The death of a dog has led to an investigation of the water in a Portree pond.

Sandy the dog had been swimming in the water at Portree's Sluggans Woodland Park before it died last month.

Ten and a half year old Sandy had previously been given a clean bill of health the Friday preceding his death.  After swimming in the pond, he started fitting and had to be put down, according to David Sinclair, son of Sandy's owners.

The pond is a short distance from a recycling centre, a former landfill site and also a sewage treatment works.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has tested the water and found no traces of discharges from the sites or harmful blue-green algae.

As a precautionary measure, Highland Council has put warnings signs at the pond.

Sepa also plans to carry out further sampling.

A spokesperson for the agency said: "Sepa is not aware of any other activities which might have affected water quality in the area including the pond and we will continue to assist our local environmental health colleagues in their ongoing investigations."

Highland Council said: "Strict procedures are in place regarding the containment of discharges and these are fully adhered to.

"The council therefore considers that the source of any contamination in this pond or the surrounding area is not from landfilling activities past or present.

"We will fully co-operate with any further investigations SEPA plan to undertake."

A presentation was made to 10 local volunteer organisations that supported the Isle of Skye Half Marathon.

Skye Events, the organising body of the Half Marathon, made the donations last week.  

The donations totalled £2,400.

Speaking at the event Alistair Danter, Chair of Skye Events, noted that with registrations at 990 and actual runner numbers at 741 this was the biggest field of competitors experienced by the Skye Half Marathon.

With 741 runners taking part in the event, 85% are from outwith Skye & Lochalsh.  A race survey indicates that participants stay on average just over 2 nights in a range of accommodation types from tents to hotels.  This results in an injection of around £85,000 into the local economy.

Further information on Skye Events can be found at www.skye-events.co.uk

Above: Skye Events Chairman Alistair Danter presents local groups with donations for supporting this years Isle of Skye Half Marathon.

A cheque of £4000 was present to Portree Lifeboat Crew and Fundraisers.

The cheque was presented by Alfie Edwards on behalf of the Applecross boat pull team, of which he is a member.

A cheque of £1850 was also presented by Glynis Padgett in memory of her husband, Tony Padgett, a long time member of the Applecross boat pull team.  Mr Padgett sadly passed away earlier this year.

Portree Lifeboat Crew and Fundraisers would like to say thank you very much to everyone who took part and donated to raise these wonderful sums of money.

 

A sheepdog handler from Perthshire won the Staffin Sheepdog Trials on Friday 14 July.

Peter Martin, from Glenlyon, and his dog Jen beat almost 70 other competitors from all over the UK, Europe and North America last Friday in Ellishadder.

The annual Staffin Sheepdog Trials, which is part of the Hebridean Circuit, featured a top-class line up of handlers and dogs.

Judge Ian MacKay, of Leanach Farm, Culloden, presided over the action for his second time at Staffin. 

There were 68 dogs in the contest and handlers had travelled from as far afield as America, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland, including Lewis and Shetland.  The handlers and their dogs are scored on elements of the trial such as the success of the outrun, lift, bring and penning. 

Ian, an international sheepdog handler who is originally from Raasay, said Peter and Jen had put on an excellent display.  Peter is a former International Brace (running two dogs at the same time) Champion and is one of Scotland’s top handlers at the moment.

Ian said: “He had kept to the lines better than anybody else, that was why he was the winner.  It is a very challenging course at Staffin.  They are taking the sheep in at an angle and the sheep were very light, a bit flighty.  The dogs had a job with them on the day.” 

Ian, who has competed at Staffin himself, said the international handlers faced the same challenges as the UK competitors.  It was a largely dry and pleasant fresh day although there were outbreaks of rain in late afternoon.  The trials organiser, Ian MacDonald from Digg, won the Local Competition with a two-year bitch called Zoe. 

Ian thanked everybody in the local community for their support in attending the event and his band of helpers who help before, during and after the event.  

The excellent total of £1,800 was raised on the day for Crossroads Care and donations are still coming in.  

NHS Highland's policy of charging for baby scan photos to be reviewed following Kate Forbes MSP's investigation

The only health board in Scotland that charges pregnant mums £5 for a copy of their baby scan photo has confirmed it will now review the practice. 

NHS Highland continues to charge £5 for a copy or £10 for three photos of baby scan images, but an investigation by Kate Forbes MSP revealed that no other health board in Scotland asked for such a fee. 

Responses to Freedom of Information requests showed that 12 out of the other 13 health boards provide a complimentary copy at ante-natal scan appointments, whilst NHS Lothian asks for a small voluntary donation. 

Almost all expectant mums have an ultrasound scan around 12 and 20 weeks, which helps build a picture of their baby in the womb and gives an indication of his or her likely arrival date.

Kate Forbes MSP welcomed today's (17 July) news that NHS Highland will review its charging policy.

The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch said: "I am pleased to hear that, after my investigation into the issue, NHS Highland has decided to review their policy of charging for baby scan photos. 

"The matter came to light after I heard of a woman who had moved from Glasgow, where scan photos are free, to the Highlands, where she had to pay. 

"My concern is the disparity between all the other health boards and NHS Highland. 

"I believe we should support mums every step of the way as too often the greatest burden of child bearing and rearing falls on them. 

"It's good news that NHS Highland has taken this information on board and chosen to review the practice.

"I look forward to hearing the outcome of this review." 

Work commenced on Broadford's new campsite last week (Monday 10 July.)

The new campsite, Camping Skye, is located with the Community Woodland.  

Macdonald Groundworks Ltd started the groundworks and RK Joinery are set to start their work later in the summer.

Funding was secured from the Big Lottery Fund, Highland and Islands Enterprise and the Scottish Hydro Electric Community Trust.

A new photographic competition has been launched 

Organised by local tourism venture, I ❤️ Skye, the 2017 Smartphone Photography Competition is now running.

Snaps from the commute to work, dog walking excursions or a day out on the island are all welcome.  

I ❤️Skye will create a shortlist of the top 20 images with the help of a local professional photographer, we will then allow you guys to decide a winner via our social media pages! 

Those top images will be entered into an exclusive exhibition where the winning image will be announced!

Five percent of all profits from this and other ventures will be donated to a local charity, community group or project.

Entry for one photo costs £5 and five photos cost £15. All the rules terms and conditions can be read before entering. 

 

Details of the competition can be found here.

Staffin Sheepdog Trials, held on Friday 14 July, raised over a thousand pounds for Crossroads Care.

The trials enabled those taking part to showcase their skills.  

The event raised £1818 for Crossroads Care.

Image from Scotland's For All Facebook page.

 

A rescue dog taking a walk on Skye is in the running to win a pet-friendly holiday in the Isles of Scilly.

Owners Linda and Craig Moore entered a photograph of three-year-old Charlie looking windswept during a brisk walk on the Isle of Skye into a Countryfile competition.

But last year Charlie nearly died after his immune system started attacking his joints.

"He went from being like a puppy to an old man overnight. He couldn't stand up or walk and wouldn't eat or drink," said Linda.

The couple took Charlie to the vet, who diagnosed him with the rare condition.

 

A year later, he has finally stopped taking medication and Linda is hoping that he will win the competition so the couple can take him on holiday.

As of today (Saturday 15 July), Charlie has 513 votes and he is in the running to win the contest.

Linda said: "I think he deserves it. He's recovering from being really poorly.

"We got Charlie from Warrington Animal Welfare two years ago. Someone had him from a puppy and I don't think he was badly treated but he's very, very energetic and he may have been too much to handle.

"He's a Jack Russell Shih Tzu cross and they have small man syndrome."

Linda added: "We thought the photo was funny because he looks like he's in a wind tunnel."

To see Charlie's entry click here and select 'sort entries by most popular.'

Members of the public are encouraged to share their opinions on potential uses for the former Toll Booth Office in Kyle.

The Kyle and Lochalsh Community Trust is in discussions with Transport Scotland to obtain the former Skye Bridge Administration Building in Kyle, known as the Toll Booth Office.

The Trust would like to use the building as its base but is also looking at renting out "hot desks" and a meeting room to local organisations, businesses and individuals.

If you are interested in using such facilities, please send the Trust an interest note. Further information is provided on the form. You can also email Jo at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request this form as a Word document either by email or post.