the manufacturer.  However we are mindful of concerns that some owners are not aware of this issue.  As a precaution we want to reach out those Highland consumers who don’t know about the safety recall to advise them how to get further information.”

Trading Standards are advising owners of Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda tumble dryers to visit the website www.hotpoint.eu/safety  for further safety information and to register any affected device for a modification, or to telephone the special information number 0800 151 0905.

MV Hebrides needs dry dock repairs

 

Caledonian MacBrayne's vessel MV Hebrides, which was involved in an incident at Lochmaddy harbour on Sunday is to go to Greenock for dry dock repairs.

The ferry sustained damage to the starboard propeller shaft after chains from Lochmaddy Marina's pontoon became entangled during the incident.

Diving inspections indicate that there has been some low-level hull damage amounting to non-serious bumps and abrasions, which could be expected from contact with the seabed - the hull is intact and there is no water ingress.

It is hoped that, weather permitting, MV Hebrides will shortly begin the journey to Greenock under her own power - forecasts, however, have warned of severe gales. For safety considerations, the journey will be done in stages and it is planned that she will enter dry dock at Greenock at the end of the week.

Assuming MV Hebrides has been able to begin her journey as planned, MV Lord of the Isles (LOTI) will reposition to Uig on Skye.

 

There's still time to get a taste of murder but hurry up or you will miss it.

Organisers are anticipating a Murderous night on Friday 7th October, when the The Walking Theatre Company return to Raasay for "The Highland Wedding" of the year which turns into a murder mystery with diners invited to join in solving the case.

Highland Midwives – Fight for Life  BBC ALBA – Tuesday 27 September 9.00 – 10.00pm

A Skye family is one of four taking part in a special edition of BBC ALBA’s Highland Midwives tonight to chart the heart-warming and emotional progress of four infants with serious health issues who featured in the series earlier this year.

At the most challenging times in the lives of these babies, BBC ALBA cameras were allowed to follow their stories and the medics who strive to put these children on course for a healthy life.

An American poetess, Deborah Moffat, is the winner of this year’s MacDonald of Sleat poetry prize.  The competition which is run by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig was instituted by Sir Ian MacDonald of Sleat in memory of his daughter, Deborah, who died two years ago.
Deborah Moffatt, who was born in the US state of Vermont, came to Scotland in 1982.  and now lives in Kingsbarns in Fife. Her English poetry is published in several literary magazines including Agenda, Cyphers, Stand and The Warwick Review.  

Deborah (second left) receiving her prize

 

An American poetess, Deborah Moffat, is the winner of this year’s MacDonald of Sleat poetry prize bringing a truly international flavour to Skye event. 

The competition, which is run by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, was instituted by Sir Ian MacDonald of Sleat in memory of his daughter, Deborah, who died two years ago.

Deborah Moffatt, who was born in Vermont in the United States, came to Scotland in 1982.  and now lives in Kingsbarns in Fife. Her English poetry is published in several literary magazines including Agenda, Cyphers, Stand agus The Warwick Review.  

She began writing poetry in Gaelic in 2013, after learning the language over a nine year period.  She won the Wigtown Prize in 2016 with the poem, “Lilidh sa’ Mhachair” and  her Gaelic poetry was published in Northwords Now, Causeway/Cabhsair, Southlight, agus Poblachd nam Bàrd. 

 

Edi and Blaze

Portree pin up pooch Blaze now has his own celebrity fan club.

For one of Scotland's most famous singer songwriters, Eddi Reader, has not only got herself a copy of the border collie's new fund-raising calender - she's even signed one!

Already the full colour calender packed with pictures of Blaze on top of some of Scotland's most iconic mountains and hills as brought in over £1,000 for the local Skye Mountain Rescue Team

Skye comes under the spotlight tonight when Paul Murton brings his Grand Tours of the Scottish Island to the isle at 7.30pm on BBC One Scotland

Highland Council will be taking over responsibility for enforcing parking restrictions across the whole of the Highlands including Skye from Monday 3 October.

Money raised through Penalty Charge Notices will be spent on maintaining this new service with any surplus income controlled under statute and must be re-invested in traffic related projects.

 

Singing, sailing and walking - not to mention the odd tasty treat or two - will combine in Portree this week-end

On Saturday 1 October, Atlas Arts will signal the end of the Singing for the Sea film installation that the  Skye Sailing Club have been hosting. To mark the event an  afternoon of workshops, music and fun is planned at the clubhouse on the north shore of Portree harbour.

Details of  the event, which runs from 1pm-4.30pm are as follows:

The crisis for ferry travellers aiming to reach Harris and North Uist from Skye deepened tonight after Caledonian MacBrayne announced that all sailings are cancelled on the Lochmaddy and Tarbert routes on Monday "due to a technical issue."  

The issue involved the mv Hebrides developing a fault which meant it failed to come alongside the pier in Lochmaddy and instead ploughed on straight past it, finally colliding with part of a yacht marina and the seabed itself.

Investigations on the vessel are ongoing and an update will be provided as soon as more information becomes available, the ferry company says. 

All customers with bookings will be contacted to arrange an alternative sailing. Passengers for Harris are advised to use the Stornoway - Ullapool service as an alternative route.  "We are sorry for the disruption caused to our customers," the CalMac statement said. 

As the weather-affected ferry routes were gradually recovering from the storms on Friday and Saturday, one of the unaffected services came to a complete halt.   The mv Hebrides suffered a "technical fault" and all services today from Uig on Skye to Lochmaddy and Tarbert were cancelled.

The fault led to the ferry colliding with Lochmaddy pier.   The incident occurred at 1105 as MV Hebrides, travelling from Tarbert on Harris, was approaching Lochmaddy quay. 

A technical failure led to the vessel being unable to to reduce speed sufficiently for the routine docking procedures and she struck both pontoons in Lochmaddy harbour and the seabed.

No one was injured and the vessel's hull remains intact. 

