Monday, November 19, 2018
The skye times mobile

Armadale could see a redevelopment of its shop, post office and petrol station - if plans submitted to the Highland Council get the go ahead.

Sleat Community Trust was awarded £80,000 from SSE toward the redevelopment costs of the project.  

The Trust was chosen as 1 of only 15 projects out of 87 applications that SSE has agreed to fund.

Sleat Community Trust offices will also receive refurbishment.  

The plans for the redevelopment remain available to see in the Trust Offices.

 

Communities affected by Royal Bank of Scotland closures will receive support, says the Highland Council.

The motion by the Leader and Convener of The Highland Council states: “In view of Royal Bank of Scotland’s continued determination to close Highland branches and cause problems particularly with tourism, small businesses and the many people in our communities that do not have or wish to access online services, we believe Highland Council now needs to take initiative where we can.

The War Memorial in Portree's Somerled Square is currently undergoing restoration work.

A spokesperson from the Highland Council told The Skye Times: "Restoration work is underway to restore the memorial to a good standard, including replacing lettering to mark the WWI centenary."

They also stated that it is aimed to complete the work at the end of July to the beginning of August, depending on the weather.

Pupils from Sleat Primary School received recognition from a conservation charity.

MSP, Kate Forbes, congratulated the pupils on their awards from the John Muir Trust, which has been working with the children as they compiled scrapbooks and carried out tree and wildlife surveys in the local Tormore Forest.

After a two-month project, pupils were presented with their Discovery Award certificates on Monday 25 June at a special ceremony in the school.

A 51 year old woman injured her ankle in south Skye on Friday 22 June.

The casualty was injured on the path between Strollamus and Torrin.  

Twelve members of the Skye Mountain Rescue Team, along with local police, assisted at the scene and the woman was taken to Broadford Hospital for treatment.

A Skye man will be among a team of injured servicemen taking part in an infamous mountain bike race.

45 year old Simon Culshaw, from Portree, will be heading to France to take part in the Mountain of Hell race.  

Mr Culshaw served in the Kings Own Scottish Borders infantry regiment for 4.5 years.  He was discharged in 1994 after suffering from anxiety and later moved to Portree after suffering a stroke.  

Mr Culshaw took up mountain biking last year while on an Outdoor Adventure course.  He said: “I had a lot to learn but I really enjoy it. It’s fun with an element of danger – like being a kid again and trying something new for the first time.

A purse has been left behind in a Staffin cafe.

Belonging to Geraldine Ryan, the purse was left in Kilmartin River Cafe, where it is currently held safe and sound.  

The owner of the purse can phone Morag on 01470562322.

A collie dog has been reported missing in the Kensaleyre area.

Police say the dog answers to "Jill".  Anyone with any information is asked to call 101.

A Viking long ship created by pupils from Elgol Primary School on the Isle of Skye is now on public display in Armadale Castle museum.

As part of their curriculum Primary 1 to 6 pupils researched and then worked as a team to design the model ship, which is now exhibited at the museum.

Acting Head teacher at the time Mhairi MacDonald said: “The pupils are delighted their long ship can now be enjoyed by members of the public. Its creation was very much a team effort and I would like to thank them for all their hard work. I would also like to thank the staff at our school and the parents for their support. Everyone was very enthusiastic and fully on board with the project and the whole school found it a great experience.”

The Highland Council is informing parents on changes in how the authority collects information on funded Early Learning and Childcare following guidance introduced by the Scottish Government.

The data will be provided by the local authority (parents do not need to do anything). Information such as name or medical information will not be shared. The information will be transferred from local authorities to the Scottish Government using secure data transfer systems, and access to data will be restricted.

What data will be collected on your child?

The information that will be collected on your child has been chosen to help Scottish Government understand how families are using funded ELC and to help ensure that funded ELC is accessible to all. The following will be collected:

Skate/bike ramps will be be installed in Portree next year.

The project was undertaken by the Portree and Braes Community Trust Outdoor Activities Subgroup after a desire for the ramps was identified.  They stated: "This is the first project undertaken by this subgroup of the Trust, chosen after similar equipment was borrowed from the Lochaber area in July 2017 and was extremely popular and well used for the weeks that it was on site."

The group had raised around £3,500 thanks to local fundraising and generous support.  They were also awarded £9,591.49 from Highland LEADER to help make the project possible.

There has been "a trend of hit and run collisions," according to local police.

Police say they have noticed increasing numbers of drivers failing to leave their insurance details after colliding with another person's car.

Police Scotland said it did not need to be involved in collisions unless someone was hurt, or a road was blocked because of the crash.

But it added that it was an offence to leave the scene of minor collisions without swapping insurance details.

CMAL will host further public meetings to update communities on the harbour revision order (HRO) needed at Tarbert to allow for the harbour improvement works to begin.

To prepare for the new ferry that has been procured by Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL), upgrade work is being proposed at the harbours at Tarbert, Lochmaddy and Uig, known as the Skye Triangle ports.

CMAL’s proposed harbour improvements will include, pier reconstruction and extension, seabed dredging to improve vessel access, land reclamation to increase the vehicle marshalling area and reconstruction of the terminal building.

The recent Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) AGM saw a change of Company Secretary after a decade of dedicated service from John Bannister MBE.

“John has been doing a sterling job as our company secretary” said Russell Smith, Chair of the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF), “and it is very sad for us, but understandable, that he wishes to retire from official duties and concentrate on his croft business. It is a very responsible governance role and takes a great deal of attention to detail. He was also secretary of the Skye and Lochalsh branch of SCF, and a great passion of John’s was practical, accessible training in crofting skills. He set up the SCF training programme 20 years ago and was closely involved in the programme and the training panel until recently. 

“We expressed our thanks at our board and council meeting, awarding John an honorary life membership of the SCF and presenting him with the traditional shepherd’s cromach, a symbol of his stewardship role.”

Is your name Sarah?  Did you recently celebrate your wedding anniversary by throwing a bottle into the sea? 

The bottle, with its accompanying romantic message, has travelled all the way from the Isle of Skye to Prestwick.

The note begins: "Today in celebration of our first wedding anniversary, I write you this love note in a bottle.  In celebration of our love of the outdoors and for this love for both to last forever, we throw it into the sea from Skye, Scotland."

The bottle was discovered by Elissa Wilson during a volunteer clean of Prestwick beach.  She told The Skye Times: "The note is from Sarah.  Sadly it's not dated, and she doesn't give her partner's name."

A historic claymore sword has been stolen from a museum in the Small Isles.

The sword was taken from Canna House on the Isle of Canna.  Police believe it to have been stolen some time between Wednesday 6 June and Saturday 9 June.  

 

The 7 feet long sword dates back to the 17th century and is described as a two handled broadsword with a double edged blade, a wooden grip and a stamped fleur de lys.

Reporting officer Constable Neil Davies said: "Incidents like this are extremely unusual in the Small Isles and I can assure people we are working to establish what has happened to the sword.

A local organisation is in the running for an award.

I Love Skye could win in recognition for the transformational clean up of Skinadin Lay-By, near Broadford.  Organised by Matt Harrison, the lay by clean up saw over 10 tonnes of waste removed from the area.

Speaking about the possibility of receiving the award, Matt told The Skye Times: "I have been working very closely with the team at Keep Scotland Beautiful, specifically a lady called Georgina.  After updating her on the various stages of the campaign, she suggested that I nominate I Love Skye for a Clean Up Hero award."

Matt continued: "Due to incredible support from the local residents and business community, I have also suggested the clean up is nominated for the community award.  The general enthusiasm from the volunteers, the provision of a skip, catering and even beer from local businesses really helped the effort."

Food and drink experts from all over Scotland attended the two-day Skye Food and Drink Festival on Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 June.

Project Manager, Pam Allen, told The Skye Times: "This year's Skye Food and Drink Festival attracted almost 500 visitors on 13 & 14 June at Aros.

"26 producers from Skye and surrounding regions were on hand to chat and share their knowledge and their produce in an Artisan Market.

"Chef demonstrations by Calum Munro, Lady Claire MacDonald, Scott Davies and Helen Vass were hugely popular and Isle of Skye Distillers and Talisker led Masterclasses. The festival ended with a ceilidh and delicious BBQ from Croft No9 with the Isle of Skye Pipe Band kicking off proceedings. After a wee lie down thinking caps will be on for 2019.

Local police are appealing for information regarding a theft in Portree.

The police say an address in Blaven Road was entered and items, including a black rucksack, had been taken.

They say the theft took place on Thursday 14 June between 2:30pm and 8:30pm.

 

Highland Council launched the new "Positive Relationships and Bullying Prevention Policy and Guidance" Care and Learning Policy.

The policy is the first to be developed by young people across the Highland from initial consultation to its launch.

The policy was launched yesterday (Thursday 14 June) at the High Life Highland, Highland Youth Parliament (HYP) Annual Conference.

Pupils from Bun-sgoil Shlèite (Sleat Primary) developed their First Aid skills during workshops held in May.

The workshops, specifically designed to fit into the school day, were held courtesy of West Yorkshire Medical Services.

 

The Head Teacher, Mrs Hazel Morrison said: “To be equipped and be able to respond in an emergency is a very valuable skill and one that we were delighted to be able to offer to every pupil in primaries 4-7, thanks to Mike and his team and for the support from our Parent Council."

Bun-sgoil Shlèite school staff are set to attend a Paediatric First Aid Course and the Emergency First Aid at Work Course with West Yorkshire Medical Services Highland Division in the near future.

 

 

A yacht came loose from its mooring in Portree Harbour in the early hours of Thursday morning.

At 4.10am, Portree Lifeboat crew were called out.  The 36ft yacht was resting on the shore at Scorrybreac after snapping its chain mooring.  

The Lifeboat towed the boat back to a safe mooring.

The duty Coxwain, DonnieNic, is quoted as saying "At 4.30am, Storm Hector made for challenging conditions to retrieve the yacht from the shoreline and back to a safe mooring."

 

 

The Visitor Centre of the Isle of Raasay Distillery has been named a Five Star Visitor Attraction by Visit Scotland.  

Raasay Distillery is independently owned by co-founders Alasdair Day and Bill Dobbie.  Alasdair Day comments: “We were delighted to receive a five-star rating from VisitScotland for our visitor centre. It reflects all the great work by our talented team, who have managed to set a high standard in such a short amount of time."

Chris Taylor, VisitScotland Regional Leadership Director, adds: “It is commendable that the Isle of Raasay Distillery Visitor Centre has achieved 5 Stars so soon after opening in January 2018. Delivering a quality experience that not only meets but exceeds visitor expectations is crucial in making Scotland a must-visit, must-return destination.

Plans to close almost 30 public toilets across the Highlands have been delayed.

Highland Council has extended its review of its running of the loos by two months until 31 October following feedback from communities.

Budget Leader and Chair of Corporate Resources Councillor Alister MacKinnon and Councillor Allan Henderson chair of Environment, Development and Infrastructure report: “In view of serious community proposals coming forward and being assessed, by groups such as North Coast 500 and others across the Highlands, through the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund, it is prudent to allow extra time for the review.

“The review will be extended to 31st October, to ensure we have a sustainable network of toilets across the Highlands.

“The Administration is also looking at ways of creating a council loan fund to help communities with conversion to community ownership.”

Local police shared good news on their Twitter page on Tuesday 12 June.

The police were able to report that Daniel Buckner, who was missing in Australia, has been traced safe and well.

The police had asked their followers to retweet their original post to help find Daniel after his family had reported him missing.  Police said their Tweet had received over 2,200 reTweets.  They signed off the post with the hashtags: "#PhoneYourMumWhenTravelling #AmazingFollowers."

 

Storm Hector is expected to hit Scotland’s west coast overnight causing widespread disruption to ferry services, operator CalMac has warned.

Ferry services to Castlebay and Ardmhor on Barra have already been disrupted while ferries between Lochboisdale, Mallaig and Armadale also face warnings of delay or cancellation.

The strongest winds will reach Northern Ireland during the early hours of tomorrow (Thursday June 4th) before moving up through the Inner and Outer Hebrides throughout tomorrow morning.

The refurbishment of the Sleat War Memorial at Kilmore is due to begin in August.

Highland Council have advised that funding from the War Memorials Trust has been awarded for the Memorial's refurbishment.

A contractor has been appointed and work will start on August 20.  

Major delays are to be expected for anyone travelling at night between Kensaleyre and Kingsburgh in the months of June and July.

The A87 road will be closed between the two points from 7pm to 7am Monday to Friday nights.

Vehicles will be escorted through the roadworks approximately every hour.

The roadworks will commence on 18 June 2018 and finish on 7 July 2018.

A Sabhal Mor Ostaig tutor has been awarded an MBE as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours List.

Ms Christine Mary Primrose, originally from Carloway, received recognition for services to Gaelic Music to Culture and to Education in Scotland and Internationally.

Ms Primrose told The Skye Times: "I am delighted to be given this award.  I feel it recognises the great tradition of Gaelic song, the tradition bearers of the past and those  who  are still  keeping it alive.  It shows the strength of the tradition and how it still expresses emotions that resonate today.”

Carbost's new playpark was officially opened at the weekend by Kate Forbes MSP.

Saturday 9 June saw the new playpark's first day of use.

Kate Forbes helped the parents behind the bid for the new park to secure £50,000 funding from the SUEZ Communities Trust Ltd, on top of the group's existing sterling fundraising.

The Skye MSP visited the group at the old swing park last summer, and heard from local mums and families as they explained the clear need for new play facilities for youngsters in the community.

One Storr incident turned into several for Skye Mountain Rescue over the weekend.

The team arrived to assist as casualty with a suspected broken leg, only to hear another person had possibly broken their ankle on the path near the car park.  

The Scottish ambulance service assisted the second casualty, while Skye Mountain Rescue Team provided first aid to the initial person.  The first casualty was transferred to the Western Isles Hospital in Stornoway by Rescue 948.

Meanwhile, a request for assistance was being dealt with for a female who was cragfast.

Finally, the team were approached in the Storr car park to assist with a cut finger.

They said: "We've been called out to The Storr several times over the last few weeks for lower leg injuries so watch your step if you are planning on heading up as the path can be very slippery - even in the dry!"

 

Results for the Skye Half Marathon Fun Run have now been released.

Over 100 runners took part in the race from Portree High School to the cattle pens and back.  

The prizes were distributed by Kate Forbes, MSP.

Local police are appealing for help to trace a missing man.

28 year-old Daniel Buckner has been reported missing by family on Skye whilst travelling in Darwin, Australia.

Police say that Daniel was last heard from on 21 May.  

Local police took to Twitter to ask for help in sharing their post across the globe to help make sure Daniel has safe and well.

 

Kate Forbes MSP distributed the prizes for the winners of the Fun Run today (Saturday 9 June.)

The Fun Run racers started just after the Half Marathon runners left the finish line.

The winner of the boys 5-8 section was Ryan Dunkel with a time of 8 minutes and 20 seconds.  In the same age group, Isla Preston was the first girl with a time of 9 minutes and 58 seconds.

 

A new course record was set at the Isle of Skye Half Marathon today (Saturday 9 June.)

An unprecedented number of racers took to the streets to complete the course.

The record was set by race winner, Cameron Milne, who won with a superb time of 1 hour 9 minutes and 10 seconds.  This was Mr Milne's first time racing the Half Marathon.  He described the course as "really tough" but said he "enjoyed every minute."  

Làithean Cultar (Culture Days) were organised this week on 6 – 7 June by the Highland Council Gaelic Team and Bun-Sgoil Ghàidhlig Phort Rìgh.

Established actors, authors, dancers, story tellers, artists, sports leaders, singers and musicians in the national Gaelic and cultural sector led the Làithean Cultar sessions.

Head Teacher Mrs Flora Guidi, said: “The Làithean Cultar were a huge success on many levels; especially as the whole school including the Sgoil Araich participated and every child had the opportunity to take part in the sessions, which included, dance, creative writing, sports, drama, story- telling, art, and Gaelic Rap music.

