The former Ardvasar Youth Hostel in Armadale will be demolished and a private dwelling house built on the site, if a planning application submitted to the Highland Council is successful.

The proposed house will be a 2.5 storey tower house, which will replace the existing 1960's building.  The design of the new built echoes the Scottish tower houses constructed in the late Medieval period.

 

 

Cooking Sections - Photography by Borja V Conde.

A long-term project that explores the environmental effects of aquaculture around Skye has been launched.

Skye-based arts organisation, ATLAS Arts, has announced it is working with spatial practitioners, Cooking Sections (Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe), on a long-term project to look at forms of eating that address environmental regeneration by promoting ingredients that proactively respond to the new ecological challenges of Scottish waters.

Conceived by Cooking Sections, CLIMAVORE: On Tidal Zones will consist of an installation that reacts to the tides on the changing coast of Portree. Every day at low tide, the installation will be accessible to the public and will function as a dining table, with free tastings of recipes featuring seaweeds, oysters, clams and mussels.

The first ecomuseum in Scotland, the Skye Ecomuseum, will soon be offering visitors an enhanced experience.

The Skye Ecomuseum: Ceumannan now has a Programme Manager, Angus Murray from the Western Isles, who will help to rethink the museum installation and promote community opportunities.

Angus, who is currently working at Museum nan Eilean in Lews Castle, will be assuming his post in Summer 2017.  He told The Skye Times: “The job will entail management of the Heritage Lottery Activity Fund.”  The £522,000 grant, awarded in September 2016, will assist in improving the innovative Ceumannan, which was established around a decade ago.

The three-year long role of Programme Manager will involve developing the Ecomuseum project and reworking the interpretation that was put in place, on various sites of the Staffin area, including Lealt, Brothers Point, Garafad, Brogaig, Digg and Flodigarry.

Local filmmakers based in Skye and Lochalsh are invited to submit their films for the ATLAS short film submissions.

The theme this year is Food and The Environment.

Films should be broadly based on either or both of these areas.  Films should be no longer than 30 minutes in duration and can be in either Gaelic (subtitled) or English.

A maximum of six films will be selected and filmmakers will be invited to take part in an informal question and answer session at the screening on Wednesday the 21st of June. 

The Market opened in the Skye Gathering Hall on Monday 29 May.

The Market will be open daily from 10am to 5pm until the beginning of August.  Items available include local crafts, new and second hand books, tasty treats, collectables and bargain stalls.

Funds raised will help local and national charities.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is appealing to anyone who knows someone living with dementia to get in touch as part of Alzheimer Scotland’s Dementia Awareness Week.

The awareness week, which runs from Monday, May 29 until Sunday, June 4, is being held to empower people to feel more confident dealing with dementia.

A total of 90,000 people in Scotland live with some form of dementia, a condition which can cause memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language.

The majority of those living with dementia are elderly people - although over 3,000 people are under the age of 65.

It is important that those with dementia are offered maximum protection from fire.

Headed to the Fairy Pools, Quiraing, Applecross or Storr?  

Lochaber and Skye Police have tweeted a reminder to anyone visiting these areas that all services need constant access, saying: "Park responsibly - all services need 24/7 access including Skye Mountain Rescue to save lives."

 

 

Bank of Scotland has revealed the design of its new £10 polymer note, which is due to enter circulation in Autumn 2017.

All existing paper Bank of Scotland £10 notes will be gradually withdrawn following the issue of the new note.

However, they will continue to be accepted at shops, banks and cash payment machines.

The front of the new note will continue to feature Scottish novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott alongside The Mound in Edinburgh.  The Glenfinnan Viaduct will remain on the reverse of the design.

Skyeworks Gallery have issued a call for artists and makers for various exhibitions this year.

The natural-light gallery in Portree can create niche exhibitions of tiny works or showcase large canvases.  

Several exhibitions are held there per year, each intended to represent a diverse and interesting collection of artwork suited to both locals and visitors.

The 2017 Submission Criteria:

Location of artists - preference firstly is for artists residing in Skye and Lochalsh, then on the Scottish islands, Scottish Highlands and thereafter radiating south and across the border.

Photos of artwork to be submitted by email for initial selection, together with title, medium, size and wall price for each.

Artwork should be relevant to the theme of each exhibition.

Artwork must be lightfast and heat resistant as the gallery has strong natural light all year round and can get very warm in summer.

Artists must be willing deliver and collect work or arrange as required. Skyeworks will not store work.

Further detailed criteria may be emailed as necessary.

Exhibitions held are as follows:

A new Drop-In Support Centre will provide free support and refreshments for anyone affected by cancer in Skye and Lochalsh.

Skye Cancer Care will be holding the Drop-In Support Centre every Tuesday morning from June 6 2017 from 10am to 12:30pm.

It will be held in the Old Library Building at Bayfield Lane in Portree.

The aim is to provide practical, emotional and social support as well as help assist with information.

The Glenelg to Skye ferry will be out of action following recent wheelhouse work.

The ferry will be out of service on Tuesday May 30 and Wednesday May 31.

MV Glenachulish will return to normal service on Thursday June 1.

A free bicycle workshop was held on Friday May 26 with Mark Crowe of the Skye Bike Shack.

The afternoon of bicycle maintenance was part of the Big Bike Revival. 

Broadford and Strath Community Company stated on their Facebook page: "In the end it was like party met workshop!  Great vibe!"

Police Scotland have confirmed that a man has been traced.

The police stated that Jonathan McCrimmon was safe and well locally on the Isle of Skye and thank all who assisted them with the enquiry.

 

Views are sought from those living in the Highlands on such subjects as poverty, transport, mental health and wellbeing.

The Highland Community Planning Partnership (CPP) represents the network of organisations that come together with the wider community to plan services across Highland.

The Partnership is in the process of developing Highland’s Local Outcome Improvement Plan. The Local Outcome Improvement Plan will focus on what the Partnership intends to focus on to address inequality and target prevention in order to improve outcomes for people over the next 10 years. 

They want to hear from you about what you feel is important for your community to help shape what the plan will look like.

This survey will take you 15 – 25 minutes to complete and must be completed in one sitting. All responses can be provided anonymously.

The Scottish Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee will write to the Scottish Government again about concerns relating to the redesign of health services in Skye and Lochalsh. 

Constituency MSP Kate Forbes participated in the discussion session, and highlighted the growing pressures on the provision of care and palliative beds. 

Afterwards the Skye MSP said: “From the meetings and correspondence I have had, it is loud and clear from both the north and south of the island that we need robust and dependable health services on Skye. 

“I attended the Public Petitions Committee on behalf of Skye residents again because I know how much interest there is in the outcome of this petition.

The keynote speakers have been announced for the Skye tourism meeting on Friday 9 June at the Aros Centre in Portree.

The meeting will be the first in a series organised by constituency MSP Kate Forbes to identify and find solutions to the pressures caused by increases in tourism on the island.  

Two of the driving forces behind a boom in tourism in Argyll and Bute and Inverness and Loch Ness will share their collective wisdom as they address next month’s discussion on Skye.