A total of 76 passengers and crew were on board, as well as 13 cars, 1 lorry and 1 motorhome. She is now alongside safely at Lochmaddy.  All passengers and vehicles have been disembarked and alternative routes for all those affected are being investigated.

A team of divers is on its way to make underwater investigations of the hull and a full inquiry into what happened has been launched. Travel on the Uig-Tarbert-Lochmaddy route is disrupted and likely to remain so for a minimum of 48 hours. 

Passengers are advised to check CalMac's website and social media channels for further updates on alternative travel plans or to call 0800 066 5000. Caledonian MacBrayne will contact passengers with reservations for this route directly to organise alternative travel for them.

Meanwhile, as the storms calmed, the Oban serivce from Castlebay was running two hours behind schedule while the Mallaig Armadale service was still facing disruption by continued high winds.

(This report has been updated at 14.50, Sunday)

 

The old school

 

Plans to breathe new life into an old school are being extensively explored in Glendale.

Borrodale Primary School operated until 2007 after which it became disused and increasingly derelict. The land and buildings which comprise a school house, school buildings, and a portakabin within surrounding land sits in a highly prominent location on the road to Neist Point, one of the most popular visitor spots on Skye.

Since the school’s closure, attempts have been made to make use of the building, most notably with the establishment of an exhibition on heritage and a community café, run by volunteers. However these attempts were ultimately unsuccessful and the school has become disused again. Now local people are being asked for their views to help shape the future of the building and the land it stands on.

 


NHS Highland claim new technology which boosts mobile phone and Wi-Fi signals in remote and rural locations may prove to be a gamechanger for local communities.

If the trials of a system called Omni-hub prove successful, the hoped-for communication improvements could lead to the introduction of quicker, more responsive and sustainable health care services.

And, as an added bonus, local communities may be able to tap into this improved connectivity for their own benefit.

Kate (right) on set

Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP Kate Forbes managed to catch up with the cast and crew of Gaelic drama, Bannan.

During a visit with fellow MSP Ian Blackford to meet constituents she had a rather wet and windy introduction to the acting world as filming took place on Sleat.

The Hamburg

Subject to weather conditions two more cruise ships are due to dock in Portree over the next few days bringing with them hundreds of extra visitors.

Today (Sept 25) will see the arrival of 400 passengers on The Hamburg which is expected in the bay before 9am and will leave around 2pm

Then on Tuesday (Sept 27) The Boudicca belonging to Fred Olsen Cruise Lines will bring 856 passengers who should be on the island for around six hours.

The Boudicca
DJ MacLennan

Skye's futurist author D J MacLennan - the first person in Scotland to arrange to be cryo-preserved at the point of death - is to help others come to terms with their mortality.

For the local man, whose book, ‘Frozen to Life: A personal mortality experiment’ has attracted UK wide debate and discussion, will be the guest speaker at an NHS Highland supported event next month

 "Dying to Know" is aimed at breaking the silence around discussing death, dying and bereavement is intended to be a family event with a difference. Organisers want to encourage people to think about the practicalities of the final phase of their life – and to ensure they make their wishes clear about what they would like to have happen after they die.

The drop-in event, which will be held in Drumnadrochit on Saturday, 8th October, is being organised by NHS Highland community development officer, Kate MacLean, in association with High Life Highland.

Crofting and Countryside Skills students have been busy in Broadford lending a helping hand to the local community.

Working on an assessment and as one on of their first major tasks together, they have successful erected a new poly tunnel for the Broadford & Strath Community Company, Green Growers project.

Skye's views on its missing air link are being sought as part of an international research project.

Research Fellow and Part-time Lecturer at at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Dr. Graeme Baxter, is keen to get local views about what impact the loss of a regular air service has had and continues to have on the local community.

Alistair and Thomas hand picking ingredients

 

Heavy machinery has moved on site in what is the first step to establishing Portree’s very own – and first – hand crafted gin distillery.

Local brothers Thomas and Alistair Wilson have between them formed the Isle of Skye Distillers company and are firmly committed to getting their new business up and running as soon as possible.

This week a five ton digger from Portree company Jans began working on the Viewfield Road site and Thomas confirmed that the foundations for the new building have been poured.

On their newly established website the brothers say: “Isle of Skye Gin has been years in the making. It’s become something of a passion. From our family home in Portree, we have created a spirit which we are proud to call our own. Distilling this beautiful craft gin anywhere else but here on Skye was never in question.

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has welcomed the news that Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing has told the Crofting Commission to apologise to crofters for their behaviour over common grazings, and has launched a review of the Commission.

“It has taken a long battle to get to this point”, said SCF’s Chair, Fiona Mandeville, “but it is extremely good that it is reported that Mr Ewing has made clear his support to crofters by directing the Commissioners to issue a full, unequivocal, public apology for their mistreatment of common grazings committees. This whole episode has been badly damaging to individuals, to crofting communities and to crofting itself, so we hope an apology may be the first step in a healing process.

“As the person who seems to be behind the on-going attacks on crofting committees, it would be appropriate for the Convener of the Crofting Commission, Colin Kennedy to give the apology in his resignation statement.”

Proposed housing site

 

STAFFIN’s determination to see new affordable homes built in the community has moved a step nearer becoming a reality.

It was back in 1999 that the last such homes were built but with Staffin Community Trust (SCT) having reached formal agreements with two housing bodies, confidence is growing that outline plans already discussed will come to fruition

SCT wants to see at least 10 new affordable homes built in Staffin by 2020 and hopes that could help increase the school roll by 10 pupils. The last affordable homes built in Staffin were at the site of the former school in 1999. The school roll has dropped from a high of more than 50 pupils around 10 years ago to only 14 children. SCT is aware of families leaving Staffin to move to Portree for housing.

A recent economic report recently carried out for SCT found that Staffin’s resident population had plummeted by 5 per cent (30 people less) between 2009 and 2013. Meanwhile, the population of Portree – which is 30 minutes’ drive south of Staffin and has had significant housing developments built in recent years – grew by 11 per cent in the last decade.