“All the sessions where held through the medium of Gaelic and the Làithean Cultar were educational, informative and fun. The young people enjoyed participating and they also learnt from authors, writers, actors, singers, sports leaders, and artists.”

Calmac's Clansman ferry is returning to service ahead of schedule.

The vessel, which has been having essential repairs carried out to its propulsion system, was due back in service on June 13, but will now be back in service on Saturday, June 9 on the scheduled Oban-Coll-Tiree service.

The vessel’s return will allow MV Lord of the Isles to deliver an additional Oban to Lochboisdale sailing today (Friday, June 8) after which she will restart the suspended Lochboisdale Mallaig service tomorrow (Saturday) along with delivering the Mallaig-Armadale route as scheduled.

The Skye and Lochalsh Citizens Advice Bureau are the first in Scotland to receive recognition for their high standards in three main areas.

Their skill with housing, welfare and money advice has been acknowledged by the Scottish Government when they were awarded "The Scottish National Standards in information Advice" accreditation - making them the first and, as yet, only CAB in Scotland to receive this accolade for all three areas.

 

Ian Blackford MP stated: "This is great news for them, as I know they are a very dedicated and caring team who work hard to help their clients.

"It is also extra good news as it comes during Volunteer Week as we appreciate the role of volunteers who make it possible for many organisations to function, such as the CAB Service.

"My special congratulations to everyone in the Skye and Lochalsh CAB team on achieving this award and to volunteers everywhere."

The constituency MSP for the Isle of Skye will officially open a new play park in Carbost tomorrow afternoon (Saturday 9 June).

Kate Forbes MSP helped the parents behind the bid for the new park to secure £50,000 funding from the SUEZ Communities Trust Ltd, on top of the group's existing sterling fundraising.

The Skye MSP visited the group at the old swing park last summer, and heard from local mums and families as they explained the clear need for new play facilities for youngsters in the community.

Anyone watching the third episode of Scotland From The Sky will have seen a boat, built by Plockton pupils, appearing on screen.

Owned by James Phimister, the boat was built by Plockton High School pupils in 2013 in the Am Bata project, enabling young people to learn about boat building.

James told The Skye Times: "The episode featuring the Viking canal also featured my boat, Venn.  Last June, I was approached by the BBC as they required a rowing boat to do some filming."

He continued: "We basically sat and waited for high tide, but it wasn't high enough to get into the loch - so it is filmed like we're relaunching the boat from the loch and rowing out from the canal."

James' boat has already had its share of stardom, appearing in Danny MacAskill's The Ridge video - and, recently, a Spanish elopement at Eilean Donan Castle.

 

 

The Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee voted unanimously to keep a long-running petition on the controversial redesign of healthcare services open for a further six months.

Earlier today (Thursday 7 June) the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee decided it would return to the matter at a future date, pending the implementation of Sir Lewis Ritchie's recent report into healthcare provision in the north of Skye.

The Holyrood petition from SOS Skye, which was first heard in 2015, calls for an Independent Scrutiny Panel (ISP) to be established to examine NHS Highland's major service change proposals in the region.

The committee will write to the Scottish Government to ask for their views on Sir Lewis Ritchie's independent review of out-of-hours service on Skye.

Kate Forbes MSP will raise the shortage of affordable Highland homes in the Scottish Parliament chamber during this week's General Questions.

The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch has scores of housing cases across her vast constituency, and anticipates more Scottish Government-funded homes becoming available by 2021 based on the 50,000 target.

Last week a Highland Council report highlighted the general "upward" trend of homelessness on the Isle of Skye which was creating "considerable difficulties for the housing team", whilst over in Badenoch people can struggle to get on the housing ladder because house prices dwarf the median local wage.

Are you a dinosaur fanatic?  Head for Skye, says Wanderlust.

The travel magazine rated the island as one of Seven Real-Life Jurassic Parks Around The World That Dinosaur Fanatics Will Love.   

Skye's dinosaur prints and tracks have been recognised as "globally important" and are helping researches to gain a better understanding of dinosaur development.  

Little wonder, then, that the island is number four on the travel magazine's list. 

"You can literally walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs," Wanderlust says, commenting on the prints at Staffin Beach.  The list also praises Staffin Museum for its casts of the prints, as well as dinosaur bones and fossils from the area.

 

Key changes to Skye hospital care have been approved by the Scottish Government.  

An Outline Business Case for Skye hospital care has been approved and will see Skye healthcare "bundled" with a redesign in Badenoch and Strathspey.  

Alterations include refurbishment of Portree Hospital and Broadford and Kyle Health Centres.  

Healthcare in Skye took a step forward in May, following the recommendations published in Sir Lewis Ritchie's Report.  

The recommendations included 24/7 access to Out of Hours urgent care at Portree Hospital; an increase in the ambulance service's capacity and capability; developing a rural training centre of excellence for clinical staff and in-patient bed availability at Portree Hospital continuing until there is a sufficient alternative provision.  

Police will soon be keeping teddy bears in their vehicles.

The "Trauma Teddies" will be used to comfort young children who come into contact with police through traumatic circumstances.

Police are working with the Safe, Strong and Free charity to bring the bears to the Highlands and Islands.  Once enough bears are collected, they will be kept in the police vehicles.  

Anyone wishing to help create the cuddly comforting bears can do so by getting a knitting pattern from Safe Strong and Free (email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..) 

Broadford has been named a top-rated UK Coastal Destination, according to a TripAdvisor company.

The company, HolidayLettings.co.uk, reveals Broadford is among the UK’s best-rated beach and seaside destinations.

Analysing reviews and ratings, the holiday rentals site found that Broadford ranks third among the UK’s best-rated beach and seaside destinations, with an average review score of 4.935 (out of 5.00).

In a blog post, Holiday Lettings highlights Broadford as “a great place to start exploring the Isle of Skye. Climbing, walking and fishing are popular pastimes in this picturesque village, and wildlife enthusiasts might get the chance to see orca whales, seals and otters off the coast.

Scottish Conservative MSP, Edward Mountain, has launched a Raigmore Parking Campaign and is calling on NHS Highland to take a stricter approach to freeing up parking spaces at the hospital.

Plans for three overflow car parks were approved by Highland Council.  A lack of funding has seen the plans go on the back burner, although NHS Highland leaders say they will be revisited in the next financial year.

The hospital currently has 900 car parking spaces with an extra 200 used for overflow and staff accommodation.

Highlands and Islands MSP, Edward Mountain, commented: "The purpose of the Raigmore Parking Campaign is to find ways to free up more parking spaces for patients, visitors and hospital staff.

Police are investigating the whereabouts of a woman visiting Scotland.

Saskia Schiffer was last seen in the Berryden area of Aberdeen about 4pm on Tuesday 5 June.  Saskia is visiting the area from Germany and it is likely that she will be travelling through Scotland - with Glen Coe being specifically mentioned.  

She is described as 5ft 2, slim build, shoulder length light brown hair, wearing navy clothing and trainers.

Anyone who has knowledge of Saskia or her whereabouts or comes across anybody fitting her description is asked to contact Police Scotland via 101 quoting inc 2591 of the 5th of June 2018.

The Isle of Skye Half Marathon on Saturday 9 June will see a variety of roads being closed for the first time in the race's history.

Road closures include the road from Portree Cattle Pens to the Prabost Junction, which will be closed from 10:15am until 12pm.  

The closures will affect Borve Junction, Struan Hill road junction and the Skye Camanachd/Portree Gaelic Primary School road access.

A full list of road closures and times are above.  

Members of the Isle of Skye and Raasay Committee have given their backing to progress being made on proposals for developing air services to and from Skye. They have also given their support to the setting up of a working group to spearhead the establishment of a trial air link between Skye and Glasgow.

A paper setting out a proposed way forward was presented to the HITRANS Board meeting at the end of April.

At the Area Committee yesterday (Monday 4 June) Councillors had the opportunity to discuss the report which sets out the wider socio-economic benefits of reintroducing scheduled air services to Skye and looks at delivering the new investment in an affordable and sustainable way. Taking into account constrained public sector finances, recommendations in the report include the initial setting up of a trial air link between the Skye and Glasgow and proposes that a working group be established to develop this option.

Homeless applicants in Skye and Lochalsh are likely to spend 6 months in temporary accommodation, according to a report to the Skye and Raasay Committee.

Highland Council say the report yesterday (Monday 4 June) focused on the local housing issues.

 

Housing provision and homelessness continues to be a pressure in Skye and although there has been a drop in homeless presentations during Quarter 4 of 2017/2018, members were advised that the general trend is upward. 

Police are appealing for information after a hit and run collision in Portree yesterday (Monday 4 June.)

The collision took place in the Co-Op car park at around 10:15am.  

Police say they are looking for a Volkswagen Passat estate with BBS type alloys.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101.

The Isle of Skye has once again received recognition for its outstanding beauty.

Listed in Expedia Viewfinder as one of the 55 Most Breathtaking Destinations In The World, Skye is described as having a "misty and mystical landscape."

Kohleun Adamson, who wrote the article, stated: "Scotland as a whole is important to me personally, as I lived there during my early 20's and consider it one of my favourite places on earth.

"Isle of Skye in particular made this list of the world’s most breathtaking destinations, because the island’s beauty is more than surface level.

Local police took to Twitter to share a challenge they faced over the weekend.

The Lochaber and Skye Police Twitter page gained a reputation for injecting humour into their Tweets and a post made on Sunday 3 June proved to be no exception.

They Tweeted: "If there is a station anywhere in the country having to wash off more midgies during the Sunday car wash tradition then we’d be surprised."

The local team shared photographs from their car wash, showing the vehicle coated in midgies.  

A female casualty with a serious leg injury was rescued at the Quiraing over the weekend.

Skye Mountain Rescue say the injury was the result of being struck by a falling rock.

The casualty was taken by stretcher down loose ground before being uplifted to HMCoastguard Rescue and then taken to the WI Hospital in Stornoway.

The full results for the Trotternish Ridge Race, held on Saturday 2 June, have been released.

Alexander Beaven raced into first place with his time of 3 hours 16 minutes and 21 seconds.

He was followed by Dave Ward, from the Pennine Fell Runners club, with a time of 3 hours 29 minutes and 54 seconds.

Iain Stewart took third place in 3 hours 40 minutes and 42 seconds.

Sarah Wingrove was the first lady across the line, finishing seventh overall, with an excellent time of 3 hours 57 minutes and 30 seconds.

The second lady to reach the finish line was Mary Lye with a time of 4 hours 36 minutes and 39 seconds.

Catherine Magill became the third lady to finish the race, with a time of 4 hours 41 minutes and 1 second.

Harris resident Paul Finnegan is getting set to swim from Skye to Harris as part of The Little Minch Swim attempt before taking on the Big Minch, swimming from Lewis to mainland Scotland.

This is despite only trying out open water swimming for the first time this year.

Paul – who has previously taken part in several long-distance running events – and open water swimmer Colin S Macleod, from Stornoway, will set off from Waternish Point on Skye .

Misty skies transformed to brilliant blue just in time for Ally Beaven to cross the finish line at the Trotternish Race today (Saturday 2 June.)

With a time of 3 hours 16 minutes and 31 seconds, the racer finished over ten minutes ahead of his nearest competitor.

Dave Ward finished in second place in 3 hours 29 minutes and 54 seconds.

Speeding along in third place was Iain Stewart with his time of 3 hours 40 minutes 42 seconds.

Anyone wishing to transfer their entry for the Isle of Skye Half Marathon must do so today.

Race organisers have said that all entries must be transferred by 5pm today (Friday 1 June.)

The Half Marathon will be held on Saturday 9 June and will see a record number of racers competing to win.

One of Skye's most famous restaurants has won an award.

The Three Chimneys has added to its accolades the Restaurant of the Year Award at the Catering in Scotland (CIS) Excellence Awards 2018.

The awards, which took place on Thursday 31 May at the Doubletree by Hilton Glasgow Central, were launched in 2004 to recognise, reward and celebrate the exceptionally high degrees of creativity, innovation and excellence in the Scottish hospitality, catering and tourism sectors.

Anyone driving between Braes and Sligachan on Saturday 2 June will likely see a rainbow of colourfully-clad walkers.

Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers, along with staff, volunteers and family, will be taking part in the Five Charities Rainbow Walk.

They will be supporting British Heart Foundation, MND Scotland, MacMilllan Nurses, CLIC Sargent and Medical Detection Dogs.  Money raised will be split equally between the five charities.

The trek starts at 10am from the Peinchorran/Balmeanach junction to the road end then along the Sligachan lochside to finish at Sligachan Hotel about 1pm, covering five miles.

To find out more about donating, visit this link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Thursday, 29th June, the Portree Lifeboat made the passage to Gairloch to meet the Primary 1-3 and Gaelic Primary 1-4 pupils from Gairloch Primary School.

They recently held a sponsored sand castle build and raised a tremendous amount of money which was divided between Portree RNLI, the Coastguard and Gairloch Primary School. The children presented the Lifeboat crew with a cheque and enjoyed the chance to look around RNLI 'Stanley Watson Barker'.

 

A Broadford lecturer has received recognition for her work with the UHI.

Heather McNeill received "Best Academic Support" for her work as a lecturer on the NC Crofting and Countryside Skills with the West Highland College UHI.

The University of the Highlands and Islands was one of the first UK institutions to introduce student-led teaching awards. The initiative from the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association (HISA), now in its eighth year, recognises excellence in 14 categories, with winners coming from around the university partnership.

This year, six of the UHI staff have been commended or highly commended in various categories by students.

Heather was nominated by one of her students who commented “having been accepted onto my course with no confidence in myself, the encouragement I got was fantastic.  Heather made me see myself in a new way as a good person, I can’t explain just how much her chats meant to me and the good they did.  I went on to win “Further Education Student of the Year” and with her support have now passed my HNC Horticulture. Basically, with her encouragement I have achieved more than I ever thought possible – I’m even in the process of starting up my own business.”

Heather herself commented: “It is so rewarding to be appreciated by a student in this way, and it has been a real pleasure to watch Craig make such progress over the past two years."

Raasay Primary School are looking for images of the island to be included in their school calendar.  

Photographs depicting the island throughout the seasons are very welcome.  Submissions will be credited to the photographer.

If anyone is interested in donating a photograph, they are invited to email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A man who was missing from Stornoway has been traced.

Police on Skye were urgently seeking to locate 35 year-old Robert Burns Mason.

Mr Mason had last been seen in the Cearns area of Stornoway 9pm on Monday the 26th of June 2017.

Police were increasingly concerned for his welfare.  

Today (Thursday 29 June), it was reported that Robert Mason has been traced safe and well.

Professional artists will be working with four shinty clubs to create a series of original prints as a future legacy for the clubs.

The project, entitled Throw Up 20.18, is funded by Highland Culture Strategic Board’s ‘Highland Culture: Take Pride, Take Part’ programme.

The chosen clubs are Skye, Beauly, Fort William and Newtonmore.  

Artist, John McNaught will collaborate with Skye. He grew up on the island and in 2014 was commissioned to take a series of black and white photographs of the Camanachd Cup Final.

Skye Camanachd, Chairman, Douglas MacDougall said: “This year is a significant milestone in the history of Skye Camanachd where we celebrate our 125th anniversary. To be involved in this innovative visual project with the Highland Print Studio which further promotes shinty whilst recognising our island culture and heritage is quite appropriate and welcomed by the club and our supporters.”

The artists will spend time with their assigned club over the 2017 and 2018 seasons, actively engaging with the club and its wider shinty community. They will research the club’s history, with the help of the fans and the players, and gain an insight into the game, its culture and the volunteers who commit their time and energy to their club.

The artwork will be exhibited at the Camanachd Cup 2018 final, shinty’s showcase event. It will then be exhibited at the International 2018 before going on tour.

 

 

Can you help to reunite this couple with their camera?