Carron Tobin, development manager for Argyll & The Isles Tourism Cooperative, will explain how visitor pressures were addressed in and around Loch Lomond, whilst Graeme Ambrose, chief executive of VisitInvernessLochNess (VILN), will touch on the need for collaboration locally. 

Both of the guest speakers represent organisations that were commended by Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, whom Ms Forbes met with to discuss Skye tourism earlier this year.

 Carron Tobin of AITC said: “We have adopted a model which has worked for Argyll and we are keen to share our experiences. 

Isle of Skye Darts had their first tournament on Saturday 20 May.

Alistair "Ally K" Macpherson told The Skye Times: "It's about 20 years since darts was going in Skye.  A group of has have now put a committee together and our intention is to run some darts tournaments around Skye throughout the year."

33 players turned out for the tournament, using four darts boards.  

Ally K continued: "We were very lucky to have had ex-international players, Robert Thompson (now living in Skye) and Pally boy (Paul Hanvidge.)  Both played for Scotland and they were absolutely fantastic and gave us lots of ideas."

Portree and Broadford Scottish Fire and Rescue service worked for four hours to free a one-tonne bull from a peat bog.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said it was alerted to the stuck animal at about 15:00 on Tuesday 23 May.

The bull had got into difficulty in a bog near Struan Hill Road in north Skye.

Voters are being reminded to make sure they are ready to take part in the UK Parliamentary general election taking place on Thursday 8 June.

Returning Officer for the three Highland constituencies, Steve Barron, CEX of The Highland Council said: “With just over two weeks to go until polling day I want to make sure that everyone knows how they can cast their vote on Thursday 8 June.

“On the day of the election Highland polling places will be open from 7am to 10pm. Voters should mark their ballot paper with one cross in the box next to their preferred candidate. Detailed information on how to complete your ballot paper will be available at every polling station and trained polling staff will be on hand to answer any questions.”

Police Scotland have issued a statement following the Manchester attack.

Police say 22 people were killed after a suicide attacker detonated a device during a performance by Ariana Grande.  

Among those missing are two teenagers from the Isle of Barra.

In the statement, Chief Constable Phil Gormley said: “My thoughts and those of everyone at Police Scotland are with those who have lost loved ones or who were injured in the attack in Manchester.

“As part of the UK-wide response to these events, Police Scotland continues to review all safety and security plans and operations.

“This includes ensuring our armed policing and specialist resources are appropriately deployed.

“People will therefore see armed police on patrol at transport hubs and crowded places. There is no intelligence to suggest there is any threat to Scotland but I would ask the public to remain alert and report anything suspicious.

A change is as good as a rest, they say – and Oban-based Barbara is looking for a little change.

Barbara is keen to holiday swap her house with one on the Isle of Skye and told The Skye Times: "I would love to get in touch with people who might want to have a week or so holiday in Oban and would like to home swap with me.

"I have a lovely home on the Esplanade and there are periods when I am away and no-one is there to enjoy it.  I am not very keen to rent it commercially and I do want to get to know Skye better."

Barbara is looking for a place with a minimum of two bedrooms, preferably in the north east end of the island.

The Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band achieved first place in Novice B section of the British Pipe Band Championships in Paisley, and are now British Champions.

This follows several competition successes.

The championships took place on Saturday 20 May.

Each year, the villages of Poolewe and Aultbea provide the picturesque settings for a gruelling endurance event for charity: The Great Wilderness Challenge.

This year, Crossroads Care Skye and Lochalsh will be entering a team in the challenge, which is set to take place on Saturday 12 August.  

With a choice of three routes, the event has something to suit most levels.

To join the Crossroads Care team, get in touch on 01478 612399.  

 

Skye Mountain Rescue and Lochaber and Skye Police performed another successful rescue at the Old Man of Storr yesterday (Friday 19 May.)

The police praised the work by the Mountain Rescue volunteers as they gave their assistance at the iconic beauty spot.  

A series of meetings will be held to identify solutions to pressures caused by increased tourism on the Isle of Skye.

Constituency MSP Kate Forbes has organised the first meeting in June in a bid to gather expertise from across Scotland, as the first step in a process to make it easier for businesses and residents on the island to cope with growing numbers of visitors. 

The meeting will be held in Portree on Friday 9 June. 

It is hoped that the second of the series of discussions, which will review the summer's activities, will take place in September. 

Kate Forbes MSP explained: "As the summer heats up – and the sun actually shines – hotels have told me that they're already full. 

"This year is going to be just as busy, if not busier, than last year. 

Portree and Braes Community Trust are calling for votes to earn funding from the Tesco Bags of Help initiative.

Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its community funding scheme, which sees grants of £4,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all raised from the 5p bag levy – being awarded to local community projects.

Tesco’s Bags of Help project has already delivered over £28.5 million to more than 4,000 projects up and down the UK.

Three groups in every Tesco region have been shortlisted to receive the cash award and shoppers are being invited to vote for who they think should take away the top grant.

The Isle of Skye can be glimpsed in a newly-released trailer for film, Transformers: The Last Knight.

The film is set to be released in cinemas next month and stars Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock and Mark Wahlberg.  

Filming took place at the Quiraing and The Storr.  Lealt Quarry is also thought to have been used by the film crew, and a helicopter was seen flying over that location with a camera attached.

Car parks at the Quiraing were closed in August to allow for filming of Transformers: The Last Knight, the latest in the film series about giant battling robots.

Arguably, the island gives a show-stealing performance with every film appearance, including The BFG, Prometheus and Macbeth.  Storr Lochs also provided a backdrop for Harry Styles' in a recent music video.  

 

 

An Open Day was held at Sleat with the purpose of providing information on the benefits of bilingualism.

The Gaelic Information Day and Fun Event was organised by Bun-sgoil Shlèite with support from the Highland Council Gaelic Team.

The Open Day, which was aimed at parents and guardians of 0-5 year old children, provided information on the support currently available to parents from Gaelic agencies.  Representatives from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, Bòrd na Gàidhlig and Gaelic4Parents of Stòrlann were present and provided information on the resources that support Gaelic Medium Education.  

Parents had the opportunity to speak to Highland Council teachers of Bun-sgoil Shlèite about Gaelic Medium Education, as well as staff from local Gaelic Childcare Centre Fàs Mòr.

Kyle Lifeboat came to the aid of a capsized kayaker yesterday (Wednesday 17.)

Kyle Lifeboat was launched at 2:54pm at the request of the UK Coastguard after a member of a kayaking group capsized in rough weather and was trapped in the water approximately 1 mile west of the Skye bridge.

The lifeboat arrived on scene within 3 minutes, by which time a local fishing boat had arrived to offer assistance.

The lifeboat took the female casualty on board and assessed her condition, before transferring her to the waiting ambulance at the pontoons in Kyle.

A new document identifying a 20 year plan for potential future development across Wester Ross, Lochalsh, Skye and Lochaber areas has been published for consultation by Highland Council.  

The Proposed West Highland and Islands Local Development Plan, also known as WestPlan, was published on 5 May 2017 for an 8 week consultation.