 

Fancy a walk and a talk without ever leaving the room?

Then join Skye’s Reading Room at Edinbane Community Hall for an illustrated talk by the authors of Trig Point Walks on the Isle of Skye and Raasay,.

On Tuesday, September 27, Ian Stewart and Alistair Christie who have written what readers dub ‘a cracking little book’ and ‘simply the best’ comprehensive walking 56 walks to the best viewpoints on the islands of Skye and Raasay; 26 are ‘family-friendly’.

Young – and old - story tellers on Skye have a chance to give their imaginative writings a real airing.

For through High Life Highland who have have teamed up with Moray Firth Radio there’s achance to ender  a ‘Spooky Story’ Halloween writing competition.

The story can be about anything, but the spookier the better. The story should be 250 words or less and must be submitted on the official form to your local library. The closing date for entries is the 18th of October 2016 and the winning story will be read out on MFR on Halloween.

Filming at Eilean Iarmain

Film crews have been busy around Sleat in recent days in advance of tonight's first episode of the new "Bannan" series which is now also to be seen by viewers around the world.

To be screened on BBC Alba at 9pm with English subtitles, it is the first Gaelic drama in over 20 years and is now in its third series.

Produced by Young Films, a Sleat based TV and movie company best know for 'The Inbetweeners' the show tells the story of everyday life in a remote and rural Highland community and is filmed almost exclusively in Sleat and features many local people in the show.

 

 

The series is also now poised for broadcast internationally, having been signed up by DRG, one of the leading independent distributors of programmes in the world.

The University of the Highlands and Islands has gained approval to take over nurse education in the region.
 
From next year it will have responsibility for taking over the pre-registration nurse education programme for BSc mental health nursing and BSc adult nursing currently delivered by the University of Stirling. Courses will run in Inverness and Stornoway.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has given the final approval required to allow the transfer of the programmes, meaning students applying and enrolling as new students from the 2017/18 academic year will be University of the Highlands and Islands students.

 

With just days left to go Loopallu has announced its final 2016 line up.

Ullapool hosts the big event on Friday 30th September and Saturday 1st of October 2016 with the festival more then doubling the population of the village for the weekend.

As well as the usual eclectic line up of acts appearing at the festival big top and the fringe events after hours in the village's pubs, the event will again provide a selection of fine food and drink from around the Highlands as well as the usual warm Ullapool welcome.

This year's line up includes  an appearance by one of  the finest home grown talents making  their Loopallu debut; FATHERSON.

Sleat Community Council's fight to maintain strong ferry links to the mainland has earned a national award.

For local group, which through its Transport Forum has fought so hard to see that Skye once again gets a robust and reliable ferry service has now won the Scottish Rural Parliament's 'Rural Innovators Awards for Community Councils'.

Now the Forum has vowed to continue its campaignfor the return of the 'MV Coruisk', the vessel specifically commissioned for the route and which was re-deployed to the Oban-Mull route earlier this year.

The Glenelg-Skye ferry have announced that the last day of sailing this year will be Friday 14th October.

 

Work has begun on the first of four projects to improve travel on the A87.

Motorists can expect daytime delays along the stretch involving some 1.3km of carriageway from just north of Broadford Cemetery. The resurfacing work is expected to continue through until Friday 30 September.

The King's Arms

TWO hotels – including one of the island’s oldest – have gone up for sale on Skye.

The Bespoke Hotels chain owned Kings Arms in Kyleakin and the three star rated Dunollie Hotel in Broadford are now with marketing agents looking for potential buyers.

Dunollie Hotel
Theft from Portree

 

Police in Portree are carrying out enquiries into the theft of two outboards from Pontoons Pier Portree.

These thefts took place between 1pm on Thursday 15 September and 9 am on Friday 16 September 2016, the outboards are described as a Mariner 3.3 and a Honda 2.3 at a combined value of about £750.

Mackie’s of Scotland is recalling a number of Salted Caramel Real Dairy Ice Cream Flashed ‘New Improved Recipe’ due to incorrect labelling.
Food Standards Scotland have more information here

Never mind the small screen Skye’s very own “Strictly” is thinking far bigger when it takes to the floor later this month.

For movies are the theme for evening of Friday 30 September as seven local couples fight – or rather dance – it out to take the top title in Strictly Skye 2016.

Organisers Isle of Skye Highland Dancers, or as they are better known locally, Dannsairean an Eilein Sgitheanaich, are promising a guaranteed night of spectacular glitz, sequins, lycra and dancing. 

So if you want to be part of the occasion then just follow the link here

 

 

Highland Council’s Environmental Health Service have been contacting food businesses, retailers, suppliers and hoteliers across the region following the Food Standards Scotland ban of cheese made by Errington Cheese Ltd, which has been linked to an E.coli 0157 outbreak in which a three year old child died.

The recent cheese ban relates to Dunsyre Blue, Dunsyre Baby, Lanark Blue, Lanark White, Maisies Kebbuck, Cora Linn and Sir Lancelot.

Businesses are advised to notify the Environmental Health Service if they have any of these cheeses and consumers are advised not to eat the cheese and to return the product to where they purchased them.

Want to take a peek at the one minute clip that took five days to film on Skye? Then just follow the link here.

The shoot, for the new Volvo V90 Cross Country ad, included locations in Sleat at Ord, Tarskavaig and Tokavaig.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
A 7 - 0 victory for Skye Camanachd under 14's made them worthy winners of this year's MacMaster Cup.

The youngsters were playing Kingussie in a game which took place before the main Camanachd Cup Final at Fort William.

 Today is the last day to vote online in the Scottish Rural Parliament's Awards for Rural Innovators in Scottish Community Councils.

Sleat Community Council has been short-listed and as their secretary, Rob Ware said: “Here in Skye, it has been campaigning for a year to restore a reliable ferry service on the CalMac Ferries route to the mainland Armadale to Mallaig. We've been shortlisted for the Award and so a final push is needed to get us to win tomorrow.

