Tuesday, November 20, 2018
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A drone has gone missing near Kilt Rock waterfall.

Portree police say they received a report of a missing drone and remote control in a black leather case.

The items are believed to have been lost sometime on the morning of Saturday 29 September in the Kilt Rock area.

Anyone who has information regarding the items should contact Portree Police Station on 101

The Royal Bank of Scotland branch in Kyle is to close.

Following an independent review into the 10 planned closures, RBS will only be keeping two of their branches open.  Castlebay Branch in Barra and Biggar Branch in South Lanarkshire have avoided the planned closure.

Kate Forbes MSP has voiced her disappointment after the Johnston Carmichael review stated that Kyle branch usage was low.  The report also mentioned it was not the last bank in the town.

The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch said: "As the MSP for Beauly and Kyle, I am of course disappointed that the RBS branches in both towns are to close.

"Whilst I recognise that branch use has been declining in both of these areas, there are still well-documented and legitimate questions regarding security and disabled access in the alternative banking provision.

Cameras and equipment, estimated to be worth around a six figure sum, have been stolen near Beauly.

A break-in took place at Ffordes Photographic in the early hours of Wednesday 26 September.

 

Police say entry was forced to the premises and a significant number of items of valuable camera equipment was stolen during the incident.

Detective Sergeant Graham Gordon said: "This is an unusual incident for this area and we are continuing with extensive enquiries in the area.

"Anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity around Wester Balblair around the time of the break in or was in the area at that time can contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting reference NN10337/18, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111if you have any information."

Four Skye businesses have made the shortlist for the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards.

The annual awards recognises where best to stay, eat and visit.

Scottish music festivals will compete against a celebration of Asian arts and culture in one category, while hotels, guest houses, restaurants, small food outlets, heritage centres, wildlife spotting tours and others will also battle it out for the coveted piper trophies.

Shortlisted under "Best Heritage Tourism Experience" is Skye's Go to St Kilda boat trips.  Toravaig Hotel in south Skye is in the running to win under the "Best Eating Experience" category.  Finally, two Skye hotels will be competing against each other and a Sutherland hotel to win the "Most Hospitable Hotel" title: Uig Hotel and Skeabost Hotel.

A spokesperson for the Uig Hotel told The Skye Times: "We are extremely pleased to have been nominated for this and to have made the shortlist for the second time in 3 years.  Reaching this stage is all down to the fantastic staff at the hotel who do everything they can to make our guests stay an enjoyable one."

 

Do you have photographs of a great day out at The Oyster Shed?

If so, your images could be used as part of a picture wall feature in the Minginish-based eatery.

Owner, Paul McGlynn, is redesigning the premises and hopes to use photographs taken by guests over the past seven seasons.  

To take part, visit the Facebook page here.

A dog has been handed into the police today (Wednesday 26 September.)

Police are currently looking to reunite the dog, which was found in the Braes area, with its owner.

The dog is described as black and tan and has been handed into Portree Police Station.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police on 101.

Asbestos was found in Broadford Primary School's kitchen yesterday (Tuesday 25 September.)

Although Highland Council stated the risk posed from this type of asbestos was very low, the school kitchen was closed.

A Highland Council spokesperson said: "Following access made to the roof of the school for maintenance, a crack was noticed in the ceiling of the kitchen which has a textured decorative coating. Due to small fragments of the coating being present on the floor, the kitchen area was closed off yesterday (25 Sep) as a precaution until surfaces were cleaned and the crack repaired. Sandwiches were provided by the school for children for lunch.

Do you have access to a boat or an all-terrain vehicle?  Then you might be able to help with an innovative new project which has seen members of rural communities working with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS).

The Community Asset Register (CAR) contains a list of volunteers with access to boats or 4x4s join a register, allowing the SFRS to quickly identify who can help in an emergency.

A rallying call has now been issued to others who live in rural and isolated areas, have specialist skills and who own their own transport - such as all-terrain vehicles - to follow in their footsteps.

People with buildings that can offer a temporary base to emergency personnel or warmth and shelter to displaced members of the community are also welcomed.

Bruce Farquharson is the Area Manager who has led this project.  He said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service exists to save lives and will always respond to every emergency with the right resources, in the right place - at the right time.

“But we always look for new and innovative, dynamic but nonetheless appropriate partnerships wherever possible to absolutely ensure the safety of our communities.

“The Community Asset Register is yet another example of this spirit, calling upon those with specialist skills, vehicles and equipment to work alongside ourselves to keep people safe – because sometimes minutes can be not only precious but vital.

“The ideal person is someone who is experienced and knowledgeable in their field and handling their equipment. We are talking about, for example, white water rafters, mountaineers and 4x4 enthusiasts but there are other possibilities.

The independent facilitator involved in the implementation of the Ritchie report has stood down.

Mr David Noble cited health reasons as the factor in his decision to relinquish the post.

David, who was the chief executive of the former Skye and Lochalsh District Council for 21 years, said: “I very much regret having to step down from the work. Unfortunately, it is absolutely unavoidable because of health reasons.”

Mr Noble was unanimously chosen to be the independent facilitator by members of the campaign group NHS-SOS Skye in June this year. Since then he has been instrumental in setting up the framework and processes necessary in order to put the Ritchie Review recommendations into practice.

The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport is to visit Skye.

It is expected that Jeane Freeman MSP will visit Portree Hospital, which campaigners from the north of the island have been fighting to keep open.

Sir Lewis Ritchie, whose review into healthcare provision categorically stated that the hospital in Skye's biggest population centre must remain open – and have its services enhanced – will be visiting in December to meet with the community and NHS Highland officials to discuss progress made on the implementation of his recommendations.

It is understood that the Cabinet Secretary's visit take place at some point during 2019.

A virtual training arrangement for healthcare professionals is being created.

The creation of the virtual Centre of Excellence (CoE) follows a recommendation made in the Sir Lewis Ritchie report on Out-of-Hours services for Skye.

While it is still early days, it is hoped a such a CoE, possibly based at the newbuild Broadford ‘hub’, should help future recruitment and retention of skilled staff to the area, improving sustainability and quality of health and social care services delivery.

Pam Nicoll, programme director for the Remote and Rural Healthcare Education Alliance (RRHEAL), said: “Sir Lewis envisaged this centre being based in SLSWR and being a centre for excellence for multidisciplinary undergraduate and postgraduate training and learning with a focus on delivering community – determined solutions.

“Such a centre could be an excellent way of attracting a range of health and care professionals to live and work in a rural setting and indeed perhaps address the issue of GP burnout that seems to be a feature of urban areas.”




A vehicle's tyres were damaged in Lonemore at the weekend.

A spokesperson for Police Scotland told The Skye Times: "Police on Skye were made aware of damage caused to the tyres of a vehicle parked in the Munro Place area at Lonemore.

"The tyres are believed to have been damaged between 4.15pm on Saturday, September 22 and 2.10pm on Sunday September 23.

"Enquiries are ongoing and anyone with information should call Police Scotland on 101, quoting reference NP3787/18, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

An innovative video consultancy service from the NHS will be tested on Skye.

The NHS Near Me Service currently allows patients to attend appointments in Caithness General Hospital in Wick using video links to consultants in Inverness, saving them the need for a 200-mile round trip.

The service will pilot on the island and allow patients to access the service in their own homes.

NHS say the first step is to recruit members of the local community to help with the design of the service.  Testing will begin immediately, with the aim of offering the service to patients across NHS Highland in 2019.

Clare Morrison, NHS Highland’s Near Me lead, said: “In terms of the next main locations – a NHS Near Me clinic will open at the Lawson Memorial Hospital, Golspie, Sutherland, next month. Then we are aiming to open clinics in Portree Community Hospital on Skye and the Belford Hospital in Fort William by December.

Stromeferry diversion plans will be under scrutiny at an upcoming meeting.

The Stromeferry Bypass is closed for major works overnight until approximately the end of November.

Organiser, Robert MacInnes, told The Skye Times: "As a community, we have been fighting with the Highland Council and Network Rail over the road-on-rail diversion, in which vehicles are convoyed onto the adjacent railway line (using special matting) to avoid the section of road undergoing major work.

"The whole thing from start to finish has been a shambles - cars are only permitted on the road-on-rail diversion when trains are not in a 'token' zone (in this instance between Kyle of Lochalsh and Strathcarron). This means that the openings are sometimes only eight minutes long... not enough time to get queues of over one hundred cars on either side of the route through the works!

A five-year Gaelic Language Plan has been published by the Scottish Parliament.

The Parliament’s Presiding Officer, Ken Macintosh MSP, said the plan demonstrates the value and respect Holyrood has for the Gaelic language.

Mr Macintosh said: “For more than a decade, Scots law has recognised the cultural and historic significance of Gaelic, and the vital part it plays in our nation’s age-old story and identity.

“As someone born in the Highlands and the son of a native Gaelic speaker, I was proud to be one of those who voted to pass the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.

“Over the past 10 years, our plans have ensured that people see and hear Gaelic being used in our Parliament. Despite the prominence of the language at Holyrood, Gaelic remains vulnerable and we cannot afford to be complacent.

It's celebration galore for Portree's gin distillers as they scoop a top award at the Scottish Gin Awards 2018.

Misty Isle Gin was awarded the gold medal for Distilled Gin of the Year yesterday (Thursday 20 September.)

The award ceremony was held in Glasgow and saw the Isle of Harris Distillery win Scottish Gin Distillery of the Year title.  

Alistair Wilson, Managing Director at Isle of Skye Distillers, said: "We are absolutely delighted to win the Distilled Gin of the Year category at the Scottish Gin Awards.

"As Scotland's national awards for the gin industry, taking home a Gold award means so much to us. The fact that Misty Isle Gin has achieved this while we're still only in our second year of production is just wonderful. Being acknowledged by such a prestigious judging panel helps to show we're on the right track, distilling a spirit which is produced locally right here on Skye, from start to finish."

The Highland Council will have to use its own budget to save the 29 toilets threatened with closure.

The Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning made the announcement yesterday (Thursday 20 September), contradicting recent reports that the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs pressed the Highland Council to request a grant from Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to keep the toilets open.

The Scottish Government's Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund totals £6 million and is there to ensure local services and facilities used by tourists and communities are protected.

Edward Mountain MSP asked what support the Scottish Government will provide to service the 96 public toilets managed by the Highland Council.

The Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning said that in a meeting with the Leader of Highland Council he made it clear that the council should "engage with local communities before taking any decision and should consider the potential longer-term impact on tourism in the area, rather than just short-term financial savings."