The Plan shows where and when future development could happen and the Council wants anyone with an interest in the future of the area to have their say.  To raise awareness the Council has already written to all addresses within 30 metres of any specific sites identified in the plan as being suitable for future development.

Yesterday (Tuesday 16 May) saw the Isle of Skye Pipe band make their first public appearance this season.

The band appeared in Portree Square at 7:30pm to entertain.

The band are still looking to recruit a bass drummer for the upcoming season.

Two artists have been selected by ATLAS Arts and Staffin Community Trust (Urras An Taobh Sear) following an open call that saw over forty applications received from across the globe.

Sculptor, Henry Castle, and design collective, Lateral North, visited the Isle of Skye last week to embark on their research into the crofters' troubles in the Staffin area in the 1880s. At this time, crofters were locked in bitter disputes with landowners because of hefty rent increases, no security of tenure, reductions in their croft land and the threat of eviction.

This project, funded by Creative Scotland, aims to involve the community and the trust in an exploration of what a contemporary memorial that acknowledges the historically significant crofters' land struggle could be. Over the course of several days, the artists travelled the landscape, met Staffin residents and crofters, and studied documents held in the archive centre in Portree. Dugald Ross from Staffin Community Trust met with the artists and said: "Spending time with Henry and Tom gave us the opportunity to convey local images of 19th century crofters standing up against unscrupulous landlordism in north Skye and we look forward to seeing the outcome of their research into how the Land League Rebellion may be commemorated."

Skye Sailing Club was formally presented with the RYA Scotland Club of the Year award on Saturday May 13.

James Allen, RYA Scotland's Chief Executive Officer, attended the Skye Sailing Club's RYA Push the Boat Out open day to present the award to Commodore Hugh MacDonald.

During the Friday evening, James Allen delivered RYA Scotland's big plan for sailing nationally to current members and those from the past who came to reacquaint themselves with today's set up after having worked to form the Portree based facility of more recent years.

Crime writer, Ian Rankin, has confirmed that he is will be attending the Skye Book Festival.

In the same week as he announced Detective John Rebus will return to television screens after a 10-year absence, the Fife-born author stated he is "delighted and honoured" to read from some of his work at the Book Festival in Portree on 1st September.

Festival Chairman and Aros Director, Donald Macdonald, said, on getting the news this week: “Skye Book Festival has gone from strength to strength over the six years of its existence but we little imagined that we could attract one of the country’s best-known writers when he is at the peak of his success with the work underway for more Rebus on TV.  It is fantastic news and will ensure our festival will be busier than ever this year.”

The Skye Book Festival has rapidly carved a niche for itself nationally with past attractions including Val McDermid, Donald S Murray, Sally Magnusson, Peter May, Roger Hutchinson, Lady Claire Macdonald and the launch of both volumes of the best-selling Great Book of Skye.  It also features a Poetry Walk each year as part of the regular programme. 

Pupils from Raasay Primary School recently undertook a "Week of Work."

The normal school timetable was cancelled and the pupils had the opportunity to attend workshops, covering a wide range of professions.

As part of the Developing Young Workforce Curriculum Programme, each pupil began the week by identifying skills they thought they had and areas they would like to develop.  

They then took part in workshops representing various career paths, including chef, paramedic, personal trainer, computer coding, receptionist, hairdresser, roofer, civil engineer, bricklayer, architect, crofter, silversmith, gardener, housekeeper, yoga tutor, dry stone waller and dental nurse.  

A drifting dinghy was secured to Mallaig Pier after it was reporting to be drifting offshore from Portnadoran Campsite.

Mallaig Coastguard Rescue Team and Mallaig RNLI responded to the report of the drifting dinghy.  

Enquiries indicated no one was in distress.  

There's something evocative about the names Raasay jewellery maker, Fiona Gillies, has chosen for her two companies.

The Silver Grasshopper accurately sums up bespoke, quirky jewellery – all hand-made by Fiona herself.

Heather and Gorse conjures up a picture of a Raasay hillside and will be the identity for the gift shop side of Fiona's business.  She told The Skye Times: “All my gifts are made in Scotland.  I'm very keen to support local designers and creators.  I try to source the most original gifts possible.”

So what did you do on your Isle of Skye holiday?  

Walked on the beach?  Enjoyed the scenery?  Discovered a message in a bottle?

For Yorkshire-based Anne Turton, who visited the island earlier this month, the discovery of a message in a bottle gave her holiday an exciting twist.  

Anne told The Skye Times: “I love beaches and I'm always looking for different pebbles.  We had gone for a walk and ended up at Lorgill Bay in Duirinish when we had a wander round and came across the bottle!  I'm naturally a curious person, so I opened the bottle and couldn't believe it when I found a message in it.”

Any knitters, crocheters or weavers are invited to get involved in a project involving Carbost Playpark.

The Playpark is set to be the location for a yarnbombing installation.

Yarnbombing, a contemporary form of street art, is a non-invasive way to add colour, humour and art to public environments.  

Knitting and crochet workshops will be run over the summer, including Knit and Natter groups, Pub knitters and events to connect experts with beginners at Made In Minginish every Wednesday from 2-4pm.  

A clean up at Balmacara Beach on Friday May 12 resulted in the removal of 10 bin bags full of rubbish.

The rubbish included bits of rope, plastic bottles, plastic bags, netting, crisp packets, broken fish boxes, empty beer cans, bottle tops, a plastic seat, spent shot gun cartridges and the handle of a paint brush.

A group from Kyleakin Connections worked to clear the beach of the rubbish.

Skye Marine Matters praised their efforts as they used the Surfers Against Sewage Beach Clean Box, a community resource to assist in running a beach clean up.  

The Highland Council have stated that rail concessions will change later this month.

From 21 May 2017, people aged 60 and over who currently benefit from Highland Council’s rail concessionary travel scheme are being advised that half fare rail concessions for the majority of entitled Highland residents will cease.

Free travel remains available by bus, and card holders are advised to keep their entitlement cards which can still be used on bus routes throughout Scotland.

The decision to cease funding concessionary rail travel was made by Highland Councillors at the Council’s 2017/18 Budget meeting on 16 February 2017 - see Booklet B (page 46).

The Scottish Food Awards have issued a complete list of the 2017 winners.  On May 7, the dinner event, Awards for Places, was held at the King's Hall in Edinburgh.

Companies on the Isle of Skye, including Skeabost Hotel, Duisdale House Hotel, Scorrybreac Restaurant, Kinloch Lodge, Just Hooked, Rosedale Hotel and The Three Chimneys, received recognition for their services.  It is stated that the list could be subject to change until May 12.  

Skeabost Hotel's West Pier Restaurant received a commendation for the Contemporary Dining Destination 2017 category. The Hotel also won the Design Award 2017.  

The Three Chimneys and House Over-By won the Restaurant With Rooms of the Year Award 2017.  The Three Chimneys also won one of the Real & Local Food Gold Medals 2017, along with Duisdale House Hotel.  Duisdale House Hotel also received recognition as The Style Restaurant of the Year 2017.  