“Click the link below and click on the 4th category 'Rural Innovators Awards for Community Councils'.


This Sunday (Sept 25) sees The Glasgow Phoenix Choir performing a concert in Sleat's Sabhal Mor Ostaig as part of its Highland Tour.

The Choir rose out of the ashes of the world famous Glasgow Orpheus Choir and this year celebrates 116 years of choral excellence – 66 years as the Glasgow Phoenix Choir and 50 years as the Glasgow Orpheus Choir.

Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association are seeking planning permission approval to proceed with Phase 2B of their Campbell’s Farm development in Broadford.

The application to Highland Council is for the erection of 24 dwelling with air source heat pumps and also for access roads to the new homes.

Left to right: Wilma MacDonald, Rita Yost, Professor Hugo van Woerden

 

A student from Mallaig has been named as the first ever recipient of an award recognising the skills and qualities valued in integrated health and social care.
 
Rita Yost (29) completed an HNC in social care at the University of the Highlands and Islands. She was nominated for the Ina Maciver Award for her passion for social care, her practical and academic performance and her dedication to her studies.
 
The award has been established in memory of Ina Maciver, the university’s former subject network leader for health and social care, who was passionately devoted to learning, teaching and to students’ personal development. Sponsored by NHS Highland, the award will be presented to a University of the Highlands and Islands’ health or social care student each year.

Teenager Emily Beedie from Portree is aiming to raise £200 to enable her to volunteer for the second time in Zimbabwe.

Eighteen years old Emily made the decision to work alongside the organisation, African Impact, to assist a variety of people.  African Impact offers a safe environment for volunteers from all over the world to make a difference.  Emily's work included teaching in schools, helping older people in their homes and gardens and even monitoring hyenas!  

She said: "Last year I decided rather than go away and study nursing that I would love to go over to Africa and volunteer.  I worked with a variety of people, teaching in Primary schools, pre-schools, working with older people and helping out in their home and working in vegetable gardens.

The success of this year's Skye half marathon has proved to be a winner for local organisations as well.

With entries now open for the 2017 event, a cheque for £2,350 has now been handed over to help support community groups in the area.

Waternish Community Council stage their AGM next week and are hoping that it will prove to be the catalyst for more local people to get involved.

Announcing the meeting on Monday 26 September, which begins at 7.30pm, Chair, Moira Scobbie said: “I hope we will get a good turn out from the community.  It would be even more heartening if we could get some new members to come onto the committee; we have been running activities with just four members for some time now and it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the issues, correspondence and meetings that come up.  This is frustrating because not only does it mean that Waternish’s voice is not heard, it also means that the voice of the community generally is not heard.

“It is something to be proud of, however, that we do still have a functioning community council; many on Skye and further afield have gone into abeyance due to the lack of members (Portree and Braes is only just functioning again and it has access to the biggest population on the island).

For rally enthusiasts who can't get to the event, Cuillin FM presenters Graham and Gordon Ford will be broadcasting live from the Isle of Skye Rally's Gravel Sprint today.

Tune in for two hours from 2pm for the latest news and results or live-stream the programme to your desktop, tablet or device. .

The full schedule for today is:

07:30-08:30 Noise test & Scruitineering at Highland Motors at Borve.

08:00-08:30 Documentation at Highland Motors.

08:30-08:45 Drivers briefing at Paddock Control, Skeabost.

09:30 Course Car (Zero Car)

09:45-13:00 Official Runs (3)

13:00-13:40 Lunch Break

14:00-17:00 Official Runs( 3)

19:30 Awards Ceremony and General ‘Knees up’ Skeabost Memorial Hall.

(Doors open at 7pm, presentation begins at 7:30pm prompt)

The club says spectators are welcome but always remember Motorsports can be dangerous.  Stand behind the tapes and listen to the marshals, they are there for everyone’s safety.

The RNLI & Hot Tottie will be selling food. Toilets are also provided for your convenience.

The club would also like to welcome you to join them at the Skeabost Hall in the evening for the Awards Ceremony and entertainment from Disco/Karaoke Dave.

Skye's young shinty players set out for cup glory today.

The U14 team are in the MacMaster Cup Final against Kingussie which will take place before the main Camanachd Cup Final.  the game is in Fort william at 11.00 am. 

The Highland Licensing Committee has agreed changes to the activities which are required to have a public entertainment licence so the Highland Council is advising community groups, members of the public, event organisers, charities and businesses to make sure they are aware of the different requirements so not to face the disappointment of having their event or activity cancelled.

In particular organisers of public Hogmanay events are being asked to check if their event now falls within the revised definition and, if so, they are being encouraged to submit their applications early.

The changes agreed by the Committee are:

 

The Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (PIRC) have confirmed they will be investigating the use of a Taser on a 47-year-old man in Glen Shiel.

The incident which is said to have taken place on September 1 involved the weapon being used by a police officer. The matter was referred to PIRC by Police Scotland themselves.

Motorists using the A87 on the Isle of Skye are soon to benefit from an overall investment of £1.25M across four sites throughout September and October.

The four projects will involve resurfacing at three locations on the Isle of Skye, greatly improving the road surface for motorists and enhancing road safety. Essential bridge maintenance works to replace drainage pipes beneath Skye Bridge will also take place in October, ensuring the bridge continues to function safely for years to come.

The four projects have been designed to take place out with the peak tourist season and ahead of the winter months when weather can limit operations. 
Traffic management for the improvements will be removed out with working hours, however temporary restricted speed limits will remain in place at some sections as traffic will be running on a temporary surface.  The improvements will take place across four locations as follows:

Skye’s very own voice of the airwaves, Cuillin FM is now looking for locals who want to do more than just tune in.

Fresh voices to present shows at the radio station are being recruited and age or ability is no barrier.

Cuillin FM say: “We're on the lookout for fresh voices to present shows on Cuillin FM. If you live in Skye and Lochalsh, are over 16 and think you might be interested in learning how to present a one hour weekly show on your local radio station, please just drop us an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.! Training provided.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to be part of truly community led initiative and we are looking for young and old alike. If you are interested in radio and want to be part of what we do we would love to hear from you.