The camera was discovered by the Glenfinnan Viaduct.  

The gallery contains photographs of a couple on the Isle of Skye on 26 June 2017.

The camera has been taken to Fort William police station. 

 

A new grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will enable the go ahead for a local project.

Cleas, a charity that engages in cultural, arts and history projects, has received a HLF Stories, Stones and Bones grant of £4920.  

This project will run in Portree, Staffin and Kilmuir Primary Schools and be led by Cleas in collaboration with Cànan Graphics Studio.  

The funding will help to engage local children and historians from north east Skye with specialists, writers, artists and poets to reinvigorate local culture and heritage along with the world class archaeology of the area. This project is part of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

The University of the Highlands and Islands has announced plans to develop a BSc degree in optometry to address the growing demand for eye care services in the region. 

Managers have submitted an initial proposal to the General Optical Council and are working with stakeholders to develop the new course. The Federation of (Ophthalmic and Dispensing) Opticians Educational Trust is providing expertise and funding to help develop the degree. The programme will incorporate new approaches to regional training to support the delivery of optometry services in remote and rural communities. 

The initiative is part of the university's wider plans to develop a School of Health, Social Care and Life Sciences which will expand and align its curriculum to meet the needs of the region.

Professor Crichton Lang, deputy principal of the university, said: "We are delighted to be working in innovative ways with industry partners to develop and deliver this BSc degree in the region. This initiative will boost career opportunities, strengthen the supply of qualified optometrists to the industry and contribute to the overall delivery of high-quality health and social care to our communities. These benefits all align fully with our vision for the growing impact of the university's School of Health, Social Care and Life Sciences." 

Samantha Watson, chair of Optometry Scotland, said: "The Scottish Government has correctly recognised the pivotal role of eye health and vision to the health, wellbeing and prosperity of our nation. Scotland has very specific eye health requirements with geographical challenges that must be met with a long term local workforce strategy. Optometry Scotland recognises the difficulties recruiting and retaining optometrists in the remote and rural areas of Scotland and supports this initiative."

A boat washed ashore at Ratigan has been reunited with its owner today (Wednesday 28 June.)

Local police recently took to Twitter asking for help to locate the owner.  The boat's owner was later located and the police thanked their followers on social media.  

Nonstop swimming event, Just Keep Swimming, is set to take place tomorrow (Thursday 29 June.)

Project Manager, Hannah Wilson, was inspired when she was involved in a team 12 house sailing event.  After putting together a team with a similar enthusiasm, Hannah and her swimming partner, Tara Lancaster, will be aiming to swim one hour on and one hour off for a full 12 hours.  Support swimmer, Iain Murray, will be on hand to assist.  

The swimming event will be raising money for local charity, Lucky2BHere, and local school, MacDiarmid Primary School.  

The event will take place on Thursday 29 June from 8am until 8pm.  

To find out more about the project, visit their website here.

 

 

 

Funding from the National Lottery is enabling Cornhill Girl Guides to go on an adventure trip to Skye.

Groups and schools across the north-east have been awarded a share of more than £25,000 from the National Lottery.

The cash, made available through the Awards for All Scotland scheme, includes about £3,000 for Cornhill’s Girl Guides.

The guides, which formed in 2002, will use the cash to accompany youth leaders on an adventure trip to the Isle of Skye later this year.

Awards for All Scotland gives groups a chance to apply for between £500 and £10,000 and aims to help improve local communities and the lives of people most in need.

 

 

The UK's slowest broadband speeds are in Orkney, Shetland and the Highlands and Islands, according to a report by Which?

The report stated that 10Mbps was the minimum required speed for families under the Government Universal Service Obligation.  However, their research revealed that many areas fell short of those requirements.  

The Highlands had an average speed test result of 8.8Mpbs.  

Dundee City is the only area in Scotland to make it into the top five for best Broadband speeds.  

Commenting on the Which? Report on broadband speeds in local authority areas which shows the Highlands and Islands as having amongst the worst broadband speeds in the UK, Scottish Labour Connectivity spokesperson Rhoda Grant said: “This report again highlights that remote and rural areas including Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles and the Highlands in my region are still at the back of the queue for connections and that more than half of homes in some parts of rural Scotland are still struggling with very slow internet speeds.  

National Gaelic short film competition, FilmG, has been launched for a tenth year.  

FilmG, MG ALBA's Gaelic short film competition, was established in 2008 as a means of developing Gaelic filmmaking talent and encouraging grassroots Gaelic storytelling through film. Over this time a bank of more than 650 Gaelic short films has been created online and the competition has become a springboard for young people keen to carve out a career in Gaelic media. These youngsters include two Gaelic children's TV presenters, Megan MacLennan and Kerry Anne MacLeod who were both shortlisted for their wonderful performances at the first ever FilmG awards ceremony and who now appear regularly on BBC ALBA. 

The competition is open to all ages.  The theme for the tenth FilmG is "firinn" - "truth."

Gaelic teacher Iain Cumming said: "We've had a great afternoon here in Gairloch, with the whole school as well as members of the community attending the launch and celebrating the excellent films made by Gairloch High School pupils. Over the last few years we've learned a lot about film-making and it was great that all that effort paid off in FilmG 2017. We're very much looking forward to getting involved again this year, in fact some of the pupils are already developing their ideas and beginning work on their scripts!"

A new service for the bereaved in the Highlands will remove the need for grieving families to notify multiple public bodies of a death.

The service was launched today (Monday 26 June) by the Highland Council and is called "Tell Us Once."

The service will ensure that when a death is registered in the Highland area, a notification is automatically issued to most government agencies which removes the need for grieving families to notify multiple public bodies.  The Registrar will explain this opt-in service when a death is being registered.

Councillor Alasdair Christie, Chairman of the Council’s People Committee described the service as: “An extremely helpful support arrangement for people who are dealing with the loss of a loved one which is always a stressful time.  Tell Us Once will help the bereaved while they are making necessary arrangements, often within limited timescales.  The new service is a good example of government departments working together to ease the pressure on individuals.”

Fearann Eilean Iarmain has won the 2017 Golden Plover Award for Moorland Management.

The award is jointly run by The Heather Trust and The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) Scotland and  recognises the essential part played by the gamekeepers of Fearann Eilean Iarmain in conserving and protecting the natural environment and the associated wildlife that thrive on Fearann Eilean Iarmain.

Establishing Fearann Eilean Iarmain in 1972, Sir Iain Noble was committed to supporting and to promoting the linguistic and cultural heritage of the crofting communities. As an integral part of these endeavours, Sir Iain invested in the conservation of the environmental heritage, pioneering the establishment of one of the first native woodland regeneration schemes in Scotland. 

Head keeper, Scott MacKenzie, said: “Solid foundations were set over 40 years ago which enable Fearann Eilean Iarmain to continue to shape and build a strong, healthy working environment for future generations. 

Sir Iain Noble understood the value of protecting a healthy, diverse landscape that not only supports the traditional land uses of crofting and farming but also encourages a wealth of wildlife and a diversity of habitats. Much of this was achieved, at the time, by employing a gamekeeper, Skye's only full-time gamekeeper. Today an underkeeper/ghillie is also employed. Amongst our many objectives is to continue the success of ground nesting birds and waders and to manage the moorland and the woodlands so that they continue to be ideal habitats that support a rich diversity of wildlife.”

Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band took second place in their grade at the European Pipe Band Championships.

The Championships, held in Forres, on Saturday 24 June, saw the Isle of Skye Pipe Band take fourth place in their grade.

A team of Scottish Water employees took to Skye for a relay bicycle ride last weekend (Saturday 24 to Sunday 25.)

The team, who hail from different areas of the Highlands, are taking part in a 500 mile relay in order to raise money for Highland Hospice and Water Aid.

This is the third year the team have taken on this challenge and they have already raised over £7,500.

On 23 June, the team set off from Inverness and on the 24 June, they had travelled from Mallaig to Armadale and then through Sleat.

The team's JustGiving page can be found here.

 

A new four-year deal for the production of drama content on BBC ALBA has been agreed, it has been announced today (Sunday 25 June.)  

Funded by MG ALBA, the Gaelic Media Service - one of the partners behind BBC ALBA – the new contract with Young Films secures the future of the channel's drama series, Bannan and marks a significant investment in drama for the channel.

Filmed on the Isle of Skye, and produced by The Inbetweeners' Chris Young, 23 episodes of Bannan have been produced since 2014, with five of those due to be aired on BBC ALBA in the autumn. The success of Bannan has led to an international deal being signed for the series with DRG, one of the leading independent distributors of programmes in the world.

The new contract, running until 2021, will lead to at least 20 episodes being produced for the channel. The announcement was made prior to a screening of Bannan at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and coincided with the launch of MG ALBA's annual report for 2016/17.

Maggie Cunningham, chair of MG ALBA, said: "The development of drama was a key milestone for BBC ALBA and since it was first broadcast in 2014, Bannan has proved popular with both our core Gaelic audience and non-Gaelic speakers alike.

"We're pleased to announce a four-year deal with Young Films, which will provide longer-term certainty for Bannan's ongoing development. In recent years we have awarded a number of multi-year volume deals to producers for other genres and seen resulting cost savings and collaborations which in turn has allowed more new programmes to be made. Whilst drama production comes at a significantly higher cost than other genres, MG ALBA believes longer-term planning for Bannan can bring similar benefits and also, that such strategic investment in drama enables us to create a strong creative foundation that benefits the future of Gaelic on screen, by strengthening the skills vital to telling our stories."

The Isle of Skye Pipe Band took home silverware after coming in fourth place at the European Pipe Band Championships.

The Skye pipers were competing in Forres at Grade Four of the Championships.

Under the leadership of Pipe Major, Alan Mackenzie, they came fourth out of 24 bands.

 

A new Skye tour is combining the beauty of the scenery with the thrill of a scavenger hunt.

The new business, named I Love Skye, is founded by Matt Harrison and Vanessa Lopez.  Matt told The Skye Times: "I came up with this, as well as a few other ideas we have in the pipeline.  I went to Vanessa, as I knew she was in web design."  Over coffee, it was revealed that Vanessa had had a similar idea to Matt's.  

Said Matt: "We get on really well and have skills which complement each other, so we decided to work on it together!"

The Skye Scavenger Hunt self-guide tour involves finding the clues and solving puzzles while travelling through Skye and Lochalsh.

The initiative aims to provide users with tips and information, while giving an exciting twist to their island visit.  

Scavenger hunters are encouraged to like, share and check in with social media as they work their way around the island and have the chance to win prizes.

 

 

A disturbance was reported in Portree yesterday (Friday 23 June.)

The disturbance took place in a residential area in Portree at around 7:45pm.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact 101 or Crimestoppers.

A project is underway to increase the electrical capacity in Skye and enable renewable energy.

The Fort Augustus - Skye Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission project will see a new line added to the existing 132kV overhead line which connects Fort Augustus and Skye.

The main elements of the project are as follows:

•Construction of an additional, new 132kV overhead line using a double trident H wood pole from the existing Fort Augustus substation to the existing Broadford substation;

•Construction of a replacement, higher capacity, 132kV overhead line using a double trident H wood pole between the existing Broadford substation and the existing Edinbane substation;

•Installation of additional equipment and minor works on the 33kV network at the existing Broadford substation; and

•Installation of additional equipment and minor works at the existing Edinbane substation.

•Dismantle and remove the existing 132kV overhead line connecting Broadford and Edinbane substations.

Skye residents have requested more public toilets, after complaints of island visitors relieving themselves outside.

Incidents have been reported at various locations where public toilets are lacking. 

Highland Council said it was seeking quotes for the repair work needed.

 

Postponed, but not defeated - that is the attitude behind the decision to postpone the Struan Community Gala.

The Gala was originally scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday 24 June).

However, the Gala Committee have been watching the weather forecast and, after seeing gusts of wind predicted to be over 40mph, have made the executive decision to cancel the Gala until Saturday 8 July.

The Gala Committee are very sorry to disappoint and hope that on Saturday 8 July they have marvellous weather to make up for the wait.

 

 

The Fairy Pools was selected as the best picnic location in Scotland.

National Picnic Week has chosen the Top Picnic Spot and A Runner Up in every region in the UK.  The Fairy Pools was declared as the Scottish winner.   They stated that it was chosen for its "breath-taking, fantastical views."

The Fairy Pools regularly attracts thousands of visitors, including those seeking wild swimming opportunities.  

Jubilee Gardens in Beer, Devon was selected as the National Picnic Week’s Top Picnic Spot of 2017.

For more information and a list of other winners, visit the National Picnic Week website here.  

 

Locally grown barley could be used to make R&B Distillers' whisky, if growing trials are successful on the Isle of Raasay.

R&B Distillers began to trial barley growing on the island in April 2017, using five different barleys.  

The variety that thrives best could be used for making R&B Distillers' whisky.  

The advice of locals, including Andrew Gillies, John Gillies and Alasdair MacAskill, has been vital.  Orkney-based Dr Peter Martin of the University of the Highlands and Islands' Agronomy Institute also shared his knowledge.  

Bòrd na Gàidhlig, the lead organisation responsible for the promotion of Gaelic in Scotland, has announced the appointment of two new members of staff in their Inverness and Fort William offices.

Tasha Madigan is from Uig on the Isle of Skye and after learning Gaelic at Portree High School, and graduating in Gaelic and History at the University of Aberdeen, Tasha recently completed a Gaelic and Communications course at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig. Tasha will be based in Bòrd na Gàidhlig’s Fort William office working as an Early Years Officer.

Portree is Scotland's most searched for local destination, according to an online comparison website.

Hundredrooms, founded in early 2014, allows consumers to check and compare property prices on leading holiday rental websites.  

Users from the areas of Spain, Italy, France, Germany and areas in the UK have been searching for Portree for their summer holidays.  

According to search analysis, Portree is the most searched for local location in Scotland, followed by Elie, Melrose, Pitlochry, North Berwick, Oban and South Queensferry.

A man has died after becoming unwell on a walk to MacLeod's Maidens

The 62-year-old man took ill at Idrigill Point by Bracadale on Tuesday 20 June.  

The alarm was raised by another walker at around 3pm.

The man was airlifted by the Stornoway Coastguard search and rescue helicopter to Dr MacKinnon Memorial Hospital at Broadford on Skye

Police Scotland confirmed that he had died.

Skye politicians have pledged to work together to try and secure a new building for the ailing Broadford Primary. 

Yesterday (Wednesday 21 June) Highland Council's new People's Committee – which includes education as part of its remit – rubber-stamped £350,000 funding for the new modular classrooms which are replacing the old and leaking portakabins.

The modular classrooms are now in place, and it is hoped that pupils and teachers will be able to use them before the summer break. 

However, concerns remain over the overall poor condition of the main building – which has damp problems stemming from its flat roof, the poor fabric of the building, peeling décor and inadequate toilet facilities.

Over 130 pupils from Portree High School attended Gary Maclean's chef's theatre at the Spirit of Skye Festival.

The Masterchef: The Professionals winner demonstrated how to make homemade pasta and pesto, with fresh Isle of Skye langoustines and scallops and a light sprinkling of salt from the Isle of Skye Sea Salt Company.

Gary promoted the various exciting opportunities available through the hospitality industry, providing first-hand experience of how his career has opened doors for him throughout the world. This was followed by a vibrant question and answer session from enthusiastic pupils. Gary also spoke about how he followed his childhood dream of becoming a chef, and he encouraged Portree High School students to do the same.

SNP MSP Kate Forbes is encouraging all expectant mums in Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, whose babies are due on or after 15 August 2017, to register for a baby box at their next midwife appointment. 

These boxes contain various essential items for a child's first weeks and months.

The SNP is using new powers to create new Maternity and Early Years' Allowances, providing expectant mothers on low incomes with £600 for their first child, £300 for second and subsequent children, with low-income families receiving a further £250 grant when their child starts nursery, and again when they start school.