EE have submitted a planning application to the Highland Council to install a telecommunications apparatus near the Fairy Pools at Glenbrittle.

The proposed works include the installation of a 15m high telegraph pole, two antennas, two transmission dishes, one satellite dish and two equipment cabinets.  They state that, as part of their continued network improvement programme, there is a specific requirement for a radio base station at this location to provide ESN and 4G coverage to the surrounding area.  

The proposed mast would be located just off the existing forestry access track, approximately 150m from the roadside.  The company state that views of the 15m mast would be screened by the woodland and views of the tower would be limited to the antennas.  

In the design statement submitted, the company state that the proposal has been designed with the aim of achieving a balance between minimising visual impact and achieving technical requirements for EE.  

Fifteen candidates have been confirmed for the General Election 2017.

The election takes place on Thursday 8 June for three Highland UK Parliamentary General Election constituencies.

Ross, Skye and Lochaber constituency has attracted 6 candidates; with Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross attracting four; and Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey attracting five.

Anyone heading to or driving in Inverness are advised that temporary road restrictions will be in place in the Lochardil area of the city from Monday 15 May.

The temporary restrictions are necessary to allow for traffic calming measures to be installed.  Work includes siting a raised junction where Balnakyle and Laggan road meets and another one at the junction of Ashie Road and Green Drive. A new coloured surface will also be installed along Burn Road and Lodge Road to define a clear footway on these narrow roads. There will also be a raised junction table on both Burn Road and Lodge Road.

Once all the works are in place, the Council plans to extend the nearby 20mph zone to include this area, improving the safety for all users, in particular pupils walking to Inverness Royal Academy.

The work starts on Monday 15 May and is expected to run until Friday 16 June.

The Isle of Raasay is set to ring with the sound of music next year, with the return of Raasay Bass Clarinet and Bassoon Course.

Anthea Wood will be the new tutor on a refreshed bassoon course.  The course will cover all aspects of playing, have numerous sessions with resident accompanist, Antony Clare, and will ensure plenty of ensemble playing.

The course will take place from April 9-13 2018.  More details can be found on the website here.

 

Cloud 9 Skye boutique is set to close down later this year.

Based in Broadford Market Square, the shop stocks bags, shoes and accessories - all of which are now reduced in a closing down sale.

The shop will close its doors for the last time at the end of June.  

An application for planning permission for a marine site within the waters on the southeast coastline of the Isle of Scalpay has been submitted to the Highland Council.

Marine Harvest (Scotland) Ltd. have proposed the installation of a feed system and 12 circular pens to be installed in a 75x70m matrix grid.  The exact position of the pens, moorings and ancillary equipment will be confirmed in the final planning application.  

The site will be accessed by boat.  It is planned to use an existing shorebase at either Sconser or Maol Ban, which currently serve the existing MHS farms in the area.  However, alternatives may be considered nearer to the proposed farm, such as upon the Isle of Scalpay or the Isle of Skye.  Any terrestrial developments will be subject to separate planning applications.

Bus operator, Stagecoach, have announced the early introduction of the summer bus service 52 connecting Armadale to Portree via Broadford.

Following feedback from the local community and Sleat Transport Forum, Stagecoach have been able to introduce part of the summer timetable early to bridge the gap in service left after the end of service 601 (not operated by Stagecoach) on 24th April. From Monday 15th May a bus service will be reinstated to allow connections between Portree and the ferry at Armadale. The timetable is available online now at stagecoachbus.com.  

The full summer timetable will operate from 5th June and will allow customers to travel the Grand Tour between Inverness, Fort William, Mallaig, Armadale and Kyle. A new service between Kyle and Portree has also been introduced providing connections to trains to/from Inverness. An enhanced service 57 from Portree to the north end of the island will also be introduced for the summer period allowing more connections to visit attractions such as the Old Man of Storr, the Quiraing and the Museum of Island Life. The full summer timetable will be available from Monday 15th May.  

This summer should see the arrival of a portable toilet block at Portree Harbour.

This development was one of a number of community projects discussed at a public meeting held on Wednesday 10 May by the Portree and Braes Community Trust.

Roger Liley updated the public on developments regarding the addition of extra toilets in Portree and explained that it is hoped to have the portable block in place at the harbour by the end of the summer.

The meeting, chaired by Calum Matheson, was well attended and featured talks and updates by Donnie Nicolson, Duncan Brown, Roger Liley, Myra MacLeod, Neil Campbell and Faye MacLeod.  

Donnie Nicolson, pictured above, spoke at the meeting and discussed the Harbour area.  

A Skye cottage will soon be turned into an artist's residence.

The cottage belonged to courage WWII veteran, Vice-Admiral Roddy Macdonald.  Generally known as Admiral Roddy, he was a keen watercolourist whose brushes and easel accompanied him on all his travels, including throughout his service during World War II and subsequent conflicts.  

 

The cottage at Braes, which overlooks the sea, is where he spent many happy years during retirement. It was gifted by his estate to Wasps and now has three studios, including the one the admiral used himself.

Pictures, paintings and travel mementoes belonging to Roddy (who died in 2000) are being kept at what is now known as The Admiral's House to preserve the memory of a man who was deeply involved with island life. He was Chieftain of the Skye Highland Games, organised the conversion of the old school into a village hall was instrumental in banning tankers from passing through the Minch. A number of items belonging to the Admiral will also be housed in the Skye and Lochalsh archives.

John Macdonald, the Admiral's son, said: "This project has brought all of the family back together again in a symbolic way. It's wonderful that this beautiful place will continue to be a focal point for the rest of the family to come, enjoy and share experiences." 

Bartenders across the UK have a chance to take part in a competition that will span six UK cities and culminate in a finale held on the Isle of Skye later this year.

Whisky giants, Diageo Reserve, is running activities to help educate bartenders about the spirit of Talisker and to tell its story.  The brand team have invited them to join "The Race to Skye" in Talisker's very first cocktail competition.

Bartenders in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Bournemouth, Bristol and London are challenged to create a cocktail that evokes the spirit of “Made by the Sea."  To enter, they need to email a picture of the serve, ingredients and method to a Diageo Reserve GB brand ambassador.

Ten entries from each city will be selected, and the bartenders will be invited to compete in a regional heat.  Six regional winners will then go on to the final challenge, which will be held on Skye.

A Skye care home maintains "very high standards" according to a report from the Care Inspectorate.

The NHS Highland run care home, An Acarsaid, was the location for an unannounced visit on 24 February 2017.  The Broadford care home was inspected by the care services regulator on two categories: Care and Support and Management and Leadership.

The ten-bed residential home received grade 5 – very good - scores for both, matching the grades awarded at the last visit by the Care Inspectorate on 1st February 2016.

One comment from a service user highlighted in the report stated: “The staff are 100 per cent in here. They underrate how good they are.”

A year-long community arts-based programme has been launched by the Aros Centre in Portree.

Entitled Tha Seo Math Dhuibh - Good for You, the programme aims to grow audiences by improving access and participation in the arts.  A strong focus of the project is to make activities inclusive and accessible to people of all ages and abilities as well as boosting health and well-being.  The project allows for new initiatives to be established and will provide employment opportunities and specialist training for artists.