 “We also want to re-introduce our 30 minute Youth Slot later this year. This is a shorter than usual half hour weekly show for anybody in High School who would love to learn to present a radio show.

“If you think that might be you and you are free at 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon, we'd love to hear from you! Just drop Ruth an email to introduce yourself using the details on our website. Again we will  provide full training.”

Not trading any more!

 

Sleat's Trading Post cafe won't be trading any more.

Just over three months after it opened, this Saturday (September 17) between 10am-2pm, will see a grand sale of all the cafe equipment and everything must go.

However, Sleat Community Trust have confirmed that the shop and filling station will continue as normal while the cafe space will now be leased by Skyeline for Sky & Ecodyn Ltd, both locally established and growing businesses. They will use the premises as shared office space.

Ian Blackford MP

 

The Constituency of Ross, Skye and Lochaber has one of the lowest rates of unemployment in the country.

Figures just released by the Department of Work and Pensions reveal that just 1.2% of the economically active population aged between 16 and 64 years old are out of work which translates to a figure of just 400 people. The UK average is 2.4%.

Isle of Skye Rally club stage their annual Gravel Sprint at Skeabost this week-end.

Spectators are welcome but always remember Motorsports can be dangerous. The advice from the Club is: "Stand behind the tape and listen to the Marshals, they are there for everyone’s safety."

The RNLI & Hot Tottie will be selling food. Toilets are also provided and there is an open invitation to Skeabost Hall in the evening for the Awards Ceremony and entertainment from Disco/Karaoke Dave.

If you want to know what's happening and where then here it is

The Angus Nicolson Trio

 

Following on from their debut album the Angus Nicolson Trio have released Sealladh Àrd

The trio made up of Skye's Angus Nicolson and Andrew MacPherson and Glenelg born Murdo Cameron have named the album after the home of a great friend, the late Ivan MacDonald, and there is a tune dedicated to him on the album, while his sister is responsible for the painting which is featured on the front cover.

To find out more about the album – and even buy a copy – follow the link here

Legislation to remove the automatic council tax discount for second homes has been laid in Parliament, paving the way for further reforms due to take effect from April 2017.

This change will give councils the option of offering no discount for second homes, arming them with another lever to encourage better use of housing stock in their areas. If all councils were to remove discounts they could generate up to £3 million of additional revenue across the country.

A man was appearing before Portree Sheriff’s court today and was expected to plead guilty to domestic assault.

The individual was arrested last night following an incident in the Flodigarry area.

Skye now has another four footed friend to help save lives in high places.

Laggan, together with handler Tony Hanly, has successful passed their Search and Rescue Dog Association (Scotland) assessment at the week-end.

Now the canny canine joins Skye's two other search and rescue dogs available for emergency incidents on the island.

The Highland Council is undertaking a review of how public conveniences are funded and propose to increase the number of sites where there is a charge for use.

The Council is consulting on the amount that will be charged for the use of the public toilets and is seeking views on the level of charges from service users and other stakeholders to assist in the decision making process.

Councillor Alan Henderson, Chair of Community Services Committee said: "I would encourage people to complete the questionnaire, as we are very keen to hear your views on how much you would be willing to pay to use public toilets. Increasing the income from the usage of the toilets could enable the Council to retain more provision.”

 

(ltor): Allan Macleod, Projects Director, Robertson Northern; Arthur Cormack Comann nam Pàrant; Highland Councillors Drew Millar and Hamish Fraser (holding spade); Portree Primary pupils Jaiden Jones and Steven Colven, and Jim Steven, Head of Education, Highland Council. Back (ltor) Cllrs John Gordon and Ian Renwick

 

Gaelic medium pupils Jaiden Jones and Steven Colven were joined by local Highland Councillors Drew Millar and Hamish Fraser and Allan MacLeod of Robertson Construction as they cut the turf on the site of the new £8.7 million Portree Gaelic Primary School.

Chair of the Council’s Education, Children and Adult Services Committee, Cllr Millar said: “The benefits of bilingual education cannot be argued against. Much research has been carried out on this form of education which gives our children a great advantage in life, as it makes young peoples’ brains more receptive to learning and problem solving.

“Children in Portree are very lucky to have this fantastic facility. I would like to thank Comann nam Pàrant for their efforts over the years to get us to this stage.”

The ground vessel

 

A "Marie Celeste" type rescue was the end result for Kyle's lifeboat crew today.

For after being called out to aid a yacht which had run aground they found...nobody on board!

It was 09.20am this morning that the RNLI crew were tasked, in difficult conditions, to investigate a yacht which had run aground on the North East coast of Longay.

A second call for applications to a fund to improve accessibility on Scotland’s ferry network has been announced by Minister for Transport and the Islands Humza Yousaf.

The next stage of the Ferries Accessibility Fund is open to bids from the public and private sector, and aims to make improvements to existing vessels and harbours that go beyond regulatory standards set for accessibility.

The first round of funding saw over £50,000 allocated to projects that improved on-board signage, provided better access to ticket offices, and gave staff training in disability awareness. Awards will be made on a match-funding basis, as they were in the first round of funding.

Skye-based textile artist, Louise White, will be one of over 60 artists appearing at the Colony Of Artists festival.  The festival, which lasts from 17 September - 18 September, will celebrate the talents of painters, photographers, musicians and be held in 38 venues.  

#hellodigital, part of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), is working with national trade body ARPAS-UK on a week-long event which will bring the latest in drone technology to the region.

‘Drone Week’ is taking place from Monday 26 to Friday 30 September at the #hellodigital demonstration centre on Inverness Campus.

The event will take a closer look at the safe, legal use of drones across various industries such as tourism, agriculture, forestry, surveying, and search & rescue.

Glendale Trust has been awarded stage 1 funds from the Scottish Land Fund to start the process of purchasing land for affordable housing.