Kate Forbes MSP said: "The Scottish Government is proudly gifting a Baby Box to every child in Scotland to help tackle deprivation, improve health and support parents – just one part of our determination to ensure that every child has an equal start in life. 

Auditions will be held on Skye in order to find two young male actors to take part in an international drama-documentary series.  

MG ALBA, Solus Productions and Sorbier Productions are searching for new acting talent for two dramas aimed at children and young people.

Solus Productions will be holding auditions in Skye, Benbecula, Glasgow and Stornoway between 19-24 June looking for the series Small Hands 2, produced by LOOKSFilms.  The series will features stories based on letters and diaries from the WW2 interlaced with documentary and archive for transmission on BBC ALBA in 2018/19.  

Jim Webster from Solus said: "Solus are delighted to be involved in Small Hands 2 and we look forward to seeing what talent the auditions yield. Anyone unable to attend an audition can get in touch via our email address and we can look at submissions online."

Sorbier Productions have also been busy in the last few weeks auditioning for a lead young female actor and young male supporting lead actor for a children's drama that is also part of an international project operated through the EBU (European Broadcasting Union) aimed at children aged 6-9.  The Gaelic film will be seen across Europe and beyond and in exchange children's films from across Europe will be available for transmission on BBC ALBA in 2018.

A whale that was stranded on the Isle of Skye will feature in a Sky Atlantic documentary.

The documentary, A Plastic Whale, will focus on the effects of plastic on ocean wildlife and will include unique footage of the Cuvier's beaked whale that was stranded on the island in 2015.

Dr Andrew Brownlow, a veterinary pathologist for SMASS, said four kilograms of plastic bags and sheeting had filled the whale's stomach, twisted into its intestine and completely blocked its digestive system.

There were black bin liners, carrier bags and zipped freezer bags.  This significant amount had caused an impaction in the stomach, which extended into the duodenum and further down the intestine.  It was euthanased on welfare grounds.  A highly challenging necropsy, with the animal being largely submerged during most of the examination, was done by the SMASS team.

Homelessness on the Isle of Skye has risen, according to a report to the Highland Council's Isle of Skye and Raasay Committee.

The report on Monday said homeless families were having to spend longer in temporary accommodation before being offered a home.

Skye councillor Calum MacLeod said tourism had brought opportunities but also challenges.

Private accommodation previously available on long-term leases is now being offered as holiday lets.

Council officers said on average the time spent in temporary housing had increased from about 20 weeks to more than 27 weeks since 2015/16.

The number of families categorised as homeless has more than doubled over the last 12 months from 15 in 2016 to 32.

Councillor John Gordon is the new chair for the Isle of Skye and Raasay Committee of The Highland Council which met earlier today in Portree.

Speaking after chairing the meeting, which gave members the opportunity to scrutinise the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s local performance report as well as the area’s housing performance report from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017, Cllr Gordon said: “It is going to be a honour to serve as chair of the Committee and I am sure we will all work well as a team to ensure the voices of the communities we represent are heard.

"The Highland Council Administration has given a firm commitment to increase the role for Area Committees so I look forward to embracing the new opportunities and seeing the Committee evolve and take on a wider remit.”

“I would like to thank my ward colleagues for their support and it’s a great privilege to serve the people of Skye and Raasay. We are committed to working hard and delivering the priorities of this great area.

"We acknowledge there is much to do but with the ambition and vision that we all share we know much can be achieved and delivered, so that this area continues to be a great place to live, work and visit.”

The police have confirmed that 15-year old Jessica Jones, who was reported missing from the Portree area, has been traced safe and well.

An appeal to the public was made today (Monday 19 June) for any information concerning the schoolgirl.  The police thank the members of the public and the media who assisted with the appeal.

A week long road safety operation was carried out on the Isle of Skye after concerns were raised by residents and local community groups.

The operation saw fifteen drivers charged with speeding in built up areas, two people charged with drink driving, two vehicles being seized for having no insurance and a driver reported for having no valid driving licence along with a number of other offences in relation to inappropriate driving and vehicle defects.

Constable David Canning, based in Dunvegan, who led this operation said: "It was disappointing to detect so many people continuing to drive at inappropriate speeds in the built up areas of the island, including one local man who has been reported to the Procurator Fiscal for driving at 51 miles per hour in a 30 miles per hour zone in Broadford.

"These pro-active patrols, working jointly with the Roads Policing Unit, will continue throughout the summer in order to influence driver behaviour and ensure that the Skye roads continue to be safe places for residents and visitors.

"All of those detected now face a fine and points being imposed on their driving licence whilst those caught drink driving face a minimum of a 12 month driving ban if found guilty.

"Our message to users of the roads on the Isle of Skye is to take your time, drive with consideration for others and get there safely."

Anyone with information in relation to specific areas where speed or inappropriate driving is a concern is asked to contact 101 to speak to a local officer and follow the @LochabSkyePol Twitter feed for up to date information on what is happening in the area.

Officers in Portree are appealing for information to help trace Jessica Jones who has been reported missing. 

The 15-year-old was last seen at Portree High School at around 11.30am this morning (Monday June 19, 2017). 

She is described as being around 5ft 7, of a slim build with long blond curly hair which was tied back. She was wearing black trousers, a white blouse and was carrying a rucksack. 

There are increasing concerns for Jessica's safety and well-being and anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to contact Police on 101. Likewise, Jessica is also asked to make contact to let us know she is safe and well.

Comments are invited on the second edition of NHS Highland’s Gaelic Language Plan, which is now out for public consultation.

Under the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, NHS Highland has a statutory duty to play its part in promoting the language. The plan sets out a formal structure for how the board will implement the plan and was informed by a staff survey and support from Bòrd na Gàidhlig.  NHS Highland hope it will be further shaped through the public consultation. 

In Skye & Raasay, Tiree and Colonsay one in five people living in these communities speak Gaelic, and just over half speak Gaelic in the Western Isles, which, although not in the board area NHS Highland does provide a number of services for people of the Western Isles as well as in Raigmore Hospital.

Elaine Mead, Chief Executive for NHS Highland said: “As the biggest employer in Highland and Argyll & Bute there are many opportunities and benefits to promoting the Gaelic language throughout our area. It is important we strive to offer respect for Gaelic language and I am committed to do what I can to raise awareness. I look forward to hearing how people feel we can have a positive impact.”

Commenting on NHS Highland’s role in promoting Gaelic, Michael Foxley, non executive director of NHS Highland and long-time champion of safeguarding Gaelic Language said: “If the long term future of Gaelic in Highland and Argyll and Bute is to be secure then public bodies, like NHS highland have to play their part. We did not deliver on our commitments in our original plan as intended but through the delivery of this plan I hope we can remedy that.”

The Fairy Pools car park could accommodate 137 cars and approximately 20 mini-buses and campervans in addition to the current spaces, if plans submitted to the Highland Council are granted planning permission.

The existing 30 space car park, which is located along an existing forestry road, is consistently overcrowded and often sees visitors to the Pools parking on the verge of the single track roads.  

Last year, the popular beauty spot attracted over 108,000 visitors.  

The application proposal states that a new lower access to the car park would be created.  Improved road crossing and mitigation planning would also be provided, as well as places for picnics, interpretation and compost toilets.  

Skye could, once again, be the subject of a television series - this time following the lives of those who have moved to the island.

A four part BBC series is currently in the research and development stage.  

Glasgow-based company, Finestripe Production, are developing the idea.  Assistant Producer, Kelly Machin, told The Skye Times: "We are looking for people who are interested in taking part, and researching the businesses already operating successfully on Skye.  What I've definitely found is that a bit of entrepreneurial spirit will be key for our contributors - but that could take on very different forms depending on their hobbies and interests, previous profession and skillset."

The series will follow the contributors for their first three months on the island as they set up or take over businesses and settle into their new lives.

For more information, visit the Finestripe site here.  

The second day of the Spirit of Skye festival, held at the Aros, featured a storytelling event, a chef's theatre and the screening of various films.

Three Chimneys Head Chef, Scott Davies, and his kitchen brigade created dishes featuring Skye's natural ingredients.  

Present on the Friday and Saturday was A.C.E. Target Sports

 

At 3pm, the film remake of Whisky Galore! was shown to the audience.

A team of 16 volunteers from Skye Mountain Rescue located a lost climber at the Trotternish Ridge.

The volunteers spent seven hours in horrendous conditions on Monday June 12 to search for the missing foreign national.  

A member of the public gave up her own time to translate for the person lost on the hill, which resulted in him being located and walked back to safety.  

2016 Masterchef: The Professionals winner, Gary Maclean, wowed his audience with a dialogue as rich and pleasing as his dishes.

As he demonstrated how to make a chocolate fondant, he told his audience the last time he had been in Skye was when he was 17.  

He also remarked how much he enjoyed the journey up, saying it was the sort of journey that couldn't be rushed...  as he couldn't overtake all the camper vans!

The father of five shared stories from his time on Masterchef and tips on how to make pasta.

Gary was on Skye for the Spirit of Skye festival, which will be running on Friday 16 and Saturday 17 of June.  

A two-vehicle road traffic collision occured today (Friday 16 June) on the Skye Bridge.

Drivers may experience delays; however the Bridge is still open and traffic is expected to return to normal soon.

No serious injuries have been reported.

 

Staffin Primary School received a commendation in The Pocket Garden Competition.

The pupils were tasked with designing a colourful and exciting pallet sized garden – that included plants for people to eat, is good for wildlife and celebrates the year of history, heritage and archaeology, while reusing materials which would otherwise be discarded.

Staffin's design included an erupting volcano to transport viewers back to the time of the dinosaurs and immerse them in the story of the Skye landscape.  

The Pocket Garden Competition is run in partnership between Keep Scotland Beautiful and the Garden for Life Forum. The Garden for Life Forum and Gardening Scotland selected the entries that were then turned into a real-life garden for display at the weekend. The gardens were then judged by members of the Forum and a select few are presented with awards, based on the 2017 Pocket Garden themes.

Visitors to Gardening Scotland this weekend selected Gigha Primary School as the winner of the prestigious 2017 My Favourite Pocket Garden Award - as part of the One Planet Picnic Pocket Garden feature at the event.

The Pocket Garden designs on display were selected from over 300 competition entries from across the length and breadth of Scotland to create the Living Garden, at Gardening Scotland this past weekend (2nd - 4th June). The real-life gardens were then judged and four were presented with awards.

The winners were:

One Planet Picnic - Douglas Academy

Wildlife Gardening - Dunoon Grammar School

Year of History, Heritage, and Archaeology- Arnhall Day Nursery

Commendations were also received by Grove Academy, and Williamwood High School.

Bun Sgoil Stafainn (Staffin Primary School) has received an award from the First Minister in a nationwide competition to encourage Scottish children to foster a lifelong love of reading.

The Skye school was given the Gaelic Medium Education Award by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the ceremony celebrating the first year of the First Minister’s Reading Challenge.

A total of 12 prizes were awarded at the celebration event at the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh on Wednesday (14 June). 

Bun Sgoil Stafainn was awarded the Gaelic Reading Journey prize for incorporating the Challenge into many areas of school life. As the pupils’ enthusiasm grew, they took part in even more extra-curricular reading activities.

The Challenge was a huge success with all of the older pupils taking part in more reading for pleasure, engaging more often with Gaelic literature and having lots of fun with a variety of different books in English and Gaelic.

Taking part in the Challenge has led to an increase in the time made available for reading at school, and the pupils have been encouraged to choose books to read and create displays that show off their increased learning in literacy. The school plan to build on all this in the future.

565 taskings in the Highlands and Islands made it the busiest region in the UK for the coastguard's search and rescue helicopter last year.

Official figures released by the Department of Transport and Martitime and Coastguard Agency covering the year up to March revealed that there were 2,594 civilian taskings.  

The second highest numbers were 526 taskings in South West England and 452 in Wales.

Around 60% of taskings involved rescue or recovery, with land-based taskings accounted for nearly half of all taskings

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has search and rescue helicopter bases at Inverness, Sumburgh in Shetland, Stornoway on Lewis and Ayrshire's Prestwick airports.

The full report can be read here.

 

A list of High Life Highland summer holiday activities for Skye and Lochalsh is available to view here.  

Activities include swimming programmes, snorkelling, golf, football, Bookbug sessions, badminton and gymnastics.  

Ten pupils from Portree High School took part in the Indoor Rowing Festival.

Run by Scottish Rowing and High Life Highland, the Festival was held in Inverness.

Portree High School achieved overall winners in the large school team event.  They also had successes with third places for Katherine Dibble, Matthew Culbertson and Nuan Nel.

 

The full results for the Isle of Skye Half Marathon 2017 have been released and are available to view here.

The race was won by Oliver Spaeth with a time of 1 hour 14 minutes and 10 seconds.

Graham Bee and Hugh Campbell took second and third places respectively.  

The oldest Skye runners was Catriona Logan.  

The top three females were Iona Craft, with a time of 1 hour 32 minutes and 8 seconds, followed by Avril Pearson and Sarah Attwood.  

Daily railway trips are taking place on the Kyle Line.

For more information, visit Kyle Station Museum from 10am to 5pm daily or phone 01599 534824.

Elgol Primary School String Trio took first place in the recent Isle of Skye Provincial Mod 2017.

The Elgol Primary School String Trio were overjoyed as they managed to retain the 1st place spot for a 3rd year in a row.

The Plockton Primary String Ensemble came second in their first ever public performance out with their school environment.

Both groups were really excited to take part and couldn't wait to add some of the adjudicators ideas to their arrangements. They are all looking forward to playing their new and improved pieces at their end of term celebrations.  The pupils are taught by The Highland Council’s strings Instructor (temporary) for the area, Mhairi Mackinnon. 

Music Development Officer for the Council, Norman Bolton sent congratulations to all involved in these successes and acknowledged the important part the pupils music tuition plays in their wider education and development of life skills, health and wellbeing.

A man was airlifted to hospital early on Monday 12 June after capsizing in his kayak in the Kylerhea Straits.

A boat, the Helen Bruce, was passing nearby and managed to tow the kayak close to shore.  The man was spotted by someone onshore who waded out and then swam out for assist him, assisting the rescue which left the kayaker cold and exhausted.

Kyle of Lochalsh RNLI lifeboat was launched at 1:17pm, arriving on the scene at 1:27pm. The first paramedics had just arrived, and had begun to treat the male casualty who was hypothermic and exhausted after struggling in the water for a significant length of time after his kayak overturned.

It was decided due to the extremely remote location and the casualty's condition, the best method of extraction was via the Coastguard helicopter. The helicopter arrived on scene at 2:05pm and landed on the shore to enable two medics to examine the casualty. After discussions with the lifeboat crew, local Coastguard teams and paramedics, it was decided that they would winch the casualty on-board the helicopter instead of trying to carry him up the extremely slippery shoreline.

 A volunteer coastguard was also sent to the scene.

The casualty was winched on-board the helicopter at 2:20pm and flown to airlifted to Inverness' Raigmore Hospital by Inverness Coastguard helicopter.

The lifeboat was then stood down and returned to Kyle and was refuelled and made ready for service by 3:15pm.

 

A man who lived on Skye as a young boy has returned after at least a 47 year long absence.

David Andrew Smith Patterson lived in Uig from 1936 to 1941 and this year, at age 87, he returned to his previous island home.

This marks the first time Mr Patterson has returned to Skye since 1970.  

His daughter, Shona Diggines, told The Skye Times: "My dad has been quite poorly for a while and this was on his bucket list to do.  On Thursday 18 May, he and my mum packed their little car and drove up from Norfolk."

Mr Patterson lived in the Post Office house in Uig, with his family renting the house and the Post Office renting one of the downstairs rooms.

Seven girls from SkyeDance were the first students on the Isle of Skye to sit the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) Modern Theatre examination.

Megan MacIver, Kizzy MacLeod, Lexy-Anna MacLeod, Shannon MacLeod, Molly Jo Fox, Jessica Scott Moncrieff and Anna Taylor have been working towards the examination for the past year.