A campaign for greater awareness of how to safely overtake horse riders and cyclists on rural roads has won the backing of a national horse organisation.

The British Horse Society recently met with Kate Forbes MSP to discuss recent near-misses on Black Isle roads.

Since 2010, there have been almost 150 incidents on Scottish roads involving both motorists and horse riders – including two rider fatalities and 50 serious injuries.

Helene Mauchlen, manager of the British Horse Society in Scotland, said: “Standing on the B9163 at Kinbeachie on an early summer evening when so many riders want to access their safe off road hacking via this B road was simply terrifying.

“The speed and apparent disinterest of the cars racing between the A9 and Cromarty illustrated the problems faced by almost all horse riders and rural communities in Scotland not just on the Black Isle.

Be on your guard against bogus workmen, Highlands and Islands police have warned.

The police say that individuals may see the bad weather as an opportunity to defraud home owners by offering home repairs which aren't needed or have been exaggerated.

Lochaber, Skye & Lochalsh Preventions and Interventions officer PC Katy Duncan has urged people to be wary of these unscrupulous individuals.

She said: "Please be vigilant of anyone calling at your home offering to carry out repair work on roofs and chimneys, or offering to cut down trees which are dangerous.

"No genuine tradesman will cold call at your door offering to do such work.

Official figures show the economy in Scotland has grown by 0.5%, says Scotland's Chief Statistician.

These figures show Scotland has outperformed the UK in the second quarter of 2018, as the UK were at 0.4%.

In the first half of this year, Scottish GDP grew by 0.8 per cent – ahead of the UK at 0.6 per cent over the same period, and already higher than the 0.7 per cent growth forecast by the Scottish Fiscal Committee for 2018 as a whole.

The last year has seen the Scottish economy grow by a total of 1.7 per cent, whilst the UK lags behind on 1.3 per cent.

The Moll road will be closed until further notice, the Highland Council ha said.

The landslip, which occurred at the Loch Ainort section of the road, has covered the full width of the single track road and includes a collapsed culvert.

Advance ‘road closed ahead’ signs have been located at various points along the Moll Road from its north and south ends at locations that allow turning. Access will be maintained to all properties but there will be no through traffic.

Sailings between Uig to Lochmaddy will be cancelled from 11:45am onwards today.

The 9:30am sailing from Uig to Lochmaddy will operate as normal, CalMac say.

The ferry company cite south-westerly winds, gusting up to 52 knots and high swell conditions as the reason for the cancellations.

 

 

The Glenelg to Skye ferry will not be sailing today (Wednesday 19 September.)

The sailing has been cancelled due to the forecast adverse weather.

Part of the new Fairy Pools car park opened yesterday (Tuesday 18 September.)

The upper tier opening was described by the organisers as the "first step in the project's objective to help reduce the current congestion along the single-track road leading to Glenbrittle."

Organisers say the lower tier and linking loop should be completed by mid-November.

A collision blocked the A87 today (18 September 2018.)

The three-vehicle collision involved a white Vauxhall Mocca, a blue Nissan Micra and a Izuzu lorry.  No serious injuries were reported.

The accident took place at Blackhill Waterfall.

The road has been reopened.

 

Six people were assisted from a sinking yacht by Portree RNLI.

The yacht, located in the Shieldaig area, had dragged her anchor during the night and collided with submerged rocks.  

Portree Lifeboat crew were called out on Sunday 16 September to help with the large hole on the bow.  They stated: "Two lifeboat crew were put aboard with the salvage pump in a frantic bid to stop the vessel from sinking.  The vessel was then taken under tow by the lifeboat and a course set for Portree where repairs could be made.

An evening at Dunvegan Castle celebrated female contributions to films.  

The ATLAS Arts all-female film programme, Scalarama Skye, formed part of the Scalarama national film festival, inspired by the Scala Cinema in London.

The Skye programme was held on Wednesday 5 September and included three short films, one of which was the first narrative films ever made by pioneering and prolific filmmaker, Alice Guy-Blache La Fée aux Choux.

The other two shorts, L'Edifice Ephemere and Mahogany Too, were by French artist, Celine Duval, and Ghanaian-American filmmaker and cinematographer, Akosua Adoma Owusu.

Uig to Tarbert sailings will be disrupted today (Monday 17 September) following ongoing issues, say CalMac.

CalMac have updated travellers that the 2:10pm sailing from Uig to Tarbert will divert to Stornoway and is scheduled to arrive there at 5:10pm.

The 4:20pm sailing from Tarbert to Uig has been cancelled.  An alternative sailing will operate from Stornoway to Uig at 5:40pm.  The ferry should arrive at Uig at 8:40pm.

A wildlife cameraman who has worked on The Blue Planet and Planet Earth will be heading to Skye as part of a tour.

Doug Allen will share behind-the-scenes stories in his entertaining and informative show.  He will also highlight the most challenging assignments of his 35-year-long career that has seen him film wildlife on the Arctic and the deep oceans.

Born in Fife, Doug Allan spent seven years in Antarctica as a scientist, research diver and photographer for the British Antarctic Survey, before changing direction to full time freelance filming in 1983.

A Skye music festival will be joining the local Pubwatch group.

This initiative provides a means of sharing details of unacceptable behaviour across all of the licenced premises associated with the scheme, now including the festival.

It means that anyone who is the subject of an ongoing ban from local licenced premises can be prevented from attending the festival.

Skye Live will be held in Portree on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22.

Police officers have been working closely with the organisers and partners to help deliver a safe and welcoming event.

The Isle of Skye Pipe Band took first place in their grade at the recent Pitlochry Highland Games.

The event saw 18 pipebands marching through the village.  

Pipe Major, Alan Mackenzie, and Leading Drummer, Michael Matheson, led the band into the competing arena.  

On receiving the Silver Rosebowl and a winners cheque, Pipe Major Mackenzie paid tribute to the dedication of the band members for their sterling work throughout the year and earlier winning 4th prize at the European Championships and reaching the final at the World Pipeband Chapionships in Glasgow.

The band are now looking to recruit new pipers and drummers. If you are interested please contact the band through their Facebook page or contacting one of the members.

A two vehicle road traffic collision brought traffic to a halt today (Wednesday 12 September.)

The crash took place at the A87 by the Kylerhea road junction and involved a grey Ford Mondeo and a silver Peugeot.  

A spokesperson for the police told The Skye Times that there were no serious injuries.

The road was reopened at 2:12pm.  

A Portree student recently won the nursing student of the year award.

29 year-old Aimie Davis, originally from Portree and now living in Nairn, received the award, as well as a certificate and £100 cheque.  

Professor Fiona McQueen, Scotland's Chief Nursing Officer, visited the University of the Highland and Islands' nursing department in Inverness on Monday 10 September, and took part in the award ceremony.  

Aimie was selected for the award thanks to her outstanding performance in her academic work and clinical placement.

The growth of the Scotch whisky industry was marked last week at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

During the course of the evening Kate Forbes MSP spoke to several distillery representatives, including the Ben Nevis Distillery, Raasay and Diageo – who own Dalwhinnie, Talisker and Glen Ord.

Kate Forbes MSP said: “There has been a significant growth in the whisky industry in recent years, with new distilleries in Skye, Raasay and Dingwall to name just three.

“As whisky remains one of Scotland’s biggest exports, it’s great to see new, emerging distilleries located at the heart of Highland communities.

Carbost Post Office will be closed for two days next week.

The closures will take place on Monday 17 and Tuesday 18.  

The nearest alternative Post Offices are at Portree, Struan and Dunvegan.  

 

The new Duty Cox'n of Portree RNLI Lifeboat had his first call out on Sunday 9 September.

Brian Wells' first shout in command of the lifeboat saw him and the crew assist a yacht.  The vessel had snagged on a rope at the fish farm north of Portree.  They eventually released the yacht and made secure on a mooring in Portree.

Portree Community Centre will remain closed for now.

A meeting will take place between the committee and the local councillors early next month.  

They stated on Facebook that the hall would remain closed until the areas affected by flooding, including the large hall, were safe to use.

 

A car window was smashed in Portree yesterday (Monday 10 September.)

Police say the window was smashed between 9pm and 11:45pm.  

The event took place on Mill Road.  

Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 quoting NP/3644/18.

Police are appealing for witnesses to a two vehicle crash in Portree.

Police say the accident occurred on Staffin road around 12:45 on Monday 10 September.  

Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 and quote NP/3641/18.  

Police in Skye & Lochalsh have issued a warning about the dangers of speeding after a week-long safety campaign.

Thirteen drivers have been charged in relation to speeding by local officers, working with colleagues from the Road Policing Unit, during the campaign which ended on Sunday, September 9.

These included a man, 55, charged after a vehicle was detected at a 70mph in a 40mph zone at Balmacara and a 45-year-old man charged in connection with a detection of 55mph in a 30mph in Broadford.

Crowds were treated to a lifeboat display on Saturday 8 September.

The Kyle RNLI's Maritime Day began at midday, with the Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band playing to open the event.

The coastguard helicopter from Stornoway also made an appearance, putting on a winching display.

Police are on the look out for a man who was last seen in Inverness on Friday 7 September.

Wayne McMillan has potentially travelled to Skye and police are looking to make sure he is safe and well.

Anyone with information is asked to phone 101 and quote "Incident 1086 of September 8."

 

The Crossal road is now open, police say.

The road was closed earlier today (Friday 7 September) following a collision.  

Breath Underneath, Ho Ro, Peat and Diesel - as well as a host of authors.

Loopallu is back with a line-up of acts, including a rare performance by Breath Underneath.  Band front man, Erwin Lil VI said: “There’s been a place in my heart for Scotland ever since we travelled over from our home country of Peru to play the Electric Banana in Ullapool. Don’t look for it, it’s not there anymore.

"There was a young lad with a big dream running our gig that night. That young lad was Robert Hicks and when he called and asked me: 'Won’t you ever come home?'  We just couldn’t resist. Scotland and Peru used to be connected physically which is why we feel such a strong bond with the Scottish people and can consider it home. Don’t look it up, the evidence has been hidden.

"We can’t wait to deliver an electric performance of our 20th studio album ‘Fake News’. Love and peace to you all.”

A major road on Skye is closed.

Crossal road is closed due to a road traffic accident near Carbost.

Police have said the road is not passable and have advised drivers to use the alternative route via Dunvegan.  They have also advised against using the Struan Hill road

 

Gritting priorities for Highland Council roads and footpaths in the Skye and Raasay area this winter 2018/19 have been approved by Councillors this week.