According to the Trust’s Local Development Officer, Elizabeth MacLeod, the funding will cover valuations on the two plots of land identified and pre-acquisition legal fees.

She added: “We will be applying for stage 2 funds to complete the purchase. This funding is one step in a long process but we are delighted to be progressing this project.”

Highlands and Islands Labour MSP Rhoda Grant has joined calls for better early years support for deaf children and committed to helping to give every deaf child the best start in life.

This comes as the National Deaf Children’s Society publishes a report calling on the Scottish Government and its partners to take action to drive up the standard of early years support for deaf children and their families.

The ‘Getting It Right from the Start’ report, highlights a stark attainment gap for deaf children and their hearing peers in Scotland – and the charity says effective early years support is critical to closing this. The latest Scottish Government data shows that last year 11.8% of deaf learners left school with no qualifications (compared with 2.6% of all pupils).

Glenelg - Skye ferry not running today due to extreme weather conditions.

A first time visit to Pitlochry Highland Games saw the Isle of Skye Pipe Band achieve success.

For not only did the island’s own achieve 2nd place in The Grade 4 RSPBA competition but their overall standard of piping won top place out of the 11 bands competing.

Local Inverinate florist Loch Duich Plants has been accepted into the exclusive Good Florist Guide, the gold standard of floristry and only merit-based guide to the finest florists in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The so-called ‘little black book’ of British and Irish florists awarded the prestigious accolade to Loch Duich Plants. Owner Donald MacIntosh described themselves as very pleased.

The oldest terrier breed in Scotland comes home to Skye later this month for its big event of the year.

The Skye Terrier Club holds two single breed shows each year. The Open show is held in April and the group's premier event, the Championship show will be held on Saturday 24 September at Kyleakin Community Hall.

Judging the event will be Finnish expert, Kari Jarvinen and terriers from across the UK are expected to take part.

The main event is open to spectators and their will also be a Platinum Pageant, fun dog show the following day ( September 25) which will take place from 1.30 to 3pm. It is open to all dogs and is free to enter. to find out about both events follow the link here

This is what the club themselves have to say about the breed:

HM Coastguard has a new eye over Skye helping to save lives both on land and sea.

The Western Isles, Skye and Lochaber coastguard have added a a Jetstream 41 turboprop aircraft to their complement which is being trialled as part of a development to support our search and rescue (SAR) helicopters.

The new plane is painted in red and white HM Coastguard colours and will be patrolling the southern and eastern seaboard.

The aim of the trial is to assess whether a fixed-wing aircraft will provide valuable additional support for our SAR helicopters. The new capability will help save lives at sea by identifying people, boats or ships in distress.

Skye’s part in keeping the nation’s lights on has been highlighted as the driving force behind a new overhead cable to link the island with the mainland.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, operating under licence as Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission plc, is set to hold a series of consultation events later this month to seek views on initial plans that will see a new line that connects Skye with Fort Augustus.

The existing 91 kilometre, 132 kilovolt (kV) single circuit overhead line was built in the late 1970s and is supported by steel lattice towers from Fort Augustus to Broadford, via Glengarry, Glenquoich and Glenelg where it crosses the Kylerhea Narrows. North of Broadford, a 54km line is supported by wood poles running to Edinbane and Dunvegan. From Dunvegan, the line also connects the existing 33kV submarine cable that serves the Western Isles.

The requirement of the Fort Augustus - Skye project is to increase electrical capacity between Skye and Fort Augustus to facilitate the connection of new renewable generation that is located in the north of the island. The works will also enhance network resilience, providing increased security of supply.

The latest Food Standards Agency alert involves TRS extending the recall of its 'All Purpose Seasoning' to include all batch and date codes of 100g and 400g pack sizes. This is because the product contains mustard and celery which are not emphasised correctly as allergens in the ingredients list. This means the product may pose a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to mustard and/or celery.


Skye and Lochalsh CVO are hosting a community transport event to give communities, transport providers and groups an opportunity to look at the role electric vehicles can have in our future transport requirements as well as other community transport initiatives.

The event, Electric Cars and Transport Projects takes place on Thursday 22 September from 2pm-4pm and will be held at the Bridge Road office in Portree
 
Brought to in partnership with Specialist Transport Advisor Becky Fretwell on behalf of Energy Saving Trust and Kirsty MacColl from the Scottish Islands Federation, this event includes an opportunity to test drive electric vehicles and talk to SLCVO about support and funding for community transport projects and groups.

With winds gusting at up to 60 mph Calmac are warning of potential disruption to both Uig - Tarbet and Uig - Lochmaddy services.

Glenelg's Way Out West Picturehouse is offering an entertainment experience which is ..well...nothing to turn your nose up at!

For one day only the non profit cinema across the water from Skye a joining in the UK wide celebrations of Roald Dahl's 100th Birthday by holding a Scratch N' Sniff screening of Matilda. 

Audience members each get a special edition scratch card encapsulated with 10 specially created smells.  At certain points throughout the screening we prompt the audience to scratch and sniff along with the film.  Some nice and nasty smells await! 

Police in the Highlands are urging the public to be vigilant following a spate of telephone scams.

A number of people have been targeted by fraudsters in recent weeks following different scams used over the telephone.

In the majority of cases the criminals phone individuals claiming to be a representative from their bank and advise them that their bank account has been compromised. The victim is then encouraged to transfer their money into an account provided by the fraudster.

This type of fraud is commonly known as 'vishing' and while incidents are most commonly known to occur on the phone. This advice also applies to Internet security, where fraudsters will ask for an individual's details, purporting to represent a computer company because they have a virus on their home computer.

Officers are urging people to be aware of calls and contact of this nature, and in particular to ensure their elderly or vulnerable family, friends and neighbours are also aware of this type of scam and to be on their guard.

MP Ian Blackford (third right) with Forum members

 

Sleat Community Council's campaigning Transport Forum has now been nationally recognised.

The local group which has fought so hard to see that Skye once again gets a robust and reliable ferry service has now been short-listed in this year's Scottish Rural Parliament's 'Rural Innovators Awards for Community Councils'.