Meara O'Donnell-Webb, who recently gained her teacher status, told The Skye Times: "We had en examinar come up all the way from England.  It was a fun, exciting experience for all.

"They are the first group of students from the Isle of Skye to sit this exam on Skye.  This is a big achievement for a rural island and for SkyeDance to be able to offer these girls the opportunity to sit their dancing exams with such a highly recognised examination board.

"We have to wait about a month for the results, but it was such a positive experience for them all.

"SkyeDance will continue to offer ISTD modern theatre dance classes to young people across Skye as they are so beneficial to a young person's development and also great for those wanting to go off and pursue a career in dance."

The Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre will be closed on Thursday 15 and Thursday 22 of June.  

The Archive Centre, based in Elgin Hostel on Dunvegan Road in Portree, is currently hosting a Photographic Exhibition throughout the month of June. 

 

 

Six world-class musicians from Scotland, Ireland and Scandinavia come together this month in a cross-cultural celebration of new music that bridges the divide between folk and classical, the traditional and the avant-garde.

Donald Grant, fiddle; Ailie Robertson, harp; Sondre Meisfjord, double bass; Karen Tweed, accordion; Jarlath Henderson, whistle and pipes; and Marit Fält, mandola, will perform The Secret North, the culmination of an innovative song project combining ancient instruments with new compositions.

This month, the six musicians met for the first time in a remote studio in the Highlands. Having never played together before, for five days they immersed themselves in the creation of new music together, combining their different backgrounds and musical traditions to create something completely unique. Six days later they have emerged perform eight concerts in Scotland and come to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Wednesday, 21 June as part of their Highland tour.

As musical collaborations go, this promises to be an extraordinary musical interchange. Individually, each member has carved out a reputation for not just mastering their chosen fields but rising above, redefining and renewing the musical world they come from.

In The Secret North, they will premiere six new compositions, written by each musician specifically for the ensemble, resulting in a concert of ear-opening new music, grounded in traditions but infused with the adrenaline of contemporary influences. This is music that is both ancient and utterly new.

An elderly casualty with a suspected fractured hip was assisted last night (Sunday 11 June.)

Kyle lifeboat launched at 7:40pm to assist the Scottish Ambulance service with the casualty. The lifeboat arrived on scene at 7:50pm, where the Scottish Ambulance Service and Kyle Coastguard teams were already with the casualty. The 92 year old female had fallen in a house on the remote Fernaig shore, and due to the location, the closest the ambulance could get to the house was approximately 1 mile away.

The lifeboat put 2 crew members ashore to liaise with the paramedics and Coastguard teams, and it was decided that due to the choppy sea conditions along with the wet and cold weather and age of the casualty, it was best not to evacuate her by sea. Therefore, the casualty was loaded into the lifeboat stretcher before being slowly transported down the rough road in the back of a Coastguard off road vehicle.

The Isle of Skye Half Marathon took place on Saturday 10 June.

The full Fun Run results are as follows:

A ramp is on loan from Lochaber to Portree.  

The portable ramp was set up on Thursday June 8 at the red pitch by Portree Community Centre.  

 

Skye and Lochalsh Youth Development remarked that there has been a fantastic response to the ramps, which were all unpacked and set up by young people.

The ramps are on loan until July 6/7.

For more information, visit the Skye and Lochalsh Youth Development Facebook page here.

Oliver Spaeth from Germany came first in the Skye Half Marathon today (Saturday 10 June.)

In second place was Graham Bee from Inverness.

Taking third place was local runner, Hugh Campbell.  

The first female to cross the line was Iona Craft.  

The Isle of Skye Pipe Band was present, giving plenty of encouragement to the runners.  

Photograph from the Isle of Skye Half Marathon Facebook page.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service sirens were sounding today (Saturday 10 June) - but only to entertain youngsters at the Broadford Gala.

The Gala, held at Broadford Village Hall, took place from 12pm to 4pm, with an evening dance to follow.

Bouncy castles and bubble football provided more entertainment for the crowds who attended.

A species of seaweed that occurs naturally in Japan and China has spread to Skye, according to a new report from the Scottish Natural Heritage.

The invasive species is called sargassum muticum, also known as wireweed.  It is thought to have arrived in UK waters in the 1960s and was first recorded in the UK in 1973.  The seaweed was first identified in Scottish waters in 2004.  

A Scottish Natural Heritage report says it can now be found from the Firth of Clyde to Skye.

The spread of sargassum muticum is described as the "most noticeable change" to be picked up in the new report detailing a survey of marine biodiversity and climate change.  It displaces native species through over-growing and starving them of sunlight.

At the declaration of Ross, Skye and Lochaber result Ian Blackford has been elected as the Member of Parliament for the Ross, Skye and Lochaber constituency at the UK Parliamentary election on 8 June 2017.

The election count was held overnight at the Highland Football Academy, Victoria Park in Dingwall.

The results declared by Steve Barron, Returning Officer are:

The Portree VisitScotland iCentre has been open for nearly three weeks following its recent refurbishment.

The first VisitScotland iCentre to have been refurbished since the launch of the Spirit of Scotland campaign, Portree is leading the way in bringing #ScotSpirit to life for visitors. VisitScotland hope this refurbishment will increase the impact their iCentre has on the visitor economy, encouraging locals and visitors alike to stay longer and spend more on Skye, and across the Highlands.

The upgraded iCentre features free Wi-Fi, an upgrade of digital facilities, local and national wall maps and large scale wall graphics to ensure visitors receive an optimal experience, and the best information and inspiration.

In the first fortnight following the reopening, more than 11,000 visitors entered. Ticket sales have been up more than 7% and retail sales up 65% on the same period last year.

Caledonian MacBrayne's ferry provided a rescue for a fisherman.

The fisherman's boat sank between Skye and Canna.  The coastguard and RNLI were alerted.  The man was picked up by CalMac's MV Lord of the Isles.

Mallaig lifeboat was launched and investigated the area for possible pollution from the sinking of the fishing craft.

Young musicians attending Highland Schools are being invited to apply now for musical experiences with the Highland Young Musicians groups in 2017/18.

Norman Bolton, Highland Council’s Music Development Officer said: “There are already some exciting plans in place, and more in the pipeline.  At the March 2018 Concerts Festival in Macdonald Highland Resort, Aviemore the Highland Youth Choir will be performing Rutter’s ‘Sprig of Thyme’ folk-song suite, accompanied by Highland Regional Youth Orchestra in collaboration with Dingwall Choral Society.  This will be a fantastic opportunity for young choral singers to experience full 4-part soprano, alto, tenor and bass choral singing with orchestral accompaniment.”

Application to Highland Young Musicians groups is open to all young musicians attending Highland Council schools regardless of whether they receive tuition from Highland Council or private music instructors. An increasing diversity of young musicians is being attracted to the musical experiences Highland Young Musician groups give.

Travellers on the A890 Stromeferry Bypass are advised that maintenance works will take place in July.

The Highland Council has appointed Geo-Rope Ltd to undertake planned maintenance works to the rock face above the A890 Stromeferry Bypass.  Works are programmed to begin on the 10th of July for approximately 8 weeks. 

The works include the de-vegetation and light scaling of rock slopes, adjusting existing passive netting systems, clearance of rock material behind rock netting, installation of wire rope profiling cables, dowels, active and high strength active rock netting.

There are two sections of slope undergoing maintenance both of which are situated approximately 1km west of the avalanche shelter.  The works will require traffic management on the adjacent single track road and the road may require short closures during certain operations but this will be kept to a minimum.  Supervising staff from The Highland Council will be on site during the works.

The artistic director of a Skye-based performing arts promotions charity is in the running for a special accolade at the first ever National Rural Touring Forum Awards.

Duncan MacInnes of Skye Events for All (SEALL) is one of three nominees in the new awards which saw over 700 individuals nominate productions, venues, promoters, schemes and staff for the award.  SEALL is also the only nominee from Scotland.

The shortlist will now go before an independent judging panel comprising Guardian journalist Lyn Gardner, writer and researcher Francois Matarasso, Ed Collier of independent producing studio China Plate and Beccy Speight, Chief Executive of The Woodland Trust. Judges will be looking for brilliant stories, examples of good, enthusiastic and dedicated practice and forward-looking work.

The NRTF Special Award was open to all nominations with the judges looking for an amazing story from the world of rural touring – and the nominees reflect long-term engagement with specific local communities which have been valued over many years.

Personal property was left in Glendale's Cafe Lephin.

The property was left today (Tuesday 6 June) and belongs to a couple from the Netherlands.  

The Cafe posted on their Facebook page that if anyone knows an Annemarie Van Iterson to let her know her property is in the Cafe.  

Saturday 3 June saw Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers charity walk take place.

The five mile long walk started from the Peinchorran/Balmeanach junction then along to Sligachan.  

Those involved included young carers, families, charity representatives, volunteers and Lorna the cake baker.  

The 2017 chosen charities have been a great source of support to young carers and their families and include Diabetes Care, Friends of Raigmore Hospital, MacMillan Nurses, Highland Hospice and Huntington's Association.

The money raised will be split between the charities.  

 

Communities on Skye are being asked to hang out the buntings and join in The Big Lunch!

The Big Lunch is the culmination of The Great Get Together, an idea inspired by the late Jo Cox, in celebration of her belief that we have more in common with our neighbours. 

On Sunday, 18 June, Scotland will join in with the rest of the UK for the annual Big Lunch, where communities organise their own BBQs, get-togethers and street parties, getting to know each other and celebrating their communities.

Last year, events in Scotland took place as far north as Stornoway and as far south as the borders.

Co-Op Members will have a chance to support Kyle Lifeboat RNLI, thanks to the Co-Op Local Community Fund.

Co-Op Members in the local community can choose the Kyle RNLI as part of the scheme.  

In 2015, the Kyle Lifeboat was launched 14 times and rescued a total of 11 people.  The RNLI receive no government funding and currently runs solely on public donations.  

This fund would contribute towards the daily running of the lifeboat, its station and continued crew training which currently cost around £75,000 a year to maintain. 

 

Raasay Community Association will be voting on whether or not to open the Hall for hire on Sundays.

In response to requests at RCA’s AGM the Board would be sending all members a letter for a vote on whether the hall should be open for hire on Sundays.

The vote will ask for a simple Yes or No response and in line with RCA's constitution at least 75% of the total votes returned are required to carry the decision. The ballot will be anonymous, although the voting papers will be numbered for security reasons.

Sleat Community Trust are asking locals to have their say on the name of the community shop.

The community will choose between "The Trading Post" and "Armadale Stores."

Serena Smart (Chair of Sleat Community Trading Company Ltd.) told The Skye Times: "The Ardvasar Stores in Ardvasar closed after long service to the Community of Sleat.

"The community thanks Carol and Billy Currie for all their work in providing a local store over many years.

"The Sleat Community Trust felt that it was vital to keep such a valued service in the community and bought fittings and consumables from the Ardvasar Store.

Local coastguards assisted a casualty with a broken ankle.

The casualty was a cruise ship passenger on the Isle of Canna.

Coastguard helicopter rescue 948 airlifted the patient off the island.

Canna Coastguard Rescue Team assisted with the patient transfer, while Portree Coastguard Rescue Team manned the HLS at Broadford, Isle of Skye - where the casualty was transferred to under care of the ambulance service.

The Trotternish Ridge Race took place on Saturday 3 June.

The race saw a new course record set by Finlay Wild, with a time of just over two a half hours.

The full results are as follows.

1. Finlay Wild (2:37:39) new course record

2. Andy Fallas (2:43:30)

3. Douglas Tullie (2:44:14)

The 2017 Skye Trail Ultra took place on Saturday 27 May and saw runners race from Duntulm to Broadford.

The race is earning a reputation of being a tough route and is attracting runners who enjoy challenging themselves.

The results are below:

Kyle of Lochalsh RNLI's volunteer crew today (Saturday 3 June) assisted a 48 year-old male who had fallen on the rocks from the shoreline of Eilean Donan Castle.

The crew were paged at 5:43pm to assist the Scottish Ambulance Service transport the casualty with a suspected broken ankle.

Kyle Lifeboat Spirit of Fred. Olsen launched at 5:56pm and arrived on scene at 6:04pm.  Two lifeboat crew members were put ashore to liaise with the ambulance crew.

It was decided that the lifeboat would transport the casualty from the castle island to the slipway at Dornie Hall, where he could be safely transferred to the ambulance.

Broadford's popular Cafe Sia will be opening the brand new takeaway area on Monday 12 June.

The purpose built takeaway area, named Siaway, is set to the left of the main entrance and is the latest addition to the popular cafe.

Tom Eveling, Cafe Director, told The Skye Times: "Pizza homemade from scratch, using premium ingredients and cooked to order in an Italian wood-fired oven, followed by an espresso or latte made from own-roasted, small batch gourmet coffee beans, ground fresh to order by the opera-trained master roaster and barista.

"No, you’re not in Rome.  It’s Café Sia in Broadford on Skye and we’re still doing our best since opening three years ago to serve up a large slice of la dolce vita!"

Over a dozen people have headed into the Cuillins in order to rescue a climber.

Skye Mountain Rescue is present at the scene.

Local police have located the owner of a Fiat campervan.

The occupant of the van called 999 last night (Friday 2 June) but failed to make a request.  Local police issued a Tweet requesting the public to help find the campervan.

Today (Saturday 3 June) they stated that they managed to trace the campervan and thank the public for their assistance.  

Local police are looking for a Fiat campervan in the Skye area.

The police stated that the occupant called 999 last night, but no request was made.  Research shows the registration number is J800AHD.  Police have asked the public for assistance in locating the campervan.

 

The Isle of Skye's Gaelic drama, Bannan, will be screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival later this month.

Thèid trì earrannan bhon t-sreath ùr de Bhannan a shealltainn aig Fèis Fhilmichean Eadar-nàiseanta Dhùn Èideann air an 25mh Ògmhios. Bidh Q&A ann às dèidh làimh.

Those who attend will be able to see the first three episodes of series four of the popular BBC Alba drama from Young Films, which follows a young woman's return to the island she left at 18.  The event will take place on Sunday June 25 at 6pm.

There will be a Q&A after the screening.

Tickets can be purchased from the Edinburgh International Film Festival website here.

Marmalade Hotel in Portree could receive a new two storey extension, if a planning application submitted to the Highland Council is successful.

The proposed two storey extension will accommodate guestrooms and back of house and front of house areas.

A small scale demolition and other amendments could also be made to the listed building.

This and other submissions for planning applications can be viewed here.

Participants are required from the Highland Council region to take part in a new project, The Art of the Future World.

The Highland Youth Arts Hub (HYAH) has partnered with the National Galleries for Scotland (NGS) as part of their new outreach project and are currently looking for five participants aged 17-22 to take part in it.

The Art of the Future World aims to link communities throughout Scotland in a national conversations about their futures. Groups will create their own artworks in response to the ‘Project Box’ which will include materials such as: a reproduction of a NGS contemporary artwork (from the NOW exhibition at Modern 1), sculptural materials, buzzwords and written content. The NGS aim to have an exhibition at the National Galleries in early 2018 as a final outcome of the project. This may be in digital format online.

HYAH participants should have an interest in one or more of the following art forms: dance, drama, film, literature, music, visual art and must be available on the following dates:

- Thursday 10th August: An initial project meeting and afternoon exploring the ‘Project Box’. This will take place in Inverness.

- Thursday 14th September: A trip to Edinburgh to see the NOW exhibition at National Galleries Scotland.

Skye and Lochalsh Young Carers will be undertaking a 5 mile charity trek on Saturday 3 June.

The chosen charities have been a great source of support to the young carers and their families.  Diabetes Care, Friends of Raigmore Hospital, MacMillan Nurses, Highland Hospice and Huntington's Association will receive an equal split of any money raised.

The trek starts at 10am from the Peinchorran/Balmeanach junction to the road end then along the Sligachan lochside to finish at Sligachan Hotel about 1pm.