Skye and Raasay Committee members have given the green light to a plan which includes road lists and maps prioritising gritting routes. It explains that primary routes are treated first, followed by secondary routes and then all ‘other’ routes as resources permit.

The plan includes an alteration to weekend services as set within the Council’s current Winter Maintenance Policy which was recently approved at the 16 August, Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee with a small number of ‘difficult other’ routes to be agreed at Ward level.

A woman's body has been recovered today (Wednesday 5 September) during a multi-agency search.

HM Coastguard stated they had been tasked to search for a female, who had jumped from the Skye Bridge.

Although formal identification has yet to take place, the family of Zsuzsanna Kovacs has been informed.

Police commented on the tragedy: "We would like to thank everyone who shared our appeal for information today and to all those assisted with the search.

"Our thoughts are with the family Zsuzsanna at this very sad time."

Portree Kennels will not be reopening, its owner has confirmed.

Karen Augier took to Facebook to share the news.  The kennels had been closed throughout the summer for structural work.  Karen stated on Facebook: "In order to meet the updated licence conditions for re-opening, we need to do further upgrading structural work, and a ‘modernising’ refurbishment of the full building. The costs involved to achieve such a project simply make it financially impossible for us to carry out what is required."

Karen also stated that she would explore other avenues for funding and look at any possible routes to reopening in the future.  For the moment, however, the kennels doors remain closed.

 

A Broadford Primary School Cook has received recognition.

Annette Burfoot won the Highland heat for the ASSIST FM – SCOTTISH SCHOOL COOK OF THE YEAR.

Annette competed with cooks from throughout Scotland at the Scottish Cook School in Kilmarnock and was invited to attend the ASSIST FM Conference at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow on 23-24 August.

She was delighted to receive the second place prize and was presented with a trophy to commemorate her work.

A multi-agency search is currently ongoing in the Skye Bridge area.

Police, RNLI, coastguard teams and the local mountain rescue have joined forces to trace a 38-year-old woman.

The search is ongoing for Zsuzsanna Kovacs following a concern call received this morning (Wednesday 5 September) at around 8.45am.

Anyone who knows Zsuzsanna and has information regarding her whereabouts is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 as soon as possible.

 

A sponsored walk is planned for this weekend.

Organised by the Portree and Braes Community Trust, the walk will start at the Storr and finish at Sligachan, encompassing 20 miles.

Founder of Lucky2BHere, Ross Cowie, has taken the challenge on and hopes others will join him along the way.

A search was carried out last night (Tuesday 4 September) for a walker who failed to meet a relative.  

13 members of Skye Mountain Rescue braved the thick mist and darkness of Blà Bheinn.  

The walker, who had become disorientated and took an alternative route down the mountain, was later located safe and well.

The team said: "Sarloc Rescue, a sheepdog called Jenny and some local knowledge all played a part in a happy outcome for this incident."

The spotlight was placed on Skye's tourism industry today (Monday 3 September.)

A report by Highland Council's Principal Tourism Officer, Colin Simpson, was discussed.

Mr Simpson reported that Skye had an estimated 660,000 visitors in 2017, spending 1.6 million overnight stays with an economic impact of £145 million.  

Mr Simpson also updated Members on the progress of local applications for the Scottish Government’s Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.  A £300,000 award to the Fairy Pools project to develop visitor facilities, including toilets, at the Glenbrittle pools and waterfalls; and £100,000 award for road access improvements and parking at Neist Point lighthouse, were 2 of the first 3 pilot projects awarded.

Highland Council has received 3 applications in the first round for: Storr Toilets and Motorhome Facilities; Portree Car parking and Motorhome Facilities; and Blabheinn Parking and Toilets. In the next funding round the Council anticipates receiving further applications for the Sleat, and Fairy Glen areas and perhaps for more Motorhome Facilities.

Mr Simpson said: “We are seeing great opportunities for tourism on Skye with good and improving access to the area; new developments include the growth of the cruise industry, increasing requests from film and TV shoots to locate in the area; and the development of the events industry.

“Visitor behaviour is changing in the area and creating ‘honeypots’; the unknown of Brexit and the ever increasing need of providing funding and match funding for tourism development all adds up to a challenging tourism environment that needs more investment if it is to thrive.”

 

Police are appealing for information on a missing man.

Jamie Williams was reported missing from his home in Inverness.  Police say he does not have access to a vehicle and may be hitchhiking.

The 46-year-old was last seen in the Church Street area on July 27, 2018, and has only recently been reported missing following concerns raised by his family.

Jamie is described as being around 6ft 4inches, of a stocky build with dark/greying hair that is long on top and short at the sides.  He has brown eyes, an English accent and when last seen he was wearing a black T-shirt and black jeans.

A man was seriously injured after falling from Broadford Pier into the sea on Thursday 30 August.

Members of the public were praised by the police for their quick thinking in assisting the man and providing medical assistance.

The 53-year-old man was airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital after sustaining serious injuries.

Portree Police Sergeant, David Canning, said: "Our thoughts at this time are very much with the family and friends of this male, who has been involved in an unfortunate accident.  

A fish normally found in tropical waters was spotted off the north coast of Skye.

The ocean sunfish was recorded on Friday by the crew of a fishing boat off the north coast of Skye. 

Sunfish, which drift with ocean currents, were once rarely seen in Scotland, but boat operators have reported more sightings in recent years, with August being the peak month.

A man's body has been recovered from the water at Loch Dunvegan.

Concerns were raised by a member of the public yesterday (Saturday 1 September) regarding an unmanned fishing boat in the area.

The body of a 68-year-old male was recovered close to the boat.  Despite resuscitation efforts, the man was confirmed deceased.

Police have stated: "There are no apparent suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of this male and family have requested that their privacy be respected at this time."

Emergency services converged on the pier at Loch Dunvegan yesterday (Saturday 1st September)

About 1330 hours on Saturday concerns were raised by a member of the public regarding an unmanned recreational fishing boat off the pier at Loch Dunvegan. 

Other boats in the area had reported a fishing boat with two lines out and a dog on board but no person to be seen.

More than 50 tourism businesses have taken a step nearer being crowned the best in the Highlands and Islands after being named as finalists in the industry’s annual ‘Oscars’.

On Skye, there is a range of contenders. These include Go to St Kilda, which operates out of Uig, in the Best Outdoor/Adventure Experience category; Charlotte Poynton, of The Three Chimneys, in Colbost in the Highland Rising Star category; and – in the Most Hospitable Hotel Category – the totally rejuvenated Skeabost Hotel, near Portree, owned and run by Anne Gracie and Ken Gunn whose accolades include Scottish Hoteliers of the Year and a Gold Laurel as two of Scotland’s ‘most visionary entrepreneurs.’

In the Outer Hebrides, finalists include Hebridean Celtic Festival, Stornoway, as Best Cultural Event or Festival and Isle of Harris Distillers Ltd, Tarbert as Best Visitor Attraction.

Competition to win a Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards (HITA) trophy reached a new high with entries and nominations this year surpassing previous record-breaking levels.

The 232 businesses and individuals vying for honours was more than 14 per cent up on last year’s figure.

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.

A SKYE community organisation will request a formal review into its rejected bid to purchase land at one of the island’s most popular landmarks, the Old Man of Storr.

Staffin Community Trust (SCT) - which believes Highland Council’s decision to turn down its offer to buy roadside ground at the Storr was flawed and against the spirit of new Scottish Government legislation - will also take up an offer from a senior official to negotiate.

Earlier this month, the council refused SCT’s Asset Transfer Request (ATR), which was the first in the Highlands under the new Community Empowerment Act.

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.

An interdisciplinary resource which aims to provide Gaelic Medium Education teachers with a 'one stop shop' of topic-specific material for the classroom is being launched at the national An t-Alltan conference for GME practitioners being held in Aviemore this week (Wednesday 27 and Thursday 28 September).

An Dàrna Cogadh was developed by Gaelic educational resources organisation Stòrlann Nàiseanta na Gàidhlig in response to Gaelic Medium Education practitioners' requests for a comprehensive teaching package, based online, on the subject of World War Two.

Available online at www.storlann.co.uk/an-darna-cogadh, the resource brings together many informative Gaelic texts and books— some created especially for this project — with a rich variety of other material from the wider world.

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.

Officials of the Highland Council roads team have asked the Sleat Community Council for any information on an illegal sign that appeared on Friday (September 22)  attached to an existing sign that is located at the Ord road end of the Sleat road.

It is claimed that the sign was affixed on Friday but was removed by Highland Council staff early on Saturday morning.

If anybody has any information on this sign or whom may be responsible for it then please message the Sleat Community Council via Facebook or email info@sleatcommunitycouncil.org.uk

The new website for Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba (AÀA) – the national advisory partnership for Gaelic place-names in Scotland – has been launched.

Following support of £7,100 from the Scottish Government, the new website includes AÀA’s database of Gaelic place-names which may be accessed free of charge.

The database offers definitive forms which can be used by local authorities, the media, researchers, local communities, walkers and climbers or anyone with an interest in place-names.

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.

Various primary school age young carers attended the launch of the photography and art exhibition.

The exhibition forms part of the Tha Seo Math Dhuibh – Good for You community arts-based programme.

Over the summer holidays, photographers Cailean Maclean, Iain Smith and artist Kate McMorrine worked with Skye & Lochalsh Young Carers.  

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.

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig has recently signed two separate memoranda of understanding: one with the Taigh Chearsabhagh Trust in North Uist and the other with Colaisde na Gàidhlig in Cape Breton, Canada.

Sue Fogden, Chairperson of the Taigh Chearsabhagh Trust and Boyd Robertson College Principal of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig have signed an MOU to develop Gaelic language activity in the operations of Taigh Chearsabhagh museum and arts centre in Lochmaddy.

Professor Boyd Robertson said: “North Uist and Sleat were historically linked through Clan Donald and this MOU affords the two communities an opportunity to forge a new association.  As the National Centre for Gaelic language and culture, it is incumbent upon us to meet the needs of communities throughout the country and to run classes and courses wherever there is a demand.  We were, therefore, more than happy to accede to a request from Taigh Chearsabhagh to establish a learners’ class in the centre and it is very pleasing that this group has now successfully completed our beginners’ course, An Cùrsa Inntrigidh.  

A Skye businessman will be cycling from Broadford to Aberdeen in aid of a charity that is close to his heart.

Mark Carter, of Carter's Cabin Takeaway in Broadford Marketplace, will be riding to raise money for Lupus UK.

Mark told The Skye Times: "My daughter, Amy Sarah Carter, was diagnosed with LUPUS SLE when she was 14.  Amy is now 21.

"The doctors thought it was originally growing pains, and she had mouth ulcers also.  This was then diagnosed as LUPUS.  

"This is an auto immune disease, which, in essence, means that her body is attacking itself constantly, which leaves her in great pain on a daily basis.  

Six Portree High School students spent time in Costa Rica, thanks to an EU-LAC-Museums exchange programme.

This project is part of continuing international EU funded youth exchange programme between Latin America and Europe, led by the University of St Andrews. Ceumannan, The Skye Ecomuseum, was identified as a partner due to its similarities to eco led museum projects in Costa Rica and Portugal.

With support from the Staffin Community Trust, The Aros Centre and Comunn na Gàidhlig this project will continue into 2018. Costa Rican students will come to Staffin and Skye to visit their Scottish counterparts.

The project is coordinated by School of Art History and Museum and Gallery Studies in the University of St Andrews.  In Scotland, this project is supported by Staffin Community Trust, the Aros Centre Portree and Comunn na Gàidhlig.

Sìne Ghilleasbuig and Donald MacDonald have been a tremendous support helping to set up and establish the youth project.  

Two local families are now moving into the houses at Kilbeg.

The village is the first built on Skye for more than a century.

Local families, Graeme and Laura; and Mick and Sandra, are moving into the houses.

The development was led by Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.  

Local businesses, including James MacQueen Ltd, Rural House Ltd and Clan Donald Lands Trust have all been involved in developing the new village.

Members of the City of Inverness Area Committee have given their backing for the introduction on a year-long trial offering 15 minutes of free parking within the city centre in On-street pay & display bays.

The pilot project will allow drivers to park for up to 15 minutes in on-street pay and display spaces without charge if they use the ticketing machines to print out and display a free ticket. It will not apply to pay and display car parks.

The Committee will review the scheme in 12 months and if it is adopted permanently, the Highland capital will be following in the footsteps of Perth, where a similar one-year trial was recently made permanent.

The Committee also approved to go out to public consultation on a plan to introduce 17 new short-stay pay and display parking bays across the city centre which will allow drivers to park for an hour for a charge of £1. Formal consultation will take place and any objections that cannot be resolved will come back to Committee for their consideration.

Provost Councillor Helen Carmichael said: “We have listened to requests from retailers and members of Inverness Bid to offer free parking periods so I am delighted this trial got the support of the Committee. Over the next 12 months the council will be closely monitoring how the pilot is going before coming to any decision about making the trial more permanent. It’s about striking a balance between making our city centres as accessible and shopper friendly as possible and managing congestion and the environmental impact traffic has within Inverness.

“In the future I would like us to explore having electric hop on and hop off transport within the city centre as part of the mix.”

The new parking arrangements will come into operation within the next few weeks once the pay and display machines are re-adjusted.

The excitment in the Raasay air was palpable - as was the lingering smell of whisky.

Crowds flocked to attend R&B Distillers' official ceremony today (Saturday 16 September.)

The Distillery will open its doors to the public next month.  Work is still to take place on the Distillery, but it was more than ready to receive its many visitors for the ribbon cutting today.  

NHS Highland can confirm that the Urgent Care Centre in Portree will reopen from 6pm this evening.

The health board stated that they were left with no option but to provide the out-of-hours service for Skye and Lochalsh from Broadford only for two nights this week (12 and 13 September) due to a staffing shortage.

However, the temporary suspension has been lifted and services will resume as normal this evening.

NHS Highland’s district manager for Skye, Lochalsh and West Ross, Kate Earnshaw, said: “We are pleased to confirm that we are in a position to reopen the Urgent Care Centre in Portree from 6pm this evening (Thursday, 14 September 2017).

“NHS Highland would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by the temporary suspension of the service.”

Ian Blackford MP expressed "deep displeasure" stating: "As things stand, I have been assured that the urgent care centre in Portree shall re-open Thursday at 6pm and NHS Highland shall put out a statement later today further explaining the situation. If for whatever reason, urgent care provision does not resume at Portree by 6pm I will take this up in the strongest possible terms with NHS Highland Chair David Alston.

Kate Forbes MSP has encouraged bus users across the Highlands to get involved in two new public consultations that will help shape the future of bus services and smart ticketing in Scotland.

Transport Scotland will conduct a number of events and stakeholder workshops to encourage participation in these consultations before they close on 5 December. 

Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, said: “Although the number of bus users is falling, millions still use buses across Scotland every day – and this obviously includes people right across my own constituency.

“Transport Scotland’s two new consultations offer the public and stakeholders in the Highlands an important opportunity to have their say on how best to improve Scotland’s bus services.

“In order to develop an effective, joint up, Scotland-wide smart ticketing and payment service, it is important that as many transport operators, public bodies and users as possible are consulted.”

More information can be found here.

 

A new group has been formed in Trotternish.

Trotternish Queen Bees are an independent group that aims to provide social, educational and cultural opportunities for women in the local area.

Claire Irons, secretary, told The Skye Times: "We used to be Trotternish Women's Institute but left the organisation in the summer.  We've now re-formed as an independent group, meeting once a month - on the second Monday of the month at 1.30pm in Kilmuir Hall.

"We are trying to get more members, especially those who tried the WI and found it wasn't for them as they might like the Trotternish Queen Bees.

"Our next meeting on Monday 9 October is a new members meeting when anyone interesting in joining can come along."

Anyone wishing to find out more information is welcome to attend or visit the group's Facebook page here.

 

Three youngsters have been awarded for their volunteer contributions to the community.

Skye & Lochalsh CVO (SLCVO) was delighted to award James MacRae, Cailean and Aodhan Stephenson the Little Star award for their help with the setting up, taking down tents and helping clear up the rubbish at the annual Skye Agricultural Show.

SLCVO told The Skye Times: "If you are holding an event or have young people doing regular volunteering with a project/group they can benefit from different volunteering awards.

"Young volunteers under 12 years old can receive the Little Star certificates for their volunteering.  Any young person aged 12 - 25 can receive up to 500 hours Saltire Awards, which is a recognised Scottish Government young person's volunteering award.

"The Saltire Awards also have Young Scot points for those who receive their different hour awards to claim prizes as another way of awarding young people's amazing volunteering efforts. 

"If you would like information on volunteering awards or opportunities, please contact Samantha-Jo McArthur on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 01478 612921."

Another defibrillator has been installed in Portree.

The latest defibrillator will be housed in the Cuillin Hills Hotel, making a total of 19 Portree defibrillators.

The defibrillator will be located in the foyer of the hotel and will be accessible at all hours.

Lucky2BHere's Jeanne Wells, Neil Campbell and Davie Urquhart delivered a training session which was attended by hotel staff and local residents.

Above: Jeanne Wells from Lucky2BHere handing defibrillator over to hotel manager, Edward Wickman.

Cash has been stolen from two Portree restaurants, say local police.

The cash was stolen from two restaurants on Quay Street.

Entry was forced to The Chippy and Taste of India on Quay Street in the town overnight between 9pm on Monday September 11 and 9am on Tuesday September 12.

Quantities of cash were stolen from both businesses.

One of the businesses is estimated to have had a low four figure sum removed, while the other business also had a quantity of cash stolen which is yet to be calculated.

Detective Constable Shonagh Laing said: "These are unusual incidents for Portree and we are appealing to anyone who was in the area overnight who saw anything they believe to be suspicious to contact us.

"If you have information which could help with our enquiries, please call 101, quoting reference NP8269/17, or to pass information anonymously please contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

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.

SNP MSP John Mason has questioned whether Skye is a "real island" because it has a bridge to the mainland.

The Glasgow Shettleston representative made the claim while Holyrood's rural economy committee was examining the Islands Bill.

He questioned why Skye should be included as it does not have transport issues which "real islands" do.

Responding to comments made by John Mason MSP at this morning's Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, Skye MSP Kate Forbes stated:

"I am sure that John knows that Skye is a real island, just as Glasgow is a real city. I certainly cross water to get there. Otherwise we would have to rewrite the Skye Boat Song.

"Ferry and transport problems are the tip of the iceberg, and there is a huge amount of work to do on the roads infrastructure for tourism, not to mention affordable housing and connectivity.

"That's why I'm so pleased the Scottish Government is bringing forward the Islands Bill, as it will make a huge difference to places like Skye.

 

"If anything, the conversation needs to focus more on rural-proofing remote rural areas on the mainland, such as the Ardnamurchan peninsula."

Police Scotland have confirmed at a man died following a road traffic collision on the A82 near Altnafeadh in Glencoe.

The incident happened about 12.02pm on Tuesday September 12 and involved a Fiat campervan and a male pedestrian, who died at the scene.

The occupants of the campervan were uninjured.

The man's next of kin have been informed and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal in due course.

The road has been closed to allow for a collison investigation to take place, with a diversion in place via the A85 and the A828

Sergeant Gregor Hay said: "Our thoughts at this time are with everyone affected by this tragic incident.

"Our enquiries are ongoing and I would appeal to anyone who witnessed the collision to contact us as soon as possible.

"Please call police in the road policing unit in Fort William on 101, quoting reference R050438, with any information you may have."

 

NHS Highland have announced that out-of-hours service from Skye and Lochalsh will be provided from Broadford only this week.

This will mean the Urgent Care Centre in Portree will close at 6pm this evening.

NHS Highland stated that there is a vacancy in the Rural Support Team which provides out-of-hours care to the north of the island and a number of staff absences - which has resulted in a shortage of staff to safely cover all of the out-of-hours shifts in Portree.  

All efforts to find staff from elsewhere, including agencies, have been unsuccessful.

Therefore, all urgent out-of-hours care which would normally be seen in Portree will be handled at the Mackinnon Memorial Hospital tonight and tomorrow evening (12th and 13th September).

NHS Highland’s district manager for Skye, Lochalsh and West Ross, Kate Earnshaw, said: “We have an extreme staffing situation between the two hospital sites on Skye and we are unable to safely staff the out-of-hours service in Portree.

“This has resulted in a temporary suspension of that service for this evening and tomorrow night. All urgent care will be managed by the out-of-hours service at the Dr Mackinnon Memorial Hospital in Broadford.

“NHS Highland would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and we would reassure people in Portree by stressing that all care will be appropriately responded to and that we are continuing to explore other staffing options while recruitment is in process.” 

Members of the Isle of Skye and Raasay Committee have considered the implications of the Scottish Government’s proposals for education governance.

The members have agreed to seek views on the proposals through discussions in their communities and local Parent Councils.

The Council has agreed to seek to work with Government, including through CoSLA, the Northern Alliance and other fora in an endeavour to influence the proposals in a more positive and constructive direction.

Chair of the Committee Councillor John Gordon said: “The proposals could remove the important role of local decision-making in education and driving attainment and would reduce the Council’s role to a mere administrator.

“There does not appear to be any evidence that removing governance from local authorities would benefit the attainment of our children. Removing a local, strategic, system approach to education, could put at risk the progress of recent years and disadvantage the children and families most in need of support.

The A82 has been closed in both directions in Altnafeadh, Glencoe following a serious road traffic collision.

Emergency services are currently in attendance on the A82.

The A82 is currently closed in both directions to allow emergency services to deal with the incident.

A diversion has been put in place as follows:

Northbound traffic to turn onto the A85 at Tyndrum and travel to Connel and take the A828 North to join the A82 at Ballachulish.

Southbound traffic to travel south on the A828 to Connel then take the A85 to rejoin the A82 at Tyndrum.

The Scottish Ambulance Service said it was alerted at 11:59 and an ambulance was sent to the scene.

 

Proposals for construction work at the Skye triangle ports of Tarbert (Harris), Uig and Lochmaddy have been shared with local communities in a series of public exhibitions which took place last week.

Around 100 people attended the exhibitions on 4 to 6 September, organised by Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) with The Highland Council, Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar, Transport Scotland and CalMac Ferries Ltd.  

The events offered local people the chance to find out more about the proposed harbour infrastructure improvement work for the arrival of the new 102-metre LNG ferry being introduced on the Skye triangle route.  

Those who attended were also invited to complete a consultation survey to assist in the ongoing planning process.  Anyone who is keen to submit their views can complete the survey online at www.cmassets.co.uk/skye-triangle-survey until 29th September.  Display boards from the exhibition will be available to view in ticket offices at each port later this week.

A summary of the proposals, which are available online, includes:

Glendale Community Hall remains closed, following flooding earlier in August.

Preparations are taking place to get the Hall open again, and it is hoped that work will start in the near future.

The Farmers Market and some Craft Market stalls will be held in the car park today (Tuesday 12 September).  A cafe will be run to raise funds for the Hall.

 

Inverness could see the introduction of 15 minutes free parking, if a proposed scheme gets the go ahead.

Highland Council's Inverness city committee will be asked to approve a year-long pilot of the initiative at a meeting on Thursday.

The scheme comes from the Inverness business improvement district (Bid) initiative and aims “to allow drivers to nip into businesses for ‘click and collect’ activity.”  Bid manager Mike Smith said: “It’s important we give a positive message to people looking to come here. Increasing pay and display provision is part of that.”

Officials have recommended approval of the plan, although the Inverness City Committee must consider the £100 cost of adapting 17 ticket machines.

The idea has been widely hailed a success after being implemented in Perth, despite abuse of the system being reported, with some motorists repeatedly refreshing their free-time ticket.

A possible solution, to be considered by Inverness councillors, is a system that demands drivers input their registration number.

However, that technology would mean replacing the 17 existing pay machines – at a total cost of £85,000.

Council officials have recommended approval of the plans for Millburn Road, Upper Strothers Lane, Church Street and Castle Street, adding a total of 17 extra bays.

Following the report published in March this year by HIE on the economic and social benefits of a proposed air service between Skye and the Central Belt, Skye Aerodrome was under the spotlight at yesterday’s meeting of the Skye and Raasay Committee.

As well as discussing  the report and the updated report which was submitted to first meeting of the new HITRANS Board in June,  local members looked at the current commercial operation activities at the aerodrome and approved changes that will see revised tariffs introduced and the development of an on-line Prior Permission Required (PPR) booking system.

Current charging levels are in place for commercial and non-commercial aircrafts as well as for parking and passenger load. Changes to charges approved by the Committee include the introduction of an annual Landing Loyalty card for customers offering a free fifth landing after four full price landings and a set charge of £1950 per day for the use of the aerodrome for filming, sporting and musical events.

Members were also advised that £15,000 of maintenance improvement works to areas of the aerodrome are expected to be carried out before the end of this financial year as part of a programme of works officers are developing. 

Further work is currently underway reviewing the comprehensive technical information by Highlands and Islands Airports Limited (HIAL) by a cross agency officer group involving Highland Council, HITRANS and HIE with a view of developing an indicative airfield layout plan, based on the essential infrastructure required to support scheduled air services

Area Chair, Councillor John Gordon said: “It was good to have the opportunity today to look at making changes to improve the operational side of things and also look forward to the potential development of scheduled air services to and from Skye and get an update on how work to take this forward is progressing.

“From what is happening elsewhere around the globe we can see how air services to and from small rural airports is playing a key role in supporting economic and community growth. Benefits include better connectivity and greater access to markets as well as attracting overseas visitors. As a Committee we look forward to working with HIE and HITRANS to press the case for the reintroduction of air links.”

Local priorities were top of the agenda when The Highland Council’s Skye and Raasay Committee met in Portree yesterday (Monday 11 September).

Last October the Committee drew up a draft list of local strategic priorities for the area which reflect the geographical diversity of the Ward to ensure that local needs and issues are taken into account by the Council as a whole. These were further discussed and refined at a Ward Business Meeting held in December.

At the council elections held in May this year 3 new Members were elected to serve the Eilean a’ Cheò Ward. Over the last 3 months all 4 Members have taken the opportunity to meet with officers and partners responsible for progressing some of the key priorities identified

These list of priorities come under the headings of Tourism; Infrastructure; Education; Housing; Community Works; Health and include:

The priorities with which The Highland Council will grit roads on the Isles of Skye and Raasay this winter have been approved by Councillors yesterday (Monday 11 September 2017).

The Skye and Raasay Committee members have approved a winter maintenance plan for the area which includes priority road lists and maps showing the priority gritting routes.

The Committee discussed the priorities of gritting a network of 170km primary routes (27%), 102km secondary routes (16%) and 346km other routes (57%) across the Eilean a’ Cheò ward.  Winter road maintenance for trunk roads in the Highlands is carried out by BEAR Scotland.  

Primary routes are treated first, followed by secondary routes and crews will only move on to treat other roads when the primary and secondary routes are all completed.

The routes have been set within the context of the Council’s current Winter Maintenance Policy which is in place to ensure a consistent level of service is applied across all areas of the Highlands.  Each year local areas put in place their Winter Maintenance Plan to cover the operational details in order to deliver a service locally within existing budget and resources.

Chair of the Area Committee, Councillor John Gordon said: “There is always a balance to be struck in the gritting priorities for our roads based on the amount of resources available and the need to reduce risk to vehicles and pedestrians.

“On Skye and Raasay we have access to real time data from 6 icelert sites and these sensors provide information on the road surface temperature, surface condition and the presence of salt. This information allows our staff to react to local conditions and throughout the coming winter we will monitor the agreed plan to make sure we cover any changes in weather using our existing resources to best effect.”

In the area there are 19 staff delivering winter maintenance supported by Amenity, Streets and Waste Staff. A standby system is in place to ensure sufficient drivers are available to cover weekends. Four gritters and 2 footpath tractors are deployed to spread on average 4,000 tonnes of salt each year.

Details of the Skye and Raasay Area priority routes and winter services information can be viewed by visiting the council’s website here.

A new short stay public car park for Broadford could be on the cards after local councillors discussed a range of methods to ease parking pressures on the island at yesterday’s Skye and Raasay Committee.

The Green and Somerled Square public car parks in Portree are to have their short stay car park tariffs amended  offering a maximum of two hours car parking at a revised cost of £1 for up to an hour and £2 for up to 2 hours. Alternative free long stay parking will still be available in Portree at the Bayfield car park.

Following the discussions held by members today a consultation will take place with the residents and businesses in Broadford where it is proposed that a new off-street car park (Broadford North)  be created for short term parking of up to two hours, the charge for which would be the same as the Portree short stay car parks. This is being proposed as a way to relieve difficulties for the public to access local services in the village and will include a 30 minute free period. Free long stay parking in Broadford would still continue to be available at the Broadford South car park.

Chair of the Committee, Councillor John Gordon said: “My fellow councillors and I are very aware of the parking pressures in Portree and Broadford and following feedback from our constituents we wanted to address the problem as a priority.

“After our discussions today we can now start the statutory process to alter conditions so we can change the two Portree car park tariffs with a set charge that is the same across all council run car parks on the Island. Consultation can also now begin with people in Broadford to get their feedback on proposals on making the new car park a short stay one to ease the current problems people are having on parking to accessing services.

“We now have a full time Parking Enforcement Officer who has been working on n the Island since the 15th August so this and the new parking measures will I feel go a long way to provide a better balance for drivers who want to park up for a quick visit to shops and to access local services and those who want to park up for a longer time.

“As a Committee we will be closely monitoring how these changes bed in and what difference they make to drivers.”

Skeabost Bowling Club are inviting anyone in the area to come along and play with them.

Meetings take place everyone Monday between 2pm at 5pm in Skeabost Village Hall.

The club members say there are plenty of spare bowls for those who don't have their own - and two mats to keep the games going.

A warm welcome awaits - along with a cup of tea and biscuits.  Anyone who is wishes is welcome to just turn up (please bring indoor shoes) or contact Ron 01470542417 or Steve 01470532796 for more details.

A new £50,000 fund that will install call-blocking technology for those most at risk from nuisance calls across the Highlands has been welcomed by Kate Forbes MSP. 

The fund forms a key part of the Scottish Government's Nuisance Calls Action Plan, which will raise awareness of the issue of scam and nuisance calls and empower people to protect themselves from scams. Stats have shown that Scotland is disproportionately affected by nuisance calls.

The SNP has consistently taken action to tackle nuisance calls, forcing the UK Government at Westminster to adopt legislation that punishes company directors if their organisations are found in breach of the law on nuisance calls.

Kate Forbes, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, said: "This new £50,000 fund is great news for people across the Highlands – with Scotland disproportionately affected by this issue.

"Nuisance calls are irritating for many people – and we need to be vigilant as they can be scams and leave people out of pocket as they target the elderly and vulnerable.

"This fund will ensure those most at risk from these calls can get the protection they need and call-blocking technology can be installed.

"This is part of our wider strategy to support people across the Highlands who might be affected by these calls – with the Scottish Government's Nuisance Calls Action Plan which will raise awareness and empower people to protect themselves.

"Despite SNP success at Westminster on this issue, there is still much to be done – and the power to regulate lies with the UK Government. 

"However, it is positive to see the Scottish Government taking action where it can, and we'll continue to press the UK Government to take greater action to reduce nuisance calls in the Highlands."

 

Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band is on a mission to attend the UK Championships in Belfast next year.

Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band started competing in 2015, going on to win the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championship in Edinburgh for the past 3 years in the Novice Juvenile B section, take a first in the British Championships, second in the European Championships and first place at the World Pipe Band Championship in Glasgow.

The Band are at the early stages of organising the trip to the UK Championships, held on June 16 2018.  The event is one of the five RSPBA major championships held each year.

Treasurer, Janice Nixon, told The Skye Times: "Our success has encouraged us to enter more competitions next year, so we are hoping to attend the UK Championships in Belfast. There is a considerable cost attached to competing at this level given the distances involved, accommodation & travel etc.

"We currently fund all our activity and equipment from local fund-raising efforts. With the publics support we hope to reach our target of £8000 which will allow us to realise our ambition of competing at the UK championships in Belfast."

The Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band's Just Giving page can be found here

Skye dancers are disappointed after being unable to compete at their local games, say local Highland dance group, Dannsairean an Eilein Sgitheanaich.

The group, which consists of 75 dancers, stated that the Skye Games Committee run an Open Only competition, meaning that dancers working through the rankings are unable to take part.  They claim this results in over 40 Skye-based dancers, as well as dancers from off the island, are excluded from the Games.

A petition has been started to allow Beginner, Novice and Intermediate dancers to compete at the Games.

The petition stated: "Of course, we understand that the Skye Games do attract world-class Highland dancers, and indeed Champions, and while this is wonderful, no dancer ever became a champion without first going through the ranks! It is so disheartening that some members of the committee appear to have no interest in developing talent, disregarding the young up-and-coming dancers so eager to tread the boards in the most iconic of locations.

We annually visit the games in both South and North Uist and are welcomed with open arms to their Official Board Registered Competitions. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were able to offer the same hospitality in return?

"This is not, however, just a local issue. There are dancers the world over who would dearly love to compete in Skye, in fact, one school travelled all the way from Canada to enter, only to be bitterly disappointed when not one of their pre-premier dancers was able to take part."

In the petition, Dannsairean an Eilein Sgitheanaich shared the story of Canadian dancers who were disappointed after being unable to dance.  Lee Vossler from Diamond V Highland Dance said: “I had the great pleasure of bringing my dance school to Scotland during the summer of 2016.  Being Canadian, we were all very excited, and ,of course, used the experience to also see the beautiful country and sites. 

"We decided that Skye would be one stop during our trip, and that we would dance at the Highland games. We were blown away by the number of competitors and tourists the community could bring in with their games.  It was truly spectacular and so great for the village of Portree. 

"It was with much disappointment that we realized this was an unsanctioned event, therefore the pre-premier dancers were unable to dance; a real disappointment for the little ones who just wanted to dance, and didn't really understand that the "rules" say they can't. We did have a wonderful time at the games, and it would have certainly been nice for everyone to dance, as this was the main purpose of our trip. 

"I hope to bring my dancers back in a couple of years and would love for this to be another destination point for us as it was so beautiful, and very welcoming.”

Dannsairean an Eilein Sgitheanaich conclude by stating: "We would like to ask the people of Skye whom we are proud to represent, as well as Beginner, Novice, and Intermediate dancers from all over the world, their teachers and families, to support us in our request to the Isle of Skye Games Committee: Please hold a Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing Registered Competition."

As of the time of writing, the petition has received over 1,600 signatures.  It can be viewed here.

Isle of Skye Pipe Band approached the end of a busy season with another success at the Pitlochry Highland Games. 

Joining another 17 Pipe bands with each band marching through Pitlochry to the Games field, the Skye band competed in the afternoon led into the competition arena by Pipe Major Alan Mackenzie and and were successful in achieving second place. 

Drum Major Peter MacDonald together with DM's Duncan MacDonald Badenoch Pipe band and Kenny Forbes', Vale of Atholl Pipe band provided a drum major's demonstration in the Arena in front of a large international audience. 

The Pipe Major's son, Alexander, aged 3 accompanied by mum, Megan, and drummer, Andrew Martin, led the Skye Band down the Main Street of Pitlochry.  

On Saturday 16 September, the Skye Pipe Band will be part of the opening ceremony for the new Isle of Raasay Distillery.  

Above: A celebration picture at Pitlochry Highland Games. 

A leatherback turtle was found dead, floating off the Isle of Raasay last month.

Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme posted about the turtle as part of their August strandings report.

Unfortunately, the turtle could not be recovered for necropsy.

A story with a happier ending was a report of a common dolphin entangled in fishing gear and floating at the surface at in Kylerhea Sound.

The animal was spotted from the ferry and, through great efforts of the ferry crew, was approached and released.

The animal was not very active at first, but after a while started swimming in a northern direction and has not been seen since, so the team are hopeful it has recovered well.

The full report and a video of the common dolphin can be found at their Facebook page here

Sound, sight and taste – all three of those senses will be delighted at this year's Skye Live Festival.

Festival organiser, Niall Munro, along with co-directors Ali MacIsaac and Michael Pellegrotti, have spent the best part of a year planning the festival – and, as well as creating a breathtaking audio experience, aims to utilise the senses of taste and sight.

"We will be back up at The Lump this year and it's important to make it a visual show, as The Lump is such a magical site," he told The Skye Times.  "The site lends itself perfectly to this music event, so we want to make it picturesque and iconic."

To do this, Niall has organised two stages - including one very special stage built around the Apothecary's Tower.  "Double Take Projections, who recently opened up the new Forth Road Bridge with a fantastic visual and light show, will be in charge of the tower projection duties," explained Niall.  "They are going to light up the tower and make it really atmospheric.  I'm excited to see what it looks like!"

Niall's brother, Calum Munro, will be giving the audience a true flavour of Skye.  Calum, owner of Portree's Scorrybreac restaurant, aims to feature Skye produce at the festival.  "The focus will be rustic, but local, fresh produce," Niall said.  "The Scorry pop up is going to be called Scorry Scran."

The event, which will take place on Friday, September 22 and Saturday, September 23, will feature Django Django, Niteworks, Optimo and Joy Orbison.  "Those acts are a good representation of the festival as a whole," Niall stated.  "The overall feel is Celtic, dance and electronic."

Niall's love of music festivals goes back to when he was at school.  "I remember the weeks prior to the original Skye Festival," he said.  "The excitement of knowing it was on, going there and finding out about new music I'd never heard before was phenomenal.  I want to create that same kind of thing for people on Skye and those coming from far away.  I love the fact that we are able to bring such a world-class line up to Skye."

To get tickets for two days of entertainment, visit www.skyelive.co.uk.  Tickets are also available at the Skye Music Shop in Portree.

Above: Skye Live 2015.

For the first time, Donnie Munro performed at the Aros Centre tonight (Friday 8 September.)

Donnie Munro and Friends were playing at Portree as part of the international Sweet Surrender tour.  

The concert proved to be so popular that a second performance was added and will take place tomorrow (Saturday 9 September.) 

The audience included fans new and old, including one who had followed Donnie's career through his early Runrig days until now and was in the audience thanks to her sister arranging a surprise night out!

The A82 is blocked east of Glencoe village because of an overturned crane.

Police are on scene. Nobody is thought to be seriously injured but the road is blocked and the vehicle needs to be recovered.

The police have advised road users to try and avoid the road if possible.

 

SSE will begin the transportation of turbine blades from Kyle of Lochalsh harbour to the Skye Aerodrome.

The route encompasses the local road network, the A87 and A887.  The network includes Kyle Prospect Road, where the harbour's lower level car parking bays will be closed off for the duration of the deliveries.  Alternative parking will be made available at the Lochalsh Hotel and Lochalsh Leisure Centre.

The blades will be transported between Monday September 11 and the end of October 2017.  

Deliveries will be slow moving and under police escort.  

Work is underway in Skye which is set to revolutionise diagnostic endoscopy services across the Highland are.

Capsule endoscopy or PillCam is being piloted in Skye, and aims to provide easy access to diagnostic endoscopy. Instead of having to travel to hospital for an invasive procedure, a pill - which includes a tiny camera - can now be taken.  As well as being less invasive, the capsule can be taken at home with the results discussed at home or the Medical Centre.

Commenting on the new development Dr Steve McCabe, who met the research team and proposed the local trial, said: “This is really exciting for our patients. It puts Skye and NHS Highland at the forefront of the development of Gastro Intestinal investigations. With the new technology, diagnostic endoscopy can be organised and supported locally from local practices without having to travel for an invasive procedure.”

He added: “It is a fantastic development and good example of how technology developed for other fields can and should be used to deliver high quality clinical care to remote communities.”

Dr Will Nel, clinical lead for the locality, and an endoscopist, said: “The pilot, which is also taking place in Ullapool practice, and being co-ordinated by senior clinicians from Raigmore Hospital, is going well. It will hopefully demonstrate that this approach will work in any practice irrespective of the locality.”

The test is for diagnostic scopes only. Anyone requiring biopsies or treatment scopes would still have to travel to Belford or Raigmore Hospital, as currently happens.

The endoscopy service in Dr Mackinnon Memorial Hospital was stopped several years ago due to health and safety concerns. At that time, NHS Highland was of the view that the service could be resumed in the new facility. Now the Board has confirmed that the Endoscopy unit will not be included in the specification for the new hospital.

A review conducted by Mr James Docherty, colorectal surgeon and NHS Highland’s clinical lead for Endoscopy, highlighted a number of reasons why this would no longer be appropriate.

He said: “The low level of activity would mean the service would only run for one session per week. This alone would mean it would not be sustainable including staff not able to maintain skills.”

 

 

£20,500 from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise will enable the Meanish Pier development project to take a step forward.  

The slipway, pier and surrounding area of land at Meanish were taken into community ownership in 2013 by the Glendale Trust.  Plans were put in place to develop the area to meet the needs of the local community and bring the area back into use. Plans including, visitor moorings, safe walk ashore access to the water, improved parking and improvements to the slipway were developed through detailed community consultation by the now Chair of the Crown Estate Scotland, Amanda Bryan who carried out the initial community consultation work on behalf of the local community.

Since then volunteers have secured a Local Management Agreement for Loch Pooltiel as well as planning approval from the Highland Council for the proposed improvements. A new head of terms has also been negotiated with Crown Estate Scotland for the proposals.

The Meanish Pier Working Group made up from members of the local moorings association, community council, Glendale Trust and boat operators have agreed to work with Kames Fish Farm Ltd Oban who were granted planning permission for the production of salmon or trout in the local Loch Pooltiel.  Kames as part of the planning process have offered to work with the community group, and using their expertise and resources deliver much needed infrastructure and subsequent wider benefits to the area.

The award from Highlands and Islands Enterprise will provide funding for the professional services required to formalise agreements between Kames and the community group.

Stuart Cannon Managing Director of Kames said I look forward to working and co-operating with the community and Glendale Trust to the mutual benefit of all that participate. We hope that the deep-water moorings will provide a safe anchorage for passing yachts, men and women who wish to stop over for a night or two to enjoy the fine foods that the local area produces along with appreciating the fine scenery from land.

The floating walkway will provide continuous access for small boats, canoes and small vessels to the shore, no matter what state the tides are.

These facilities and perhaps improvements to the pier and the slipway, should allow the community to generate more activity and jobs.

Local boat operator and Glendale moorings association secretary, Greg Lane spoke positively about the proposed improvements: “This will be a much needed improvement and enable boat users easier access to the moorings at all states of the tide."

Karen Redfern director of the Glendale Trust made clear: “the Trust understands the importance of our role as owners of the pier, slip and surrounding land at Meanish in our negotiations with Kames.  We are pleased that the HIE funding will enable the Trust to secure the professional services that will formalise agreements moving forward and ensure they deliver the maximum benefit to the local community and area users.  We look forward to demonstrating that community organisations can work successfully with commercial operators and ensure all parties including the environment can benefit.”

Jennifer Macpherson, development manager at HIE’s Lochaber, Skye and Wester Ross team, said: “The redevelopment of Meanish Pier and the surrounding area is an important growth project for the community of Glendale, having been part of its Community Growth Plan for a number of years. Our assistance for this project ensures that the community benefit is maximised from a commercial operator leasing a community owned asset. We look forward to seeing more benefits being realised following the valuable work of the HIE-funded Local Development Officer employed by The Glendale Trust.”

A casualty with leg injuries was assisted from Sconser Golf Course earlier in the week.

Portree and Kyle Coastguard Rescue Teams were tasked to assist the Scottish Ambulance Service.  The casualty was transferred to the Helimed for onward transport to hospital.

A man from Portree, who had been reported missing, was located.

Matt Wollacott, last seen in Glasgow, was found "safe and well," say police.

The police thanked all those who had assisted in locating Mr Wollacott.

The Highland Council has rejected a request to transfer land at the Storr to the Staffin Community Trust.

Staffin Community Trust proposed to use the land to create a car park and public toilets.

The council said the current plan would leave it with the burden of funding maintenance of surrounding land.

Despite having refused the Trust’s Asset Transfer Request in its current form, the Council remain optimistic that a partnership approach can still deliver the substantial improvements required at the site and have extended an invitation to continue dialogue with the Trust towards a solution.

Eilean a' Cheò Ward Members Councillors Finlayson, Gordon, MacDonald and MacLeod have backed the decision taken by the Council’s Asset Management Project Board on the 5th September.

Speaking on behalf of the Ward Members, Chair, John Gordon said:  “We are supportive of projects that help improve much needed infrastructure, for the benefit of local communities and improved visitor management.  In relation to the specific request at the Storr, however, Member support would require guarantees that this is delivered through a mechanism that does not separate any Council capital investment and revenue generation from the responsibility of the management and maintenance of the Council owned site in its entirety.  Members would also require that it protects the wider public benefit and interest in perpetuity and protects the Council’s financial interests.”

Members hope that a solution can be found that protects and enhances the natural heritage assets at this nationally important site while supporting economic benefits for the Ward and beyond.

The council stated their reasons for the refusal included: "The proposed disaggregation of the car park from the remainder of the site would separate the revenue generating potential of the site from the burden of management and maintenance. The lack of reinvestment in the wider site would be detrimental to the integrated management of the site for wider, sustainable public benefit. The proposal would therefore have a negative impact upon the ability of the Council to deliver its functions."

Police are searching for a missing man.

Matt Wollacott, aged 31, is from Portree and was last seen in Glasgow.

Police have asked members of the public to contact them on 101 with any information.

The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch has welcomed the Scottish Government’s plans to bring derelict properties back into use as affordable homes. 

Kate Forbes MSP believes that the measure – coupled with better connectivity that could bring more jobs to the Highlands – will help boost rural communities that have been trying to reverse the trend of depopulation.

The announcement was made in the Scottish Parliament chamber by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as she announced the Programme for Government. 

Kate Forbes MSP said: “Depopulation of Highland communities continues to be one of the greatest barriers to economic growth – and people are our greatest resource – with their ideas, their families and their commitment to rural communities

“While previous action by the SNP in government has focused on empowering Scotland’s rural communities, the plans announced for the coming session appear to go even further and expressly put repopulating the Highlands at their very heart. 

“Central to that ambition will be providing more homes across rural Scotland, not just by building new homes but by bringing vacant properties back into use.”

The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch continued: “Across my own constituency you see myriad buildings which once served a useful purpose and now sit idle. 

“A single sprawling estate alone might have half a dozen farmhouses, an assortment of byres and steadings, a scattering of cottages, a gatehouse or two or even an old mill all sitting empty.

“But while an abandoned croft house might be a haunting sight on a picture-postcard Highland hillside, for me it should provoke a less wistful, more pragmatic response: let’s turn these houses back into homes. 

“It is not a situation unique to the Highlands. From the Borders to Barra, from Aberdeenshire to Ayrshire, thousands of properties lie derelict – some in an advanced state of decay, but many still wind and watertight and in relatively good nick. 

“It’s time to bring them back into action to provide much needed homes for young people in rural Scotland. 

 

Skye Camanachd won the Marine Harvest Valerie Fraser Cup for the first time with a storming 6-1 win over Lochaber in the final at An Aird.

A good sized crowd gathered for this show-piece occasion and there was a children’s banner parade ahead of throw up with Ardnamurchan Primary School judged to have the best display.

This 3pm throw up was a repeat of the 2016 final when four-goal Kirsty Delaney helped Lochaber to a 4-2 victory. This was the first time the sides had met since that day and Skye captain Lorna MacRae, who scored both her team’s goals twelve months earlier, was to play a key role.

After the disappointments losing out in the final to Glasgow Mid Argyll in 2014 and Lochaber last year, Skye tasted Valerie Fraser Cup success for the first time and Iain Fraser from sponsors Marine Harvest presented the trophy to captain Lorna MacRae.

Lorna MacRae also deservedly collected the player of the match award from sponsor Peter Gow.

The sides have still to meet twice more in the league this season with the title destination still in the balance.

Iain Kennedy was the match referee.

Skye Head Coach Robbie Gordon spoke after the match. “The girls played really, really well,” he said. All the things we have practiced at training paid off today. Our movement was good, our passing was good and our shooting was good. Everybody played their part and we were dominant in every area of the park. It’s not every day you win a Camanachd Cup and these girls have worked really hard and they deserve every bit of it.”

Skye captain Lorna MacRae added: “After last year’s performance, we knew what we had to do today. This is the biggest competition to win so it’s great to get this success under our belts and now we’ll concentrate on trying to win the league again.”

Four overnight closures are planned on the A83 Ballachulish Bridge.

Maintenance works worth over £400,000 are to be carried out starting later this month.

The work will commence on Monday 11 September and is estimated to last for seven weeks.  The four overnight closures are planned in late October.

The maintenance works involve replacing the bridge expansion joints in the bridge deck, ensuring the structure continues to function safely for many years to come.

Temporary traffic lights will be in place continuously during the works and a temporary 30mph speed limit in place to keep road workers and motorists safe during the improvements. 

To allow teams to access the bridge joints in the centre of the carriageway, four overnight road closures are required to ensure that the work can be completed safely.  These are scheduled for October (dates to be confirmed), between 10pm and 6am.  Further information will be shared in advance to inform all relevant stakeholders of the planned closures.

The dates for the closures will be scheduled to avoid clashing with any traffic travelling during the Royal National Mòd in Lochaber. 

During the four overnight closures, light vehicles will be diverted via the B863 to Kinlochleven, adding an estimated 30 minutes to the journey.  Due to the width of the B863 carriageway and the presence of a weak bridge, this route is unsuitable for HGVs so they will be diverted via Spean Bridge, Laggan and Perth.  Alternatively, HGVs will be stacked at either side of the bridge until the closure is lifted at 6am.  Consultation with the Road Haulage Association, Freight Transport Association and local hauliers has been carried out to ensure they are made aware of these restrictions, and instead encourage them to travel outwith the closure hours or find an alternative route once dates have been confirmed.

 

Andrew Lennie of The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen in Edinburgh claiming the crown has won Talisker’s Race to Skye competition.

Six finalists took part in four different challenges for the opportunity to work as a brand ambassador for Talisker for the next year.

The first challenge took place at Blair Athol distillery in Pitlochry, where the finalists were tasked with creating a whisky highball using Talisker, with huge differences in the entries.

The most unique entry came from Charles Roche of Scout, who recreated the smell and taste of wet rock and moss with his combination of rock, oak, pine, lavender, rock and rain, and Talisker 10yo.

Andrew used the power of storytelling, having written a story about a walking experience from the perspective of his Uncle Joe to bring his mix of Talisker 57 North, plum sake, Campari, peach bitters and jasmine tea to life.

Andrew stated: "’m really surprised and obviously very pleased."

Andrew has won the opportunity to work as a brand ambassador for Talisker over the next year.

"Whisky might be part of Andrew’s repertoire as a bartender, but it’s also personal passion; he brought Talisker to life in unique ways,’ said Diageo Reserve whisky ambassador, David Sinclair.  "He’s a natural story teller. I’m excited to be working with him over the coming year, to continue his personal legacy with Talisker and the Race to Skye competition.

"I think any opportunity to take bartenders to the Isle of Skye, to the home of Talisker, really brings it home what a unique spirit Talisker is.  What backdrop could give more inspiration than having the Cuillin Mountains on one side and Loch Harport on the other?  Whisky experiences don’t get much better."

Staffin's Dugald Ross has received recognition for his dedication to finding and preserving dinosaur bones and footprints.

Mr Ross received the Mary Anning Award from the Palaeontological Association (PA) earlier this year.

The award was open to all those who are not professionally employed within palaeontology but who have made an outstanding contribution to the subject. 

A PA spokesman said: “The award was made to recognise Dugald’s nomination to palaeontology on Skye, particularly his role in the discovery of dinosaur fossils and footprints (including Scotland’s first, as well as fossils of early mammals, not to mention his establishment of the museum in Staffin.”

Palaeontology academics, including Dr Stephen Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh and Dr Neil Clark at Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum, travelled to Staffin earlier this summer to present the honour.  

“Dugald Ross is a remarkable guy,” stated Dr Brusatte in the PA newsletter. “For decades he has collected dinosaurs and other fossils on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, taking time out from his busy life as a builder and a crofter.  A self-taught fossil hunter, he has published numerous academic papers and is Scottish Natural Heritage’s point man for safeguarding fossil sites on Skye.

"As a teenager he even started his own fossil museum, the Staffin Museum, by rebuilding the ruins of a one-room schoolhouse and filling it with bones, teeth, ammonites and other specimens from across the island."

The full report from the newsletter can be read here.

 

 

A kayaker was rescued from Loch Bracadale earlier last week.

Mallaig RNLI assisted the kayaker from the loch.  The casualty was then transferred to an ambulance.  

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.  

 

 

 

The descendent of an Uig couple has embarked on a quest to find any present day relatives living on Skye.

Marilyn Campbell is searching for information on Donald Campbell and Mary Bethune, who emigrated to Australia from Uig aboard a ship called The Midlothian in 1837.

They left with 4 children: Robert (Marilyn's great grandfather) age 10, Archibald (Archie) age 7, Mary age 5, and John age 2.

Donald's 13 year old younger sister, Ann, also emigrated with them.

Marilyn told The Skye Times: "Donald Campbell was born in Sleat, Isle of Skye, around 1800 or 1801.  His wife, Mary Bethune, was born in Uig in 1799. They were married in Uig in 1828.

"Donald was the Innkeeper of Coach House at Uig, now called the Uig Hotel and held the lease for the “Inn Keeper’s Croft” at Uig, on 21st July, 1823 until 31st August, 1837.  [“The Clan Donald Centre” at Armadale has old Snizort Parish Rent Books that confirm this].

"Donald and Mary emigrated to Australia on board the ship “The Midlothian” in August 1837 along with their four children: Twins Robert and Archibald (Archie), age 7, Mary, age 5, and John, age 2.  Donald’s younger sister, Ann, also emigrated with them. The passenger list records Ann’s age as 13, though she could have been older.

"An outbreak of typhus and dysentery on the journey out resulted in the deaths of six women and 18 children, one of whom was their 7-year-old Archie, who was buried at sea.

"Donald and Mary had 3 more children after they settled in the colony of New South Wales: Donald Roderick, Norman and Alexander.  Despite their tragedies, Donald and Mary fared well in their new land, as did their children.

"Donald died in 1873, age 73, and Mary in 1890, age 91.

"I am travelling to Skye on 4-6 September and would like to meet anyone who is related."

 

Anyone with any information should email Marilyn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Two Isle of Skye doors have been nominated as the best of their kind in Scotland.

To celebrate the launch of Doors Open Days 2017 and its own 50th anniversary, the Scottish Civic Trust has invited people to nominate their favourite Scottish door.

The Colbost Folk Museum, nominated by stunt cyclist, Danny MacAskill, is one of the doors in the running.  In his nomination, Danny said: "I have literally been there since I was two or three years old and have many good memories. The smell of the peat fire and the rusty old chain that locks the door, come straight to mind, talking about it now. You even have to duck to walk in beneath the thatched roof."

The door of Ostaig House in Sleat also received a nomination from Gaelic singer, Anne Martin.  She stated: "This door has welcomed hundreds, if not thousands of performers through its doors - offering a sanctuary during hectic touring schedules! The occupants have given time, energy, love, beds, food and drink to people from all over the world which ensures that Sleat has a vibrant art scene to match any worldwide."

Click here for a full shortlist and information on how to nominate your favourite Scottish door.

Gaelic speakers, particularly those in the Staffin area, are wanted to assist with a PhD in Gaelic dialects.

Charles Wilson told The Skye Times: "I will be in Skye on the weekend of 15 and 16 September. I am looking for one gentleman and one lady, preferably older, who have not lived away from Staffin, or at least have lived most of 

 their lives in Staffin."

Ideally, the candidates will speak Staffin dialect of Gaelic.

The study will only take 30 minutes, and includes some conversation and some questions about how certain things would be said in Staffin.  It is audio recorded, but all personal information is anonymised.

Charles continued: "Once my PhD is submitted, I am happy to send an info pack to participants and to the Staffin Community Trust. The info pack will include the conclusions of my PhD, and how Staffin helped me with that.  As part of my PhD, I am collecting the traditional dialects of the Hebrides, and comparing them with previous accounts of dialects.  I would like to include the Staffin dialect in this study, so I am reaching out to you, hoping that you will be able to help me find suitable participants.

"I am following the footsteps of previous dialectologists that toured Scotland in the between 1951 and 1963 to document and describe the regional dialects of Gaelic.  Their data is available in the School of Scottish Studies Archives at the University of Edinburgh. 

"During my meetings with speakers, I talk to them about their lives on the island, documenting history and dialect at the same time.

"Then I ask them how they would say certain things naturally, or what they'd hear and what they prefer. If this were in an English context, I may ask, "would you say "if I was" or "if I were"?

"What do you hear people saying? How does "if I were" sound to you?" By the end, I should have a relatively useful dialect bank, though it will be by no means thorough because I'm just one person travelling around in one summer."

 To find out more about Charles and his project, you can click here, email cThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 07450 462 543.

Above: Charles, second from left, with a family in Ness who helped him with his work.

 

 

hub North Scotland has announced that Balfour Beatty has been appointed the main ‘tier 1’ contractor for NHS Highland’s proposed new hospital for Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross (in Broadford).

The latest announcements follow on from other recent key milestones for the new hospital with the appointment of the design team and the submission of the pre-planning applications.

As a ‘tier 1’ supplier for hub North Scotland, Balfour Beatty International (North Scotland) will work alongside the project’s design consultants – architectural firms Oberlanders based in Edinburgh and Portree-based Rural Design – who were appointed in June, in conjunction with engineering design firms Waterman Group and Rybka.

The hospital is being produced by hub North Scotland as part of a £30 million design, build, finance and maintain contract for NHS Highland which will see the Skye project ‘bundled’ with a planned hospital in Badenoch and Strathspey (in Aviemore).

 

 

Gill McVicar, director of NHS Highland’s North and West operational unit, said: “This is another very exciting step in the process towards developing a new facility for the people of Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross.  I understand that the contractor will be starting exploratory work on site in the near future.”

hub North Scotland’s chief executive Michael Padzinski said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with NHS Highland to develop and deliver these important new facilities for the communities they serve.”

Both hospitals form part of wider redesigns across Badenoch and Strathspey and in Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross.  The arrangements on Skye will see a new, modern integrated health and social care ‘hub’ in Broadford and a ‘spoke’ facility in Portree with all the inpatient services provided from the ‘hub’.

One of five similar organisations in Scotland, hub North Scotland is the driving force behind the planning, procurement and delivery of community-based infrastructure projects working with partnership and private investors; Scottish Government involvement through the Scottish Futures Trust and some 16 health boards and local authorities across the north of Scotland.

A Farm Advisory Service event will be held early in September.

The Suckler Cow Management Workshop will be organised by the Portree Scottish Agricultural College (SAC).

The event is being held at Sasaig New Shed by kind permission of Mr Donald John MacInnes and family, owners of a suckler cow herd.  

 

The main speakers at the event will be Gavin Hill SAC Consulting Beef Specialist, and Ian Tolmie Dingwall and Highland Marts Ltd Managing Director.  There will be other talks on the day and the opportunity for those who attend to receive one to one advice.

All are welcome, as the day will suit all involved with cattle - from those with lots of experience to those new to the industry.  If you would like to attend, phone 01478 612993 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Lunch is provided. 

The event will take place on Saturday 9 September from 11am to 3pm at Sasaig Shed, Sleat.

Design work that focuses on improving the Longman Roundabout is expected to take place.

Transport Scotland announced on Thursday 31 August the intention to award a contract to carry out option assessment and design work on the A9/A82 Longman roundabout improvement scheme.

Subject to a standstill period, Jacobs UK Ltd will start design work on the project.  It is expected that the options assessment process to identify a preferred option for this busy junctions will take approximately 15-18 months to complete.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “The Scottish Government recognises the need to provide high quality road infrastructure to support economic growth and improve journey times for road users in and around Inverness. 

“As part of the Inverness and Highlands City-Region Deal significant investment will be made in the trunk road network to deliver the grade separation of the A9/A82 Longman junction and the A9/A96 Inshes to Smithton Link Road to improve congestion and accessibility to Inverness.

“Improving the traffic bottleneck at Longman is a key priority of the Scottish Government and the appointment today of a design consultant to look at options for improving this well-known junction in Inverness is a major step forward in delivering this improvement.  We will continue to work in collaboration with The Highland Council whilst taking this scheme forward.”

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.  

With a new storm looming, the Southern Hebrides will be cut off tomorrow as there are no sailings across the Minch and Sea of the Hebrides.

Tomorrow’s Mallaig-Lochboisdale sailings are cancelled “due to a forecast of high winds gusting up to 49mph.”

Ferries to the Small Isles are cancelled tomorrow while routes to Raasay, Leverburgh, Eriskay, and Armadale all face disruption or cancellation.

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

With winds forecast to gust up to 60 knots over the next two days, ferry operator CalMac has issued its first weather warning of the season.

Widespread disruption is forecast to services up and down the west coast as high winds are likely to place restrictions on sailings.

'There is a high likelihood that services will experience weather related disruption across the Clyde and Hebrides routes this week with the worst of the weather due to hit Tuesday and Wednesday. People should look at the forecast carefully before travelling and check their arrangements if they plan to travel with us,” said CalMac's operations director, Drew Collier.

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.

The scene at Lochmaddy after mv Hebrides overshot her berth at the pier to run aground in front of waiting passengers.  Photo: Norman MacAskill

There's a need to 'look again' at the positioning of the Lochmaddy harbour yacht pontoons says one eye-witness who watched as the Caledonian MacBrayne 'MV Hebrides' ferry crashed through the pontoons when it overshot its pier berth on Sunday (September 25th).

Norman MacAskill, of South Uist based haulage company ND MacAskill & Son, was parked in the vehicle queue waiting to board the 'MV Hebrides' on Sunday when the incident occurred at 11.05am, as the ferry was approaching Lochmaddy.  “You knew right away when she came around the corner and the speed she was going at that this wasn't a normal manoeuvre,” he said.

 

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"

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