Skye’s biggest lamb sale of the season saw prices down from just a fortnight ago when a similar event was held.

At Dingwall and Highland Mart’s sale last month almost 2,900 sheep went through the Portree ring with an average price of £44.90, which was £2.84 up on the same sale in 2015. However, this week – at what is normally seen as the larger of Skye's two main lamb sales – the average price had slumped dramatically by £7.41.

Theatre right on your doorstep comes to Skye next week-end.

For Saturday 17 September will see a range of site-specific performances brought to the island as part of Skye’s Wee Theatre Festival.

In partnership with local promoting group, SEALL, the drama productions will take place at a range of locations but be aware they are all outdoor so dress accordingly.

The Food Standards Agency’s latest alert concerns a recall by Abel and Cole of various batches of its Organic Sesame Seeds and Organic Omega Mix because salmonella has been found in the sesame seeds which are present in these products.

Police in the Highlands area alerting the public, particularly those who are employed in shops or regularly handle cash, to be aware of counterfeit banknotes, following recent incidents reported in Inverness and Nairn.

Detective Inspector Richard Baird said: ""We have received a number of reports of counterfeit banknotes being used in the Inverness and Nairn areas in recent days. These include First Trust Bank £50 notes which bear the serial number AA294395. These are being tendered for low cost items in shops in the Highlands and later being found to be counterfeit currency."

BBC ALBA has unveiled its new schedule of programmes for Autumn 2016, featuring entertainment, factual and current affairs programmes plus music, children’s shows, sport, live events and new drama from Bannan, the series produced in Skye.

Agnes Johnstone, wife of Scotland and Celtic legend Jimmy Johnstone, and much-loved Gaelic broadcaster, Cathy MacDonald, were among the attendees at the launch event held today (Wednesday 7 September) at BBC Pacific Quay, Glasgow, which was hosted by popular BBC ALBA presenter Fiona MacKenzie. 

A wide range of exciting new commissions will be brought to the screen complementing the channel’s popular factual documentary series Trusadh, hard hitting current affairs series, Eòrpa, music series Seirm and kids’ favourite, Dè a-nis?.

 

Fiona MacKenzie, Eilidh Duncan, 4, from Alloa, who has a life-shortening illness and features in Home from Home and Broadcaster, Cathy MacDonald

Skye's Three Chimney's has been selected as one of just eight UK finalist in a competition which has a truly international flavour.

This year’s Copa de Jerez competition has now closed and the finalist from across Britain chosen.

Every two years the Consejo Regulador in Jerez invites on-trade establishments from across the UK to submit their ideas for the best Sherry and food matching menu. The aim being to find the winner who will then go on to represent Great Britain at the international final in Jerez next year, where they will compete against the very best chef and sommelier teams from the USA, Denmark, Belgium, Holland, Spain and Germany.

Each entrant had to put together an imaginative three-course menu that used innovative flavours and food combinations to match with a wide range of Sherry styles. The competition was tough as top restaurants and hotels from around the UK pitted their culinary wits against each other blind. It was a case of them having to give it their best shot, and being as imaginative as possible, without having a clue about who they were up against and what they might be concocting.

Head chef Scott Davies and Sommelier Petri Pentikainen, part of the team at the Three Chimneys came up with their own combination which has propelled the restaurant into the final line up.

Is it an open or shut case – or not?

That’s the question being asked on Skye after a strange disappearance last month

On social media local officers are searching for answers. They say: “Have you borrowed a 5'x4' gate from Halistra area of Waternish?

“ Gate taken within last 3 weeks but may have been 'borrowed' Any info?”

Despite recent clashes The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) have expressed good wishes to Catriona MacLean, the CEO of the Crofting Commission, who is moving on.

However, they have expressed concern that the organisation is now left with no-one at the helm.

Have you seen this?

If you are in the Talisker beach area can you please keep your eyes open. Local, Dawn Kerr, has sadly she lost her engagement ring there.

She said: “Please message me if you find......fingers crossed many thanks and please share this"

If you have any information Dawn can be contacted via this link

Officers in Portree are appealing to the public for assistance following a potentially suspicious incident which took place during the evening of Sunday 4th September at the junction of Mill Road and Staffin Road in Portree.

A female was approached by a man at the location who attempted to engage her in conversation. The female wasn’t injured but was left alarmed by the incident.

Officers are keen to identify a man aged in his 50's, about 5'4'' tall with grey or white bobbed hair, wearing a red polo t-shirt and black jogging bottoms and may have been travelling in an old style green vehicle similar to a Volkswagen Polo.

Whilst the incident may be innocuous officers are keen to hear from anyone with any information or who witnessed the incident. Please contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

 

The Red Roof team with their award

 

Glendale’s Red Roof Skye café and gallery has become only the second establishment in Scotland to earn a coveted award.

The popular dining place has been presented with an Organic Served Here three star award from the Scottish Soil Association celebrating its commitment to serving food, using 50-75% organic ingredients.

Red Roof Skye café sources ingredients from local businesses including Glendale Salads, Macleods Organics, Highland Whole foods and Connage Highland Dairy to ensure quality and freshness.

Gareth Craft of Red Roof Skye said: “Great food begins with great quality fresh ingredients, and we are lucky that Skye and the Highlands have great produce to offer. We try to serve the best tasting food we can whilst minimising our impact on the environment and making a positive contribution to our local economy and society.

Alistair at the end of his marathon ride

 

Cycling fund-raiser Alistair Macleod’s 105 mile ride to Raasay has earned him a little extra bonus.

For after cycling from Inverness to the island not only did he raise cash for his cause but was also presented with a bottle of whisky from Raasay’s soon to be up and running distillery to auction off and raise a few pounds more.

While many sports enthusiasts head to Raasay to take on the unique terrain just for fun and a challenge, Alistair had another motivation too. He was raising awareness and funds for Inverness local charity Men’s Shed.

Fiona Mandeville

 

On the same day the Crofting Commission Chief Executive announced she was leaving there have now been suggestions that the whole organisation should go.

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) met last week with crofting representatives of Sleat to discuss proposals to replace the Crofting Commission.

“The ideas put forward by the Sleat General Grazings Committee on replacing the Crofting Commission with a more democratic and community-empowering model are valid and have a great deal of merit,” SCF chair Fiona Mandeville from Skye said.  “We had a very open and constructive preliminary meeting and intend to take this further to get SCF members’ opinions and to explore options.

Locals relying on the Ord road in Sleat are being warned about serious repairs that will close down the route for several days.

Sleat Community Trust are alerting those living in the Ord, Tokavaig, Tarskavaig and Achnacloich communities to be aware of the problem which involves a culvert on the Ord road between the A851 and Ord being in danger of collapse.

Highland Council is carrying out some temporary repairs with steel plates but it will require a road closure to facilitate the permanent repair.

As soon as a closure date is known the Sleat Community Council will relay the information although the expectation is that the closure will be for at least three days and possibly more.

Catriona Maclean

 

The Crofting Commission today announced that their Chief Executive, Catriona Maclean, will be leaving the organisation to take up a promotion within the Scottish Government.

Catriona said: ““I will be leaving the Crofting Commission to take up a promotion as Deputy Director of Food, Drink and Rural Communities Division from late October.  I am delighted to have been asked to lead on such a key area of work for the Scottish Government.

More raft racers are being sought for the annual event run by Kyle RNLI.

On Saturday 10 September, as part of the lifeboat's Maritime Day, teams of 4-6 will take to the water in an event that's certain to make a splash...in more ways than one!

Anyone interested in taking part, as long as they are 16 years or over, should contact Dickie Henderson 07990793108.

 

FIREFIGHTERS have issued a Chimney Fire Safety Week message urging householders to help prevent potentially devastating fires.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews deal with more than a thousand chimney fires each year but having a certified sweep clear the flue makes disaster much less likely to strike.

Many people who live in homes with open fires fail to realise the importance of properly maintaining chimneys.

Assistant Chief Officer David McGown, the SFRS director of prevention and protection, explained: “Soot and fuel residues slowly build up over time and these leftovers can catch fire.

An idea of what the ichthyosaurs looked like

 

It has waited 170 million years but finally one of Skye’s most famous fossils has seen the light of day.

Over 50 years after it was found at Storr Lochs, experts have finally been able to chip away the rock that has encased the creature for so long to reveal it to be a dolphin-like animal known as an ichthyosaur.

Now after the cutting edge discovery, a team of palaeontologists will study the creature in far more detail.

According to the experts the fossil, which was found in 1966, is the most complete skeleton of a sea-living reptile from the Age of Dinosaurs that has ever been found in Scotland.

 

Eyes on Skye, the community organisation established to focus on tourism related issues and how they impact on the island, have held their first meeting.

Reporting the occasion on social media the group say: "We really want to stress that we are pro-tourism. Many in our group rely on visitors for their livelihood, and we all recognise that many communities and services would not survive without them.

"The problems are not caused by the tourists, it is simply that there is not the infrastructure there to support the numbers who wish to visit every year. We want to look after Skye for visitors and locals."

A Taste of the Wild comes to Mallaig this week-end with a festival of food and drink.

Saturday 10 September offers the chance to discover the region's artisan producers and get hands on during a Highland Larder Masterclass' featuring venison, langoustines, mushrooms, scallops and much more.

Blaze with Skye MRT


It’s hot off the press so why not get a copy quick?

Portree’s wonder dog, border collie Blaze, has once again been recruited to help a worthy cause, this time Skye Mountain Rescue and the new 2017 calendar featuring the dog that really loves to get to the top – of hills that is – is available to buy.

Blaze and owner Steve Miller are hoping to raise as much as £3,000 for the local volunteer rescuers but just how well they do depends on how many calendars are sold.

The all colour calendar shows Blaze , who has already climbed more than 80 Munros on some of the most scenic mountains Scotland has to offer.

More upgrading work has been taking place at Portree’s emergency helipad.

Portree & Braes Community Trust say that a new switch gear shed has now been hoisted in, with a little help from Jans Lift and Shift equipment.

A project by children from Portree Primary School has helped raise over £4000 to provide vital fire and rescue services to communities in Eastern Europe.

Skye Camanachd have cancelled their fixtures this week-end as a mark of respect to a departed old friend.

The club have sadly announced the passing of Portree man Mr Tommy Wilson who for many years in his occupation as a bus driver was responsible for the safety of players as they travelled to and from fixtures

Mr Wilson passed away earlier this week and the club said: “Tommy Wilson had not kept the best of health in recent years and before he retired he was a bus driver based in Portree. This occupation would see him take Skye teams on away trips on occasion.

One of the new stills

The opening of Skye's first new whisky distillery since 1831 has moved a step closer.

Torabhaig at Knock Bay in Sleat is scheduled to be open to the public by next summer and now its intention to begin producing the first spirit by the autumn looks even more likely following the arrival of production equipment.

Installation is almost complete on 10 wash-back tuns and the handcrafted copper still which have been created in Morayshire by Forsyth's who have themselves been in business since 1890.

Eilean Donan Castle is the latest tourist attraction to announce a record breaking summer.

Just days after Dunvegan Castle announced they had passed the 100,000, the Dornie visitor attraction have made it clear that 2016 has been been a great year for them too.

Police Scotland have issued a Highland-wide alert to bikers after two motorcycle accidents within hours of each other.

 

PS Angus Murray of Road Policing Unit said: "As the good weather continues, more and more motorcyclists are taking to the roads, Police in the Highlands want to make sure that they do this safely. I would urge bikers to reduce their speed and think of the personal consequences of taking risks when biking.

"I would like to remind riders to Keep Yourself Safe and consider the devastating consequences being involved in a crash would have on your family and friends."

"We want riders to enjoy their time when riding in the Highlands, however, more importantly we want them to make it home safely"