If you'd like to help support our causes you can donate here.

A new visitor survey by VisitScotland has revealed top reasons for visiting the Highlands.  

Attractions like Urquhart Castle, Fort George, Dunvegan Castle and Castle of Mey are proving a major draw to the Highlands, according to VisitScotland’s biggest ever Visitor Survey. 

Carried out in the summers of 2015 and 2016, the national tourism organisation’s poll saw 753 visitors to the Highlands interviewed, and 975 visitors answered specific questions about their visit to the area in a follow-up survey online.

A total of 65 per cent of those who replied cited visiting a historic house, stately home or castle amongst the top activities undertaken in the region – five per cent above the national average of 60 per cent.

There's a haunting air of mystery that cloaks the Highlands, and the region's turbulent history has left behind some of the most beautiful and romantic castles in the world. From Dunvegan Castle on Skye to the much-photographed Eilean Donan Castle - they remain a huge draw for visitors from both the UK and overseas.

Local police are looking for a male, reported to have been walking on the A87 in Broadford today (Thursday 1 June).

The man was reported to have been seen walking in his pyjamas between 7.00am to 7.30am.

Anyone who has seen anything is asked to call 101.

 

A climbdown by the the Crofting Commission looks to have ended the increasingly bitter war of words over common grazings.

Although centred on Lewis, the clash has been closely watched by crofters elsewhere including on Skye.

The dispute took a dramatic turn when the Commission confirmed today that it has written to shareholders of Mangersta Common Grazings on Lewis to advise that the grazings constable has concluded his investigations and has stepped down enabling shareholders to appoint a new committee of their choice.

In the letter to shareholders the Commission stated that it regrets the conflicting advice the Mangersta Grazings Committee has been given over a considerable period of time in response to the investigations which took place due to a complaint made by a shareholder. 

Following the news a separate statement issued by the former members of Mangersta Grazing Committee stated: “We are pleased and relieved that common sense has finally intervened and that this whole affair has been brought to a conclusion, with recognition by the Commission that we acted with integrity and in good faith at all times.

Bold plans to not only protect but also enhance one of Skye’s most iconic landmarks and its surroundings have moved a significant step nearer

For Staffin Community Trust (SCT) has awarded a key contract which will assess the potential purchase and improvements of local authority-owned land at the Old Man of Storr.

The move is set across a back drop of growing concerns from the local community about major parking congestion, road safety generally and the lack of toilet facilities which has sparked real public health concerns.

The on-going clash between the Crofting Commission and crofters has now been aired at the highest level.

In talks primarily about the impact of leaving the EU with Scotland’s Rural Economy Secretary, Fergus Ewing, Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) representatives made clear their feelings on the issue.

Fiona Mandeville

For in addition to the Brexit concerns Skye based Chair of SCF, Fiona Mandeville said: “We also had constructive discussion on the Crofting Commission crisis. We are very supportive of a majority elected Commission and fear that the common grazings debacle can jeopardise this.

“We therefore asked Mr Ewing to consider a procedural review of the Commission. At his request, we will send him a note outlining details of our recommendations forthwith.

More than 60 concerts, charity cafes, talks on plants, even a circus big top. This year’s Fèis an Eilein-Skye Festival really does have something for everyone.

Beginning on July 5 with the arrival of Tosta – the festival village from Donastia in the Basque Country  - the giant event, now celebrating its 25th anniversary, has something  taking place virtually every day right through until the grand finale on Wednesday 24 August with Blazin Fiddles in concert.

Lets Circus big top

Playing music too loud ended with the peace restored after police attended an address in Sraid An Eorna, Portree and confiscated the offending stereo because the owner wouldn’t turn it down.

Over two thousand cruise ship passengers were expected to pour into Portree today following the arrival of the luxury liner, Zuiderdam.

Viewfield Garden Collective was today celebrating 10 years of growth.

For the last decade the volunteer run group has steadily increased its activities in Portree and now boasts everything from mixed flower and vegetable gardens, to public footpaths and sales of produce.

Today (June 29) a special Open Day is being staged at the Viewfield Road premises and everyone is invited along between 11am-3pm.

An RNLI crew from Kyle of Lochalsh were called out in the early hours to help yachtsmen in trouble.

It was around 4am on Monday (June 27) when the lifeboat was called to Plockton Bay where the May Dream has broken from its mooring, run aground and begin to list badly on a falling tide.

When the RNLI volunteers arrived on the scene they were able to work with the two man crew and were eventually able to stabilise the yacht until it was possible to re-float the vessel. No-one was injured during the incident.

From left, Lloyd Gudgeon, Kate Earnshaw, Ross MacKenzie

 

Fifty people gathered in Raasay Community Hall as the local community met representatives of NHS Highland (NHSH) to discuss nursing cover on the island.

The meeting was chaired by Lloyd Gudgeon, the development officer for the Raasay Development Trust. District Manager for Skye, Lochalsh and Wester Ross, Kate Earnshaw and Area Manager (West), Ross MacKenzie, attended the meting to explain changes to the District Nursing Protocol, to outline what future steps could be taken and to answer questions from the floor.

Those attending raised concerns about emergency evacuations, out-of-hours care, primary care and the scheduled care they could expect.

Rosemary with grandchild

Skye’s very first woman priest described her ordination before a packed Portree church as “wonderful” and “humbling”.

Over 100 people attended St Columbus leaving little more than standing room only as former music teacher Rosemary Bungard completed the historic ceremony.

For Rosemary, a resident on Raasay, the ceremony, led by Rt Rev Kevin Pearson, Bishop of Argyll and The Isles, was the culmination of years of work and a moment she truly savoured.

She said; “It really was a wonderful moment and at the same time I felt very humbled.

“The church was full to capacity with congregation members, friends and family. Several retired priests from St Columbus also came along and it was also really nice to have representatives from the dioceses of Moray and Caithness where I had placements in the lead up to my ordination.

“Also it was lovely to have representatives from other churches across Skye there for the occasion. It really made the day complete.”

For many years, the Isle of Skye has been a source of inspiration to renowned artist, Pam Carter.  

After following the suggestion of fellow-artist, Laurence Broderick, Pam started to exhibit her work at Gallery An Talla Dearg, Isle Ornsay.  

This year 2016 marks Pam's 25th Isle of Skye exhibition - a milestone which she will celebrate with a variety of fun events!

Sleat's Ardvasar Community Permaculture Project has received a £2,268 Awards for All Scotland grant from Big Lottery Fund.

The group will use the funding to refurbish and improve their permaculture polytunnel, which was also built with the assistance of Awards for All funding in 2002 and damaged by strong winds last year.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service fought hundreds of needless fires across the country last summer, latest figures reveal.

Firefighters worked throughout the hot summer months of 2015 battling blazes at homes, vehicles, grassland, refuse and derelict buildings.

And the majority of those fires were deliberate and reckless – putting pressure on firefighters when genuine emergencies arose and placing lives at risk.
Assistant Chief Officer Robert Scott is the SFRS Director of Prevention and Protection.

He spoke out ahead of summer 2016 to warn that firefighters will work closely with our colleagues in Police Scotland to identify those responsible for deliberately setting fires.

In 2015 it was nominated for a national award now organisers of an outdoor Gaelic course in Staffin are hoping to attract even more people this year.

Urras an Taobh Sear (Staffin Community Trust) hosts the first part of Gaelic broadcaster Roddy MacLean’s course Àrainneachd, Cànan is Dualchas next month. In November last year both were nominated in the Community, Heritage and Tourism category at the Daily Record and Bòrd na Gàidhlig Scottish Gaelic Awards

The 10-day Gaelic in the environment course is aimed at fluent Gaelic speakers and advanced learners. It is supported by Bòrd na Gàidhlig.  This year it is offered in two five-day blocks and is suitable for countryside rangers, teachers, people employed in heritage and tourism in Scotland and beyond.

One of the Glendale stalls

Every Tuesday will bring a taste of summer as Glendale showcases itself and all that it can produce.

For the second year running the The Glendale Highland Market is back in business bringing with it fresh tastes, smells and sights of just how good local meat, fish and veg can be.

With much of the vegetables picked just hours before the 11am opening time, according to the community led Glendale Times, those making use of the local retail outlet are guaranteed of putting something good on their plate.

This year promises to see increased availability as the producers are more prepared for the huge demand that saw most of the fresh produce sell out very quickly in 2015.

Follow the buntings that line the streets and they will take you to Broadford Village Hall - the location for the Broadford Gala.  The event was organised by the Broadford Youth Club and today (Saturday June 25) was great fun for all involved!

After a foggy start to the day, the sun put in an appearance and the Gala was held in blazing summer sunshine.  An estimated 250 people of all ages attended the community event.  

Donald Rankin - Photo Staffin Community Trust

 It takes little figuring out to know that Portree accountant Donald Rankin’s latest success has brought him national recognition.

For against 80 other rivals a two year old Aberdeen Angus, called Retties Lady Ruth N228 owned by Donald, has been crowned champion female at Scotland’s biggest and more prestigious agricultural show.

Judges at the 176th Royal Highland show chose the Kilmaluag crofter’s pedigree cow despite strong opposition from across the country.

Highland Council has confirmed that it will sustain the current funding for Additional Support Needs in Primary and Secondary Schools for the new school year – 2016/17. 

While the Council has taken measures to address a £40m budget gap, it will not require to reduce the funding to schools for children with additional needs. 

At the Council’s budget meeting in February, members were told that applications for voluntary redundancy had been received from Pupil Support Assistants, but because these staff were supporting individual children in schools they could not be accepted without further assessment of needs.

The Council has now confirm that while voluntary redundancies have been agreed with managers in Additional Support services, the allocation to schools will continue at the current level, and there will be no reduction in the overall number of Pupil Support Assistants.  This is because that further assessment of needs is now complete, and because the Council has already achieved its voluntary redundancy savings target from other staff groups.

A showdown confrontation looks likely in Raasay next week as the island's out of hours nursing cover row rumbles on.

After months of lobbying by the Community Council, including making an official complaint - which to date has remained unanswered - a public consultation meeting has been agreed by NHS Highland (NHSH) and will now take place on Monday 27 June.

Announcing the long awaited meeting, Raasay Community Council Secretary, Jill Westgarth, said: "We have asked representatives of NHSH to explain the changes they have made to the nursing service for Raasay since summer 2015, how they expect the service to operate at present, and the options for the future. We remain committed to the principle of a nurse/nurses based on the island.

Acair Books are delighted to announce the publication of ‘Crotal Ruadh - Red Lichen’, a striking first collection of Gaelic Poetry from rising prize-winning writer Sandaidh/Sandy NicDhòmhnaill Jones. 

Internationally renowned poet Prof. Meg Bateman will be the guest speaker when ‘Crotal Ruadh’ is formally launched during the ‘Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig’ - ‘Researching Gaelic” conference at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig tomorrow  (Friday 24 June). 

There will be a second publicity event at the tuition music festival Ceòlas in South Uist on 1 July, and subsequent appearances at other Mòds, musical and literary events in the coming months.

Skye voters are being reminded that today is the day to have your vote on the EU Referendum on 23 June.

Steve Barron Counting Officer Highland Council area said: "Putting a cross in a box might seem simple, but there are plenty of things voters need to consider in order to be ‘referendum ready’.

"Your poll card will tell you the location of your polling station, and you will find more information on how to take part at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk. Voters can also get in touch with the team here at Highland Council with any further queries."

Shreya Ghoshal

STAFFIN could host a flood of Indian Bollywood fans this summer after one of their country’s most famous voices sung the praises of the Kilt Rock to her millions of fans.

For the popular tourist attraction has been given the approval rating of Shreya Ghoshal, a hugely popular star in India.

The Food Standards Agency has issued the following notice:

Bakkavor is recalling a number of chilled guacamole products with 'use by' dates up to and including the 02 July 2016 as a precautionary measure because the products might contain Salmonella.

 

Scotland’s Gaelic college, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Sleat is this week playing host to an international conference about the language.

The  Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig event, running through until Friday is featuring the latest and most important research in a range of topics relating to Gaelic. The conference itself takes place every second year in universities which house a Gaelic and/or Celtic department.

More than 1,100 air weapons were handed in across Highlands and Islands as part of a national campaign, coming second only to neighbouring North East division, where the total number of weapons reached 1,562.

A further 211 weapons have been handed in across the Highlands and Islands since the campaign came to a close on 12th June. The photo belows shows some of the air weapons handed in across the division.

Chief Constable Phil Gormley has today (Tuesday June 21st 2016) hailed the initiative a resounding success, as he revealed 11,569 weapons were handed in to Police stations across Scotland in total during the initiative.

Gaelic speakers and supporters are being urged to make their views known as Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd goes about assessing the way it promotes and uses the language.

As part of their Gaelic Language Plan 2016 t0 2019, the publicly owned company, which owns property and piers at more than 26 locations across Scotland and leases ferries directly to Calmac, have set a July 29 deadline for comments and views to be submitted.

With Gaelic widely spoken in the communities served by Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd (CMAL) the organisation say they are renewing their commitment to ensuring Gaelic has a strong and sustainable future in Scotland.

CMAL’s Gaelic Language Plan has a three-year timetable of activity, including increasing the amount of Gaelic multimedia content on the corporate website; a Gaelic version of the complaints procedure and the availability, on request, of Gaelic speakers at public meetings.

The Food Standards Agency’s latest alert concerns a pet food recall.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition is updating its recall of cat food pouches (pet food) to include an additional product. The FSA have issued the notification as they are responsible for animal feed regulations and the enforcement of pet food labelling through local authorities.

 

Dun Colbost

A five year long archaeological search to reveal more about Glendale and its ancient past is set to take place.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, local woman Ann MacSween and fellow enthusiast, Dave Reed, carried out excavations at Dun Colbost. The purpose of the excavations was to assess the archaeological deposits on top of the knoll, and also below the knoll. Three short seasons of excavation were carried out and there was considerable interest from the community throughout.

As a result of their efforts various finds were made including pottery dating to the Iron Age, over two thousand years ago, which is similar to the pottery from other excavated brochs in the area including Dun an Iardhard near Dunvegan Castle and Dun Beag near Struan.

Now, according to the community published Glendale Times, beginning next year Ann is set to return to the excavation site this time accompanied by John Barber, an expert in broch architecture  who has agreed to co-direct the excavations at Dun Colbost.

Annie receiving her award

The pivotal role played by Skye woman Annie Davidson in establishing a network of volunteers dedicated to saving marine wildlife has been rewarded.

In June of last year Annie witnessed first-hand the heart-breaking sight of a group of pilot whales who stranded themselves on the rocky shore of Staffin.

And it was the tragic loss of some of the whales that spurred her on to do something to make sure that should the same thing ever occur in the future local help would be at hand.

Now Annie, a Youth Development Officer at High Life Highland has received a ‘Staff Award for Exceptional Contribution’ from the charity run company for all the work and effort she has put in over the last twelve months.

 

The Big Friendly Giant could bring a further big boost to visitor numbers on Skye.

For as Britain gears up to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth and in the run-up to the launch of the film adaption of The BFG, VisitBritain is showcasing to the world what makes Britain a GIANT - and family-friendly - tourism destination.

And, high up on the places to visit is the Misty Isle which has seen its fair share of movies shot here including scenes from the Steven Spielberg directed BFG which launches in the UK on July 1.

The Hollywood director used the backdrop of The Storr to create scenes in the new, expected to be, blockbuster movie which joins a growing list of films to have taken advantage of the unique nature of the Trotternish Ridge on Skye.

Now the national tourism organisation has launched an international ‘Where Giant Dreams come to Life’ film tourism campaign in its first-ever collaboration with Disney, producer of The BFG. 

A new series of episodes of the popular BBC ALBA drama Bannan has been commissioned, it has been announced.
The filming of a further five episodes of the programme will give a significant boost to the creative industries in Skye and beyond.
Funded by MG ALBA – the Gaelic Media Service - Bannan is filmed on Skye and is produced by The Inbetweeners’ Chris Young and directed by Tony Kearney.
To date, 18 episodes have been filmed and the drama has proved to be one of the most watched programmes on BBC ALBA.

College chiefs keen to continue to support community learning are inviting the public along when they meet in Portree next week.

On Tuesday 28 June from 2pm the Board of Management of West Highland College UHI will gather at its Struan Road campus to discuss a number of issues including how to replace lost funding.

Dozens of P7 pupils from across Skye are getting together as part of the Safe Highlanders and Islanders initiative.

The event takes place at the Fingal Centre in Portree on Tuesday and is part of an educational activity based on a partnership approach, endeavoring to tackle challenging issues of community safety and crime prevention.

Children, following the event, become more aware of personal safety, potentially avoid becoming victims of crime, understand how to react to emergency situations and their chances of becoming good citizens increases.

 

They have travelled from the other side of the globe but this week the Scotch College Pipes & Drums from Melbourne, Australia will be performing where their roots lie.

Dunvegan Castle will be the perfect setting on Tuesday when they set out to entertain from around 11:30 am.

 

 

Rosemary (left) during her ordination as a deacon

Assistant curate Rosemary Bungard will make history this week-end when she becomes the very first woman to be ordained as a priest on Skye.

The historic occasion will take place at St Columbus Church in Portree where Rosemary has been assistant curate for the last twelve months.

A former music teacher at Portree High School she also conducted the Skye & Lochalsh Young Music Makers Orchestra and the Skye & Lochalsh Orchestra. In addition to her duties at Portree she currently plays a similar role at St Mary’s in Sleat and St Michael and All Angels over on Raasay where she lives.

 

Brian Inkster

Crofting law expert, Brian Inkster claims the Crofting Commission is flouting the will of Parliament.

And according to him there is “absolutely no basis in law for this” and, he feels, “it is clear that the Crofting Commission is flouting the will of Parliament.”

(Words and photographs by Roz Skinner)

On Saturday (June 18), an estimated 19,000 people crammed into the Tulloch Caledonium Stadium in Inverness to see and hear the recently-knighted Sir Rod Stewart perform. Many in the audience had travelled from the Isle of Skye and the Isle of Lewis to attend the concert. 

 

MP Ian Blackford

Ross, Skye & Lochaber MP Ian Blackford put down a parliamentary motion, congratulating Skye Camanachd U17 on winning the 2016 RBS MacTavish Juvenile Cup at the Bught Park, Inverness earlier this month.

Mr Blackford was present at the game and afterwards, he congratulated the winning Skye squad on their 2-1 victory over their Fort William counter-parts.

 

A Dutch visitor’s last day on Skye is probably one she will wish to forget.

 Skye Mountain Rescue had to be called out over the week-end when the woman, out walking with his husband on the Quiraing, slipped on rubble and broke her ankle.

 

The Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) has reiterated its call on Scottish Ministers to intervene in the crofting common grazings debacle and to instigate an external examination of the Crofting Commission, following revelations of a cover-up.

“’The Crofting Commission are lying to us’ would perhaps be too strong an accusation” the Skye based chair of the SCF, Fiona Mandeville, said, “but it is clear that they are spinning distortions. Saying one thing and then trying to hide the evidence that they have indeed said something else in the past is duplicitous to say the least.

The Food Standards Agency has issued the following alert:

O.T. (Smoked Salmon) Ltd, is recalling various smoked salmon products because high levels of Listeria monocytogenes have been found in the product. Although the use by date on some of the products has expired, this product is suitable for home freezing, and therefore may have been frozen.

 

 

Skye Forest Garden

Skye Forest Garden on Sleat has now added to its attractions for locals and visitors alike.

For over 20 years the 16 acre wooded peninsula at Arnadale Pier has been a draw with with its eco camping and accommodation, educational opportunities and has been developed and maintained through the ethos and principles of permaculture.

Now the new 'Pier Stores Whole Foods' has opened at the Forest Garden providing a retail outlet packed full of produce including artisan breads, jams, chutney, wholefoods, juices, gifts and much more.

Located just a few yards up the path to the Rubha Phoil garden there is something for everyone and for those taking the ferry a chance to spend some of their waiting time picking up some very special gifts, food and drink.

The store will be open 10am-5pm Mon-Fri and 12 noon -3pm Sat-Sun.

 

 

 

 

Firefighters have joined calls for people to stay safe around water.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) crews are frequently called to emergencies where someone has gotten into difficulty on rivers, canals and lochs throughout the country.

While firefighters always do what they can to save lives, they know their specialist skills are not always enough.

Around 400 people drown in the UK every year and the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) launched Drowning Prevention Week to make people aware of the dangers and support schools, clubs and leisure centres working to avoid needless tragedies.

It has created activity packs with a video, a lesson plan and guide for educators, which are available on the SFRS website at www.firescotland.gov.uk/your-safety/water-safety/schools-and-community-groups-resources.aspx.

A link-up between the Skye-based charity Lucky2BHere, and a family in the Isle of Scalpay off Harris means that staff at CalMac’s port in Tarbert, on the route from Uig in Skye, have been trained to use a newly donated defibrillator. The vital medical equipment has been gifted by the MacRae family via Lucky2BHere and is now installed at the port office – there is a second defibrillator, also donated by Lucky2BHere, at Tarbert’s Sir E Scott School. Sadly, the family’s son Christopher lost his life in 2005 at the age of just 25 to an undiagnosed heart condition..

Back row (L-R) Angus Morrison (Lucky2BHere), Maree Fraser (CalMac), John Macleod (CalMac), Tina Macleod (CalMac), Kay Macleod (CalMac), Norman Ian Mackay (CalMac); front row (L-R) David Morrison (CalMac) and Cameron Morrison (Lucky2BHere).  Missing from the picture are Catherine Mackinnon (CalMac) and Karen MacRae (Lucky2BHere)

 

U3A members out and about

It may be called the University of the Third Age but on Skye at least the real lesson to be learnt is how to get the very most out of your spare time.

Now Skye U3A are keen to get more locals involved and have drawn up a busy programme of events and activities over the coming months involving everything from searching out local archaeology, flora and fauna to just enjoying a good walk in the company of others

Chair Mo MacQuarrie, said: “There is no age restriction or limit on those who want to join U3A and take part in our activities the only condition is that they must no longer be in full time employment.

 

Bosses at the soon to be Raasay Distillery had to box cleverly when their planned new development hit any unexpected snag.

Work has now began on the brand new facility but it was while in the pre-planning stage that the company behind the project, R&B Distillers, suddenly discovered bats nesting in the old Borodale House which will form part of the new distillery and visitor centre complex.

It turned out the old building was home to two species, the relatively common Pipistrelle and also what has turned out to be the UK’s most North-Westerly population of Brown Long-Eared bats. So to get around any clashes with the normally nocturnal creatures the distillers have now created Raasay’s very own Bat City.

A little over an hour after police were forced to close the busy A82 south of Drumnadrochit today (June 16)  traffic was once again travelling as normal.

A road traffic accident just south of of Urquhart Castle led to police urging drivers to find alternative routes. However, swift action by officers at the scene soon had the road cleared and drivers able to proceed as normal. The incident is said to have involved a motorcycle and a HGV with one woman taken to hospital.

 

 

A82 - Closed, South of Drumnadrochit

Police advise that the A82 is closed just south of Urquhart Castle following a Road Traffic Collision at around 11.30am today.

Please use alternative routes if possible

 

Leopard man Tom

 A Skye man, once acknowledged as the world’s most tattooed person, has died.

Thought to be around 80 years old, Tom Woolridge, passed away at an Inverness nursing home.

Known as the Leopard Man of Skye, Tom was reputed to have spent over £5,000 on his body art yet for 20 years lived in a remote bothy on the Kyleakin shore with only a roof of plastic and metal sheeting to protect him.

 

Work begins this week

 It’s been a long time coming but work has finally begun to build Raasay’s distillery. R&B Distillers are finally moving on site at Borodale House, formerly the Isle of Raasay Hotel.

Earlier this year the company received planning permission for the project which will see the Victorian-era former hotel building converted into a visitor centre for the Isle of Raasay Distillery. The extension to the hotel built in 1980 is being removed to be replaced by the distillery.

An open letter has been issued by the Crofting Commission’s Chief Executive, Catriona Maclean which reads:

There has been much said recently about the Crofting Commission and its actions, in particular in relation to common grazings.  As the regulator for crofting we cannot comment on specific cases but it is clear that there have been a number of issues raised which many people have expressed concern over and the full circumstances of why action was necessary is not yet in the public domain.

I think it is important to say that the Commission is not on a campaign to review the functioning of every grazings committee.  Be assured, we do understand that most of the nearly 500 grazings committees across the crofting counties are working well, and will continue to do so, helping to safeguard this important community asset.  This situation has identified the passion and value that crofters, and those who represent them, put on common grazing land.  The Commission shares that passion and value and it is good to see its management and potential being discussed openly. 

 

Artist's impression of the viewing platform

An ambitious scheme to transform one of Skye’s already popular natural features into a major tourist attraction has been put forward.

The Staffin Community Trust are seeking planning permission for an initiative which, if it is successful, would almost certainly bring a big boost to the local economy.

As part of the second phase of the Skye Ecomuseum they want to install a galvanized viewing platform. This would dramatically extend some three metres over the Lealt Gorge giving breath taking views not only of the waterfall but also the Trotternish Ridge and across to Wester Ross.

Skye Mountain Rescue were out for around seven hours at the week-end as they helped an injured walker to safety.

The 69 years old was knocked unconscious and suffered cuts and grazes after falling around 60-70 feet on Am Caisteal in the Cuillin.

According to Skye Mountain Rescue team leader, Gerry Akroyd, the alarm was raised after a walking companion of the injured man made it back to the roadside.

Gerry added: “That was around 2.30pm. Once we had located the man fortunately his injuries were not too serious and we were able to walk him out. We returned at about 9.30pm.”

 

 

Skye pool to be transformed

A public swimming pool transformed into a giant frog pond! Might sound like a massive leap of the imagination but that’s what is about to happen on Skye.

On Saturday 25 June, for just one day, the popular Fingal Centre pool in Portree is going to be taking on a whole new look. For Froglife Scotland, a charity dedicated to conserving reptiles and amphibians across the country, is bringing its water based, interactive educational activities to the island.

Youngsters, up to the age of 12 years, can take part in the event which will see the public swim facility turned into an outsized pond complete with frog, tadpole and lilypad floats.

The Dragon Finder initiative coming to Skye is Froglife’s flagship project and brings together practical conservation, surveying, data collection and interactive educational activities.

 

Artist's impression of the proposed plant

Skye folk can have their say about a proposed new multi million pound plant which is set to bring new jobs and big investment to the island.

Later this month and following on from the initial first round of public information events, Marine Harvest (Scotland), are to hold further exhibitions.  There further information will be available about the proposed £80 million fish feed producing facility which will bring around 55 new jobs to Skye.

Already the company have earmarked the old Altanavaig Quarry at Kyleakin as the site for the new plant. Once in full production it will make food for Marine Harvest’s Scottish fish farms as well as those in Norway, Ireland and the Faroe Islands.

Full results for the Skye Half Marathon are now available here

 

A plan to increase and improve mobile coverage in Scotland has been agreed with mobile operators, Cabinet Secretary for Connectivity. Fergus Ewing announced today.

The plan will see the Scottish Government work with the industry and other partners to maximise commercial investment in 4G mobile in Scotland, and ultimately, to support 5G-ready infrastructure across the country. This will help to ensure the Scottish Government uses its powers to guarantee people benefit from better mobile coverage, even though the primary responsibility lies with the UK Government.

The announcement was welcomed by Shirley Spear, ‏founder of The Three Chimneys in Colbost who chairs the Scottish Food Commission. She said on Twitter: "Great! Long overdue. My 5* business is in one of those remote, rural areas in great need of improved infrastructure."

The prizegiving for the 2016 Isle of Skye Half Marathon took place in Portree High School this afternoon. The trophies are shown below.

Today  (Saturday June 11) the 2016 Isle of Skye Half Marathon was won by Hugh Campbell of Skye and Lochalsh Running Club with a time of 1.12.48.  He was one of more than 800 entrants in the race which saw runners take to the roads in and around Portree, with the traditional course reaching out toward Skeabost and Tote.

Taking second and third place respectively were Alastair Thurlbeck of Glasgow University Hares & Hounds with a time of 1.15.30 and Jeremy Rossiter of the Skye and Lochalsh Running Club with a time of 1.15.32.

Around 850 runners took part in the Isle of Skye Half-marathon today and the winner was Hugh Campbell.   The first woman across the line was Ellie Buchan from Aberdeen.   Conditions were good with the weather grey but not wet .  The Isle of Skye Pipe Band accompanied runners to the start line in Portree.

 

OBE for Shirley

Three Chimney’s restaurant founder Shirley Spear has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honour’s List for services to the food and drink industry in Scotland.

Today congratulations and best wishes were pouring in for Shirley who is also Chair of the Scottish Food Commission, a FlySkye campaigner, and winner of a Lifetime Achievement Scottish Rural Award in 2016.

Skye cancer research fundraisers Alastair and Helen Nicolson from Skye were also awarded the British Empire Medal for their work over the last 30 years while former Carbost head teacher Jessie Donaldson has received a BME for voluntary service to the community.

 

Skyeskyns on Waternish are spearheading the search to try and reunite a visitor with his lost camera equipment. General manager Dave Till received the following Facebook call for help from a man known only as “Robert”.

“Hi folks, what a place you have to live and work! I walked around the Waternish Point area on Weds 31st May…breathtaking views. Unfortunately, I lost my camera bag + camera + some other gear in the bag. I know it was dropped on the road between Fairy Bridge and the cattle grid where the sign ‘Waternish’ is. Only about 2-3 miles. I’m pretty sure it was picked up by someone either entering or leaving the Waternish area between 7pm – 8pm , as I noticed fairly quickly and proceeded to thoroughly and extensively search both sides of the land by the road, therefore I’m almost certain it’s been picked up from the road. The camera is an expensive one, but the loss of the images contained on the card is what really hurtsme personal stuff. Anyway, I just thought I’d drop you a message to ask if you’d contact me if you’re aware of anyone local finding the bag.

Anyone who can help should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Searches are continuing in the Dornie area for Roger Fletcher, who was reported missing on Sunday 5th June.

Extensive searches have been carried out this week in the Dornie, Bundalloch and Glenshiel areas and around the A87 towards Cluanie. Police Officers, Police and SARDA dogs, lifeboat and Coastguard personnel have been involved in the search effort in addition to Kintail and RAF Mountain Rescue Teams.

 

William Swann

Skye man William Swann was today unwilling to add to the speculation following his sudden resignation from the Crofting Commission.

The announcement that Mr Swann from Ardvasar, Sleat, was stepping down from his role as a Commissioner forthwith, came in a brief statement this week from Chief Executive, Catriona Maclean.

In recent months there has been growing discontent at grass roots level over the decisions by the Commission to remove from office two grazing committees at Upper Coll and Mangersta in Lewis after investigating their financial arrangements.

However, today Mr Swann said he had nothing to add to the resignation announcement made by the Chief Executive.

However, he did say: "The situation is one very much between the Scottish Government and Crofting Commission and something they need to sort out. I hope that things do calm down.”

 

Final preparations were underway today as Skye was once again preparing to welcome hundreds of road runners to the island.

A record number of competitors, some 800, have put down their names for this year’s Skye half marathon and many taking part will be relieved that the recent heatwave type temperatures look set to fall.

The Met Office was predicting, “A rather dull and damp day with outbreaks of mainly light rain at times.”

 There’s a big weekend ahead for Skye based shinty ref John Angus Gillies as he referees his first major final tomorrow (June 11).

 The Grade 1 referee will take charge of the RBS MacTavish Cup Final between Newtonmore and Lochaber at the Bught Park, Inverness.

The Crofting Commission have today confirmed that Skye man William Swann has decided to resign from his position of Commissioner. Mr Swann was appointed by Scottish Ministers in January 2012 and is said to have provided a significant contribution to the Commission during his time and was particularly helpful as the chair of the Audit and Finance Committee. Crofting Commission Chief Executive, Catriona Maclean, commented: “William has provided invaluable knowledge, expertise and guidance to the Commission.  The Commission would like to thank William for all of his hard work and we wish him luck with his future ventures.  “The Commission remain quorate and I would like to assure all crofters that it is business as usual with a continued focus on securing the future of crofting.”

 

The Electoral Commission is urging voters who are not already registered to vote to make an application before midnight on Thursday 9 June.

The Commission called this morning for the Government to consider options for introducing legislation as soon as possible that would extend the deadline, after problems affected the Government’s registration website last (Tuesday) night.

The Government has now announced that they plan to introduce legislation that will allow people who make applications to register on Wednesday 8 and up to midnight on Thursday 9 June to vote in the EU Referendum on 23 June.

 

Flyskye in its on-going campaign to bring scheduled flights back to the island is hoping a planned photo exhibition, to be held locally this summer, will bring further support to the cause.

The Value of Small Airports is the theme of the exhibition which will take place on Skye at the end of August.

However, the visit to Skye will different from the other areas visited so far because it hasn’t had a scheduled air service since 1988, when Loganair withdrew the Glasgow service that had been operating since 1972.

Plans for the new micro abattoir in Portree

It is now nearly 25 years since Skye had its own permanent abattoir and according to supporters of the scheme a return is long overdue.

Rachael Jackson from Orbost who as Project Officer and now a Committee member with the Skye and Lochalsh Meat Supply Group, has helped spearhead the initiative said:

“There is a huge amount of support for this scheme not just from meat producers but from those on the island who want to enjoy local produce.

Western Isles Councillors have agreed to roll out a Skye-based programme providing life-saving equipment and emergency life-support training to schools across the islands making Comhairle nan Eilean Siar the first local authority in Scotland to introduce Emergency Life Support on to the Curriculum for Excellence.

The Education and Children’s Services Committee agreed to grant £30,000 toward the Lucky2BHere project which will see defribillators installed and training provided at all schools in the Western Isles.

Skye’s fight to have its own abattoir on the island has taken a significant step forward.

With full planning permission already given a crowdfunding campaign is about to begun to help raise at least some of the expected cost of the facility, which will be just over £1million.

Local MSP Kate Forbes and the chairwoman of the Scottish Food Commission and founder of Skye’s world renowned  Three Chimney’s restaurant, Shirley Spears, have already given their backing to the fund-raising plan.

The initial intention of the Skye and Lochalsh Meat Supply Group, who are the driving force behind the new abattoir, is to try and raise at least five percent of the total cost through crowd funding. This would involve getting financial support from contributions, both large and small, given to the initiative.

In recent years the only alternative of local crofters and meat producers to have their beasts slaughtered has been to travel to Dingwall with all the inherent costs of transportation and stress for the animals.

 

Family release photo

Police Scotland have now formally confirmed that the 21 year old woman killed during a road traffic collision on the A87 near Sligachan Hotel, Skye, in the early hours of June 6 was Madison Rice, from Australia, who was working on the island at Kinloch Lodge, Sleat.

At the same time the force have also put out a photograph of Maddy given by her grieving family.

 

The Crofting Commission is emphasising the important role of grazings committees in representing shareholders and maintaining and improving common grazings.

Grazings committees are seen as playing a crucial part in the crofting system and in the effective shared management of common grazings across the crofting counties.  The Commission therefore say it is important for them to have, and follow, clear grazings regulations to safeguard the future of common grazing land for the benefit of all crofters.  Vice-Convener of the Crofting Commission, I G Macdonald explains:

World class piper Iain Spiers  has been crowned as the worthy winner of this year’s  30th Anniversary Donald MacDonald Piping Competition on Skye.

Iain, (pictured far left) with the other competitors

 Held at the Stables Restaurant in Armadale Castle Iain, from Edinburgh, proved to be the worthy winner despite facing strong competition from fellow pipers,  Angus MacColl, Cameron Drummond, Bruce Gandy, Stuart Liddell and Roddy MacLeod.

 

 

Skye half marathon this week-end

Billed as one of the world’s most scenic races the Skye half marathon takes to the roads around Portree this week-end.

Some 800 runners have entered the event forcing organisers to close the entry list way back in April and those disappointed at missing out are already being told to await the opening of the 2017 race.

However, for those not actually taking part in the big event they should be aware that some road closures are being put in place to ensure safety for the competitors.

As part of the ongoing search effort to trace Roger Fletcher, who is missing in the Dornie area, Police in Lochalsh have received information about a sighting of a man walking on the A87 on Sunday night. 

Around 7pm on Sunday 5th June, a man in his seventies or eighties was sighted on the main A87 trunk road, approximately 4 miles west of Cluanie, in the Glenshiel area. He was walking with two poles and wearing outdoor clothing.

Raasay Primary School pupils will soon be able to enjoy working in their garden in all weathers.

Plans are in motion to set up a new polytunnel.  It is hoped that the new polytunnel will be better able to withstand the winter weather and allow the pupils to tend their gardens all year round.

To help enrich the soil in the polytunnel, a new composting scheme has been set up.  On Monday, several of the pupils, as well as head teacher Wilma Duncan, visited residents to advertise their new community project.  The scheme will initially take effect in the School Park area of Raasay, with the potential to expand the project at a later date.  Each resident wishing to take part will be given their own compost caddy.  On Wednesdays, the pupils will collect the full caddies and use the compost in the school garden.  With the help of the community, the pupils aim to reduce the area's CO2 emissions by 17.5 tonnes.

David (second right) with other members of the Scottish squad

At the age of 76 years Skye man David Hearn has  yet again become a world beater

Already a European champion and holding three world records in power lifting, David from Hill Place in Portree travelled to Wales at the week-end (June 3,4,5) to take part in World Drug Free Power Lifting Federation’s Single Lift Championship.

There he was joined by around 400 competitors drawn from across the globe, including Americans, Russians, French, Italians and Brazilians but it was the Skye man who, at least in his age category, ruled supreme.  For he grasped not just one but two world titles and narrowly missed out on a third when he took runners up spot.

Police in Lochalsh are continuing the search to trace Rodger Fletcher, aged 77, who is missing from the Dornie area.

Police officers, police and SARDA dogs, Kintail and RAF Mountain Rescue Teams are continuing to search areas around Dornie, where it is believed Mr Fletcher planned to walk.

Maddy and Joe

The woman killed during an early morning road accident on Skye yesterday (June 6) has been identified.

Australian hotel worker Maddy Rice, 21, is believed to have been hitch-hiking home with her boyfriend Joe Perry when the tragedy occurred close to the Sligachan Hotel at 1.15am

Police have confirmed that a Vauxhall car was involved in the incident, the driver of which was unhurt.

Maddy and Joe are thought to have been returning to Kinloch Lodge on Sleat where they have been living and working when the accident occurred leaving the road closed to traffic for nearly nine hours.

MSP Ian Blackford

Calmac’s decision not to bring MV Coruisk back to the Sound of Sleat this summer has been quickly condemned by local MSP Ian Blackford.

Only last week the man who represents Ross, Skye and Lochaber claimed he had been assured that the ferry, currently plying the Oban-Craignure route, would be returned to Mallaig-Armadale in a matter of weeks.

Within hours of hearing of Calmac’s decision Mr Blackford issued a strong statement condemning the move.

 

 

Skye and Lochalsh RC members finishing

The R.House Trotternish Ridge Race took place on Saturday 4th June.  Following a couple of weeks of dry weather, the underfoot conditions were amazingly dry as 36 competitors lined up on the start line at Flodigarry.  It was a brilliantly sunny day with perfect visibility, although the heat was a factor for some of the runners.

Local Donnie Campbell led from the start, leading the pack up over Meall na Suiramach before descending to cross the Quiraing Road.  The runners then faced the long, remote run along the Trotternish Ridge crossing high points of Ben Edra, Hartaval and The Storr.

Ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) has confirmed it intends making no further changes to the Mallaig-Armadale service this summer but has agreed, after listening to community concerns, that it will review vessel deployment for summer 2017 in consultation with affected communities.

CalMac Managing Director Martin Dorchester said the timetable changes made in light of reliability issues on the Mallaig-Armadale service had noticeably improved performance on the route.

He said: “We regret that our plans for the Mallaig-Armadale route have fallen short of some expectations but I would stress that every change to our summer timetable was made after consultation with the local communities and each change was made in good faith with the sole intention of enhancing ferry services and addressing local concerns, some long-standing, about services in their area. We should also not lose sight of the fact that the vast majority of these changes have been warmly welcomed by those local communities.

 

Have you seen this man?

Police in Kyle of Lochalsh are appealing for information that could help trace the whereabouts of 77 year old  Roger Fletcher, who was last seen around 8.30am on Sunday 5 June.

He set off from a holiday home in Bundalloch near Dornie for a walk. He walks with a stoop and uses two walking poles to assist him.  He has white coloured hair and wears glasses. It understood he may have a small khaki coloured rucksack with him.

 

Ringing the changes

You’ll be happy to hear that Portree Parish Church has been ringing the changes.

For years the church bell has only been rung on a few special occasions but now it’s bringing back a little old fashioned atmosphere to the village centre as its peals can be heard on the hour, every hour, right through the day.

Already locals and visitors alike have commented favourably on the return of the regular rings but for the Somerled Square church, Rev. Sandor Fazakas, admits that the new addition was more by accident than design.

 

Ridge race winner

Local man Donnie Campbell did the double when he took first place for the second time running in the R.House sponsored Trotternish Ridge race on Skye.

And, with a slightly lengthened course to 30km it also meant a new race record for the Skye runner who managed to get round the super tough course in just 3.07.52 seconds. First lady home was Jill Stephen in 3.55.03.

A 21 years old woman has died during an early morning road accident on Skye today (June 6)

Just one vehicle and a lone pedestrian are reported to have been involved in the accident which occurred near Sligachan Hotel forcing police to close off the A87 A851 - A863 Sconser to Sligachan to traffic in both directions.  

The incident occurred at 1.15 am this morning and the road was closed to traffic until around 9.30am.

Police with speed cameras have been keeping a careful eye on traffic passing through the Skeabost area of Skye. The action was as a result of complaints from the local Skeabost Community Council and just a few weeks ago five drivers were reported when they were recorded doing over 80mph.

Learning through Living Culture is the theme of a new partnership course to be run on Skye.

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig is linking up with the Flodigarry Township Trust to run the community based course later in the year.

The 5-day residential is designed for advanced learners of Gaelic who wish to improve their oral and literary skills as well as deepen their knowledge of Gaelic literature, history and culture in the heart of a thriving Gaelic community in North Skye. 

The week, which runs from August 22-26, includes a mixture of tutors and contributors with outdoor education and class-based workshops.  It is expected that this course will be of great benefit to learners who seek to reach fluency in their studies or profession as well as those who wish to reach fluency for personal development.

There were more problems for vintage paddle steamer Waverley yesterday (June 3rd) with over 100 passengers having to be bussed back to Portree.

A planned cruise from Portree round Raasay and back to the harbour had to be aborted, it’s believed because of tide and wind conditions making it unsafe for the vessel to return to its starting point. Instead the 70 year old ship, the last sea going steamer of its kind in the world, was forced to head to Kyle where it docked. There passengers were met by coaches which brought them back to their original starting point.

One passenger said: “We got to Raasay and were then told that the crew had been informed the conditions were not safe enough to return to Portree so we were taken to Kyle. It did seem strange because the sea seem dead flat and calm.”

 

Some 50 entrants were lining up today for the start of Skye’s gruelling Trotternish Ridge Race.

Amongst the favourites is local and last year’s winner Donnie Campbell, the new record holder of the tough Highland Fling race and who only recently took 5th place in Mont Blanc’s 80km event and  current Scottish 100km champion.

All the runner’s though will be put to the test against the 17 miles route which starts at Flodigarry and finishes at Storr Lochs.  In between the competitors will face some of the most rugged running conditions possible. 

Last year, such were the conditions with driving rain and storm force winds, that the organisers, Skye and Lochalsh Running Club, had to reduce the course to 12 miles finishing in Glenhinnisdal.  However, today heat was likely to be the main issue.

Organiser, Neil Turner said: “This will be the fourth running of the ridge race and the weather has thrown everything at us in the past.”

 

The Skye Festival has announced the line-up for a long-hot summer with 70 events throughout July and August.

Also known as Fèis an Eilein, it is organised by SEALL or Skye Events for All, one of the UK’s liveliest and longest running local promoting organisations. Based at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Scotland’s Gaelic College, on the Isle of Skye, SEALL brings together a wide range of culturally diverse events alongside a programme of community led cafes, exhibitions and house concerts. This year SEALL celebrates its 25th birthday.

The Grand old lady of the sea - Waverley – was back on scheduled sailing today after high winds and rough seas led to a shortened cruise yesterday.

The ship, described as one of the world’s greatest historic ships – the last sea-going paddle steamer in existence – should have sailed from o Gairloch but instead it was decided, in light of the weather conditions, to visit only Portree and Kyle.

This morning, though excursion staff confirmed that the Waverley would been sailing on the planned cruise around Raasay.

A new tartan has been developed especially for the Isle of Raasay.

The idea came from island resident, Lillian MacLeod, who retired to the Isle of Raasay several years ago. 

Amid growing speculation that the MV “Coruisk” might be returning to the Mallaig-Armadale route, Calmac have made it clear no final decision has yet been made.

Despite the growing clamour of recent weeks the ferry company appear reluctant to make any decision without first investigating all the consequences of bringing the vessel back from its current role servicing the Oban-Craignure route.

In fact only last week in reply to a query from one Sleat resident, Calmac’s Managing Director, Martin Dorchester, made no indication of the “Coruisk” returning but instead that amendments had been made to the present timetable.

Lifting world records just comes naturally to Skye’s David Hearn and now he’s out to do it again!

At the age of 76, David continues to amaze and while he is already a European champion and holds three world records this week-end he will be in Wales as he takes on all-comers in trying to add the World Single Lift Championship to his formidable tally.

Drivers on the Isle of Skye faced delays as fire fighters tackled an out of control heath fire.

Heavy smoke caused driving difficulties which led police to put in place traffic management as the blaze was tackled close to the A87, three miles south of Portree on Wednesday 1 June.  

Wi-fi friendly ferries right across CalMac’s service will soon be the norm.

While the company may still be under-fire for the on-going problems on Skye’s Armadale-Mallaig crossing at least travellers there and throughout the ferry network will have instant access to the internet.

Already almost half of the 200-mile long Caledonian MacBrayne network is now live with free public access wi-fi – and the remainder will be completed in early July.

In total, 88 vessels and land-based locations will be switched on.  The roll out of free wi-fi has been on-going for some time but the programme has gathered rapid pace in the last two months . The service is seen as being a welcome addition to both visitors and locals alike, especially in many remote areas where mobile signal ranges from poor to absent. There is little 3G or 4G provision across most of the network and this new connectivity is seen as a welcome boost to both business and pleasure travelers who can now work or communicate in real time.

A major road on Skye was blocked by a one vehicle accident following an early morning incident. 

Police say the sole occupant of the vehicle, a Mercedes delivery van, suffered no serious injuries during the incident which occurred at around 6am on the A87 between Portree and Varragill. The vehicle is thought to have collided with a bridge and police were forced to close the road for sometime while the van was recovered resulting in long tail backs and delays for travellers.

In a separate incident, also on Wednesday 1 June but this time shortly after 7am, took place at Kyleakin two vehicles were involved in a collision. Again police confirmed that there were no serious injuries.

Site created by Intermedia Services (Stornoway) Ltd © 2017