Iseabail Strachan, appointed as the Project Officer, is currently in the process of engaging organisations, groups and artists to introduce what will be a diverse programme of workshops, walks, classes, performances and educational projects throughout Skye and Raasay.   

The Isle of Skye has been named Geographical Food Destination of the Year, at the Scottish Food and Drinks Awards 2017.

The announcement was made on May 7 that the quality hallmark had been awarded to the island.

The Isle of Skye is home to The Three Chimneys, Kinloch Lodge Hotel, Scorrybreac Restaurant, Skye Pie Cafe, Duisdale House Hotel, Toravaig House Hotel, Skeabost House Hotel, Isle Of Skye Distillers and The Rosedale Hotel.

All NHS Highland nurses are invited to submit their photographs for inclusion in a collage.

International Nurse's Day takes place on Friday 12 May.  

All nurses, past or present, are asked to submit photographs of when they graduated, regardless of if they were in uniform or not.  The photographs will be included on social media and NHSH Highlights magazine.

Email your photographs to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 12pm tomorrow (Thursday 11 May.)

Over £2,000 was raised on the Welly Walk on Saturday 6 May in aid of RNLI.  

Press secretary, Cathy Freeman, state: "On Saturday May 6th, members of Portree Lifeboat Fundraisers and Crew walked from Sligachan to Portree to raise money for the RNLI.  They had a wonderful day and raised £2021.00. Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to walk and the time to stop and donate, and a special thank you goes to HM Coastguard for the much needed escort.  Your time and money is much appreciated."

Pictured above are those who took part on the day.

The Isle of Skye is featuring alongside pop sensation, Harry Styles, in his music video Sign Of The Times.

The video was shot on the island earlier this year.  The video's stunt pilot, Will Banks, is quoted as saying that Harry Styles flew more than 1,550 feet high during the shoot.  Banks also stated that no green screen or CGI effects were employed during the filming, although a stunt double was used in some scenes.

Filming took place in Staffin and resulted in access to the slipway being blocked off while the singer was filming.  

The body of a man was recovered from the water in the Ardaneaskan area on Saturday 6 May.

The Kyle of Lochalsh RNLI and Police Scotland Operational support officers assisted in the recovery.

The body was found by the Police Scotland helicopter, which had been deployed as part of searches for James Fewell, known as Bruce.  Mr Fewell, aged 62, had last been seen in the Plockton area on Saturday 8 April.

Travellers on the A855 Staffin to Uig road should expect delays of 15 to 20 minutes.

Road works will commence from Wednesday 10 May for the coming weeks as BT engineers deliver broadband to the area.

 

 

A Plockton mum will be aiming high when she undertakes a skydive in aid of Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Natasha Macneil told The Skye Times: "I want to do my part for the charity, as well as my six year old son, Keiran."

Keiran was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy in August 2016.  Natasha says: "Keiran has always been a happy, healthy boy.  One weekend in May 2016, he was really lethargic.  When he went to nursery, he had really sore legs so I took him to the doctor's and they sent him to Raigmore.  In August, when I had a meeting with the specialist, she told me Keiran has either Becker or Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  I was and still am truly heartbroken.  Knowing he will deteriorate in time is very sad.

Police officers in Skye are appealing for information following the theft of more than 30 Blackface sheep from the Trotternish area.

It is understood the livestock were taken during the past six weeks from an area of open hill ground on the Trotternish Ridge.

The sheep vary in age and are all clearly marked with black paint on their shoulders.

Police Scotland is urging hillwalkers to be fully prepared for their treks following a busy 24 hour period on the hills in Skye and Lochalsh.

Lochaber and Skye Police took to Twitter to praise the efforts that resulted in the rescue of five people in just over 24 hours.

"Phenomenal effort by the chopper crew this weekend - five people safely rescued from the hills on Skye and Lochalsh in just over 24 hours," they Tweeted.

Five people were airlifted to safety as a result of three separate incidents over Friday and Saturday (May 5 and 6 2017).  

The Skye Mountain Rescue team and HM Coastguard Rescue were involved on May 5 at around 6.30pm when a 66-year-old man was airlifted with the assistance of the Skye Mountain Rescue Team after falling at the Fairy Pools in Glenbrittle.  Fortunately he did not sustain serious injuries.

Kyle Lifeboat has been launched today (Saturday 6 May).

The Kyle Lifeboat RNLI Facebook page gave details of the shout.

Today (Saturday 6 May) also sees the annual Welly Walk take place to raise funds for the RNLI.

Over 30 sheep have been stolen from Linicro, Isle of Skye.

Police state that this is "devastating for small crofts," and urge anyone with information to phone 101.

Two artists have been selected to begin research and development work on the Crofters' Memorial Project.

The Staffin Trust and ATLAS Arts are working together to investigate the creation of a Memorial.  

The Memorial will recognise the crofters' uprising in Staffin in the 1870's.  Their protests in the face of landlord oppression, combined with similar protests in the West Highlands, ultimately led to a historic law offering more protection for crofters.

Sculptor, Henry Castle, and research and design collective, Lateral North, will visit Staffin early this month to begin research.

ATLAS Arts stated: "The panel, comprising members of ATLAS and Staffin Community Trust, were hugely impressed with the quality of the applications."

When Skye bookseller, Gilleasbuig Ferguson, purchased a new book he found himself embroiled in an adventure as intriguing and mysterious as any of the tales for sale in his shop!

A member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, Skeabost-based Gilleasbuig has lately added "detective" to his list of accolades!

The book in question which sparked off the spine-tingling adventure was the 2nd Origin of Species (1860) by Charles Darwin, which was for sale online.  The description, which was unaccompanied by photographs, consisted of words such as "worn," "rubbed," "split," "ex-library" and "shaky."  

Explained Gilleasbuig: "It had been online for a while at a fairly cheerful price (£1,750) so it was certainly worth checking to see if it could be restored.  It did sound like a dud though.   I promptly received an email with photographs and I goggled, my eyebrows intertwined, at one of the finest copies of an early Origin that I’ve ever seen."

The public are urged to be aware of an increased wildfire risk this weekend, say the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Dry and windy weather has already resulted in several such incidents including Lochinver in Sutherland, and the Ochil Hills near Stirling.

Wild and grass fires can start by the careless disposal of cigarettes and barbecues or campfires left unattended.  They then have the potential to burn for days and devastate vast areas of land, wildlife and threaten the welfare of nearby communities.  With weather forecasters predicting the current conditions to stretch into next week the public are being urged to stay safe and mindful when outdoors.

A male casualty was assisted yesterday (Friday 5 May) after he fell into a gully at the Fairy Pools.

Skye Mountain Rescue and HM Coastguard Rescue 948 came to his aid.

A film that brought together a Skye artist, a musician, a poet, a dancer and a filmmaker (to name a few!) has been launched.

The film, entitled The Journey, is the brainchild of artist, Diana Mackie, who states: "As a landscape artist, I have always wanted to appeal to the viewer's imagination in finding a place to go in their visual exploration around the canvas.  This need was heightened by viewing a friend's video on the occasion of my art exhibition.

"He focussed on one of my landscape paintings and went to the point where the frame as obliterated and the sense was we had entered the painting.  The sense of being within this painting was so intense, I knew I had to explore the concept further.  On discussion with my musician husband [Alan Cleobury-Jones], he became totally caught up in the musical interpretation of the five paintings and the story they tell."

Thanks to the opening of a new dental practice in Portree, people living in Skye and Lochalsh will have better access to NHS dental services.

Portree Dental Care’s team of three dentists will be located in the same premises as the NHS Highland’s Public Dental Service Clinic at Sraid An Eorna.   

A significant number of patients from the health board clinic, principally those not prioritised as having additional needs, will now be transferred to the new dental practice.. 

In a letter to these transferred patients, NHS Highland's Clinical Dental Director, John Lyon said: "As of 13th March, 2017 your registration for NHS dental services will be transferred to Portree Dental Care, a new dental practice which is opening in the same premises as the Portree Dental Clinic. Portree Dental Care will be run by dentist Mr Zahid Ahmad."

Ward 10 - Eilean a' Cheò has had four councillors elected.

John Finlayson (Independent), John Gordon (Independent), Ronald Macdonald (Independent) and Calum MacLeod (Scottish National Party) have all been elected.

Pictured above are three of the candidates taken just after the result was declared.

Local and young filmmakers are invited to submit short films for the Screen-It Open Submission.

ATLAS Arts have been developing the event.  Last year, work was shown by Robin Haig, Calum Maclean and Suzy Lee.

For more information or to submit your film, please email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Stagecoach have issued a bus timetable, effective from June 5.

This will involve the 51 service for Kyle-Armadale Mon-Fri and the 52 service Portree-Broadford-Armadale Mon-Sun. These schedules are subject to approval by the Traffic Commissioners. 

A brief summary of the changes is as follows:

The duo that form artistic Cooking Sections, Daniel Fernández Pascual & Alon Schwabe, were recently in Skye.

The pair spent two weeks researching and developing a project that focuses on the aquaculture environment around the island.

ATLAS Arts, also working on the research and development of various projects, say: "We are very excited about their proposal - watch this space for more information..."

Photograph from ATLAS Arts.

 

Anyone heading to Sleat by road will soon be met by an eye-catching new sign.

The "Welcome to Sleat" sign has now been erected on the side of the A851 heading south from Broadford.

The sign lists just some of Sleat's attractions, including accommodation, good food, arts and crafts, Armadale Castle Gardens, Museum, walks, wildlife, events, shops, Post Offices, Gaelic college and the ferry.

Local police have reunited a lost dog with its owner.

The dog was found in Broadford, and handed in to the Portree police station.

Officers remarked online that this was the best-behaved dog they had ever met, apart from Skye's own Blaze!

The dog's owner was later discovered.  

 

A Jurassic mammal found on the Isle of Skye apparently fed milk to its young.

The evidence comes from studies made by palaeontologists from National Museums Scotland in Edinburgh and the University of Oxford.  

A two centimetre-long jaw was discovered on the Isle of Skye in 2015 and is one of the most complete fossils of the mammal to be found outside of China.  

The Bank of England is encouraging you to spend your £5 pound notes.  

By tomorrow (May 5 2017) the​ paper £5 featuring Elizabeth Fry will be with drawn.

Retailers and the public no longer have to accept the note as payment or in change.  The new polymer £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill will be the only £5 note with legal tender status. Some banks and building societies may accept paper £5 notes after 5 May, but this is at their own discretion.

A micro-hydro electric installation proposal has been submitted to the Highland Council.

The plans concern the area of Gesto, Struan.  Pictured above is the general site layout.

It is hoped to extract water from the Allt Na Cnodaich via an intake structure.  The water will then be transported to a shed containing a turbine, generator and ancillary equipment.  

The electrical energy produced will be exported to a nearby metal grid connection, and the water will be returned to the watercourse.  

Other applications submitted to the Highland Council on Tuesday 2 May include an application for the erection of signage for Ronald Macdonald Photography, located at Park Road, Portree.  

There is now yet another reason to visit Skyeskyns: the introduction of a pop-up tea tent!

The large yurt opened for business outside the Waternish-based sheepskin company earlier this year.

It is hoped that the yurt will be open seven days a week during the season.  

Skye's oldest pub, The Stein Inn, has been listed as one of Britain's 20 best pubs by the sea, according to an article in The Times.

Written by Pete Brown, the article rates The Stein in as number 17 on the list.  

The Inn's location is described as "heartbreakingly beautiful."  

Stein Inn also came joint second place in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards earlier this year.  

This month will see the launch of a Museum Young Explorers Club at the Museum of the Isles.  

The club, aimed for young explorers aged 5 and upwards, will run from the first Sunday of the month throughout the open season.  

The sessions will be tailored to the children's interests and based upon the resources of the Museum, Library and Archives.  Lead by the museum staff, Sarah and Claudia, the sessions will provide creative, hands-on and craft opportunities.  

Ever fancied seeing Portree from a different perspective?

This could be your chance - for Skye Sailing Club is offering free sailing sessions for anyone over the age of 10.

The Club was recently awarded the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Scotland Club of the Year award.  

Originally formed in Armadale in 1974, the Skye Sailing Club was later amalgamated with the Portree Sailing Club in 1998.  An agreement was made with the Cuillin Hills Hotel to rent their derelict boatshed.  

For many years the Club existed on the mud floor with no loo, no water, no electricity and a fleet of sinking dinghies.  Help from the Coastal Communities Fund meant in 2015 the shed was purchased and a programme of improvements and further fund-raising undertaken to renovate and extend the building so that there is now at least one outlet for each utility, a changing area and meeting/classroom space. 

Art lovers have yet another attraction to visit on the Isle of Raasay following the opening of a new gallery.

Based in the home of Christa Welser and Gordon Cheape, The Raasay Gallery is located in West Suisnish.  

The Gallery features a variety of Gordon's paintings, as well as work by other artists.  Gordon, who has painted with oils for 29 years, is a member of the Scottish Society of Artists.  

The sale of three house sites in the south of Skye could help fund various community developments.

Last November, Sleat Community Trust consulted with the community regarding the sale of house sites.  The majority of those attending the consultation agreed in principle to the house sales.  

The sites are located on the land forming part of Tormore Forest, beside the public road to Aird.  Currently, they are at the Planning in Principle stage with Highland Council.  Planning applications will be advertised by the Council in due course.  

The newly formed Scottish Land Commission has announced a series of community "Meet and Greet" events.

The Land Commission, which was officially established on the 1 April 2017, will be holding events all over the country, including Portree and Stornoway.

The aim is to give people the opportunity to find out more about the work of the organisation, meet with Commissioners and to discuss priorities for land reform.

Kingsburgh Quarry could reopen, if the request sent to the Highland Council on behalf of MacDonald Groundworks Limited is successful.

In their submission to the Highland Council, their formal request asks for a screening opinion on the recommencement of stone extraction to take place in Kingsburgh Quarry.  They are also seeking to extend the existing quarry.  

MacDonald Groundworks Limited already operates Kyleakin Quarry.  

Staffin will be in the spotlight when Gaelic researchers visit later this month.

Staffin, which was the Gaelic Community of the Year in 2010, will be the location for one of a series of public meetings on how the local communities view the current state of Gaelic in their respective localities.

The Soillse research team at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig will be conducting the meetings.  Soillse is a research collaboration between the University of the Highlands and Islands, Aberdeen University, Edinburgh University and the University of Glasgow, and was established to provide research to inform public policy towards the maintenance and revitalisation of Gaelic language and culture.

The avian influenza prevention zone covering Scotland has been lifted.

Avian influenza is an infections virus carried by wild birds.  The H5N8 strain of Avian Influenza has been circulating in Europe since October 2016. Ten cases in captive birds have been confirmed in UK (none of which were in Scotland).

On 30 April, the Scottish Government lifted the restriction placed in December, which required bird keepers in all areas of Scotland to put in place enhanced biosecurity measures before letting their birds outside.

People wearing the huge sculptural head of a unicorn have become one of the most surreal images to be seen at this year’s 15th Venice Architectural Biennale. 
Part of the Prospect North exhibition at the Scottish Pavilion, which is jointly produced by Dualchas Architects from Sleat; Lateral North from Glasgow, and Soluis, a design-visualisation studio also from Glasgow, using the heads of the unicorn, moose and polar bear allows you to enter an immersive virtual reality world of the Highlands past, present and future. 

Fifteen groups from Skye have grabbed a share of a £15,000 community pot.

It was local people themselves who decided just who should get the cash during a public voting session staged at Portree’s Fingal Centre over the week-end.

The money, put forward through a Highland Council backed “Your Island, Your Cash, Your Choice” initiative will now go towards funding everything from the Isle of Skye Pipe Band to an after school club focussing on Gaelic singing, drama and music, gymnastics coaching and therapy through gardening.

An impromptu Dashing White Sergeant on the streets of Venice followed the opening of the Scottish Pavilion at the 15th Venice International Architectural Biennale.
Accompanied by the swirl of the pipes, bemused locals joined in with members of the Scottish creative team who had been celebrating the opening of the Prospect North exhibition, in which a major Skye architectural practice is involved.

Sleat Transport Forum are demanding an urgent meeting with Scotland’s new Minister for Transport and Islands, Humza Yousaf MSP on the continuing “shambles” surrounding the Mallaig/Armadale ferry service

The Forum now want to bring together the Scottish Government, Transport Scotland and CalMac to resolve the continuing issues which they say are now only effecting the ferry company’s own customers but the economic prosperity of the communities that are dependent on this popular and profitable west coast ferry service.

However, in a separate development, Calmac Managing Director, Martin Dorchester, has been in touch with Sleat Community Council following contact from a local resident  and claims that after close monitoring of the route amendments have been made to the timetable which will increase reliability.

He said: “We fully understand the frustration being felt locally with the teething issues we have had with this new timetable.

Less than a day and half after it closed the former Skye Farm shop was once again open for business.

With a new name – The Trading Post – and new staff, the community owned café was ready for business at 9am.

The shop, which is owned by Sleat Community Trust, is currently looking for additional staff members.

 

Hotel staff on Skye were involved with the dramatic rescue to save two men after they ended up in the water off Isleornsay

The incident happened during the early hours of Sunday 29 May after the pair had earlier been drinking at the Hotel Eilean Iarmain and then set off in a dinghy to return to their yacht anchored in the bay.

  Hotel Eilean Iarmain

Shouts are said to have been heard around 1am and two of the hotel staff immediately launched a boat to try and rescue them. In the end though the pair were pulled out of the water by an RNLI lifeboat and crew.

Plans to try and ease congestion and improve the experience for visitors and locals alike at the Storr on Skye are moving on.  With visitor and vehicle numbers noticeably soaring during the recent good weather, Staffin Community Trust (SCT) are spearheading the new initiative to try and solve many of the problems now surrounding one of the island’s most iconic landmarks.

Already the Trust have secured the funding required for an Options Appraisal of the roadside site owned by the local authority and in addition no less than three bids have lodged by tenderers looking to carry out the hugely important contract.  This will review all the options at the location, the estimated costs and community and economic benefit for each one investigated.

Martin (on left) receiving one of the Skye Farm Shop's many awards.

Saturday 28 May will be remembered in Sleat for the departure of the man who played such a big part in a fairytale national retail success story.

For today marks the end of award-winning Martin MacLure’s involvement with the Skye Farm Shop in Ardvasar which saw the tiny business take on some of Scotland’s biggest commercial concerns..and beat them hands down.

Against the odds Martin and his small team on Sleat, who only started up in December 2013, found themselves less than three months later winning a Scottish Variety Award for 'Best New Scottish Company/Product' in association with Capital FM. At the end of June 2014, it was also announced the shop was shortlisted for two further awards, in association with the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards in the categories of ' New Business Award' and 'Independent Food & Drink Retailer of the Year Award'.  They were delighted to have won an Award for 'Independent Food & Drink Retailer of the Year 2014'.  

Ferry passengers are sitting pretty as they wait to cross the waters to Skye.

For thanks to handy Calmac port assistant Colin Fisher, they now have a very bespoke bench to rest on while they take in the views to the island from Mallaig.

Made in his own time from discarded pallets, Colin’s beautifully painted bench has echoes of the golden age of steam and makes a welcome resting area for passengers travelling not just to Skye but also the Small Isles and South Uist.

Meticulously painted in CalMac colours and featuring the famous crest, as well as stencilled lettering, Colin was inspired to make the bench to use up the unwanted timber.

“We had quite a few pallets at the port from various freight deliveries,” said Colin. “And I just thought this would be a nice thing to do with some of them.

Looks like out-going Premier League manager Manuel Pellegrini has been relaxing away from the game…on Skye.  The 62 year old who has just said goodbye to Manchester City but is now linked with the hot seat at Everton, was a  surprise visitor at the island’s popular Dunvegan Castle when he called in to have a look around.

 

 

 

 

Campaigners hoping for regular flight links to be reintroduced to and from Skye were disappointed when the Inverness City-Region deal was announced.

The deal will see over £315 million pledged over a period of 10 years for the purpose of boosting economics of Inverness and the Highlands.  However, these funds will not be used to assist in redeveloping the airstrip at Ashaig.

It was claimed that a Skye airport would not bring wide benefits on a regional basis.  The council's director of development and infrastructure, Stuart Black, says he made a "strong case" for the Skye airport to be included in the Inverness City-Region deal.

However, it was ultimately deemed that other improvements, such as a major roads project to connect the A9 and A82, investments in the University of the Highlands and Islands and the ambition to make the Highlands "the most digitally connected rural region in Europe" would bring wider benefits to the area than those offered by a Skye airport.

Campaign group, Fly Skye, state on their Facebook page that they will "not give up the fight to have the choice of travel to and from Skye and Lochalsh."

Legal agreement changes could bring a big boost for young crofters on Skye looking to build their own homes.

Crofting Commission chiefs have welcomed the decision made by the Highland Council’s Planning, Development and Infrastructure Committee to remove the use of legal agreements under section 75 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 when issuing planning permission on croft land in the Hinterland.

Crofting Commission Chief Executive, Catriona Maclean, commented: “This is good news for many crofters in the Hinterland. 

 

Two thousand passengers aboard the 'MS Zuiderdam' were arriving in Portree this morning .

 The ship, one of the great Vista class vessels of Holland America Line, has a crew of 800 and has sailed to Skye from Greenock.

 

A national petition launched on change.org to call for action to restore services on the Armadale-Mallaig ferry route has now got more than 1300 signatures.

The petitioners say: "The loss of the MV Coruisk from the Armadale-Mallaig crossing on the Isle of Skye and the failure to provide fit for purpose replacement vessels has led to a serious threat to the social and economic future of Skye, Lochaber and the Western Isles.

"The economic prosperity of the communities that are heavily dependent on the benefits that this popular and profitable service gives is now under severe threat."

The petition was launched by Jan Wallwork-Clarke, who is chief executive of the Clan Donald Skye centre at Armadale.

UPDATE: within 12 hours of appearing on www.theskyetimes.co.uk, the number of signatures had risen to 1,539

 

 

Walk right in to a brand new business with at least 60,000 would-be customers passing your door every year.   That’s the enticing prospect being offered by Skye community company, Carbost Pier Ltd, as they seek a tenant for a brand new building being constructed on a water front site just yards away from the Talisker Distillery Visitor centre.

This year’s gruelling 17 mile long Trotternish Ridge Race takes place on Saturday 4th June.  Final arrangements for the event, which starts at Flodigarry and finishes at Storr Lochs, are being put in place by Skye and Lochalsh Running Club whose members will help marshal, sweep the route and feed the runners.

Last year’s weather conditions were so poor that the route was cut to 12 miles with some 45 runners who braved the conditions finishing in Glenhinnisdal.

As in previous years the race this time will have a limit of 75 places. Great spots to watch the event include at the Quaraing road and for those who are fit enough on The Storr.

 

Sleat-based business, the Skye Farm Shop, is set to change hands at the end of May. 

The Skye Farm Shop was first opened in December 2013 by Martin MacLure, who aimed to sell and promote Highland produce.  Since then, it has received multiple awards and has been a valued local service.  Mr MacLure will close the doors of his shop for the last time on May 28.

The space will be taken over by Sleat Community Trust, which aims to support developments in the Sleat peninsula.  The premises will be home to a shop and café called "Biadh & Blether" and are expected to re-open on May 30.  

 

Twelve months on and Skye businesses are celebrating after news that the island has retained its Fairtrade status.  Originally it took a dedicated band four years to receive the certification and at the time Eynort-based Martin Bird, chairman of the Skye committee, said :

Disabled people on Skye can have their say on transport issues at an event to be held at Broadford Hotel.

Hosted by the Scottish Disability Forum the Transport Engagement event will run from 11am – 3pm on June 7 and is one of then similar sessions being held across Scotland. Places are free and can be booked by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Air gun owners on Skye face a lengthy trip if they want to hand in their unwanted weapons at specifically designated police stations.

For during a three week long surrender scheme which begins on Monday 23 May the closest police office manned by officers with specialist training are in either Dingwall or Inverness, a near six hour round trip. 

But obviously accepting that many would not be prepared to travel so far, a spokesperson for Police Scotland said that while the force would prefer members of the public to use the designated offices with specially trained officers present,no police station would turn away individuals wanting to hand in their guns.

However, they added: “It would perhaps be a good idea to go into the station prior to handing over the weapons to make your intentions known to officers or support staff rather than just appearing with a gun.”

Sleat Transport Forum have welcomed the announcement that CalMac Ferries Ltd has been awarded the £900m contract to run the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services for the next eight years.

However, they have made it clear that they are still in close dialogue with the Company to try and reach a successful conclusion in respect of the operational disruption that has taken place on the Mallaig-Armadale route since the beginning of the summer season on 25th March.

Portree Primary youngsters have made it to footballing finals.

The local youngsters will take on counterparts from five other schools from across Scotland in this year’s Cuach na Cloinne competition which will take place on June 7.

Poll cards may already have gone out to Skye’s voters in the forthcoming EU Referendum but it’s not too late to make your mark by post.

Those who can’t make it to their local Polling Station on the day, Thursday 23 June, still have time to make sure their vote is not wasted

Until Wednesday 8 June, Highland Council will be accepting applications for postal votes. For those living on the island they need to apply in writing to the Electoral Registration Officer at Robertson House, Greenhill Street, Dingwall, IV15 9QR

Meanwhile details on deadlines for new applications to vote by proxy; requests for changes to emergency proxy on the grounds of disability or for work/service reasons are detailed on the notice of referendum at www.highland.gov.uk/eureferendum

Portree will tomorrow (Wednesday 18 May) see the arrival of the cruise ship MS Astor bringing upwards of 400 people to the village.

The ship with a crew of 287, is currently taking a west coast of Scotland cruise after leaving Dublin and is set to anchor in the bay between 1400 and 2000.

Built in 1987 and once owned by the Soviet Union’s Black Sea shipping company, the vessel is run by Cruise and Maritime Voyages and operates in Europe, South Africa and Australia.

Five motorcyclist travelling at speeds in excess of 100mph have been caught on roads near Skye.

As part of Police Scotland’s on-going “Operation Zenith2 to drive down speed, the bikers were pulled over on the A890 between Lochcarron and Achnasheen as they travelled way in excess of the 60mph limit.

With hundreds of motorcyclists making their way to Skye every year the new national initiative by the police is intended to have a real impact and stop those driving at inappropriate speeds.

Skye roads have become notorious for their pot holes and here at The Skye Times we’ll put the spotlight on them if you send us a picture.

However, things may be moving in the right direction if the Highland Council’s latest state of the art road repair vehicle lives up to expectation.

In recent months the authority has been trying out the specialist machine which uses a spray injection patching process, operated by a single operator and can fill a pothole in about 5 minutes.

Now the Council have placed an order for their own and until it’s delivered later this year they will be hiring two of the machines to target the backlog of repairs in what is considered to be the most efficient means of doing so and at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

Police Scotland have appealed for help after a fatal traffic accident on Skye.

Twenty four years old Kirsty Johnson from Portree died after a collision occurred around 10.10am on Friday 13 May. The hotel worker was said driving a red Ford Fiesta at the time when the incident happened on the A87 just north of Broadford.

Now investigating officers are appealing to anyone who saw the vehicle in the area at around 10am last Friday to get in touch via the force’s 101 telephone line.

After the accident there were long delays while emergency services attended the scene and dealt with the fatality.

The Grand old lady of the sea - Waverley – will be celebrating her 70th birthday off the coast of Skye.

Described as one of the world’s greatest historic ships – the last sea-going paddle steamer in existence – the magnificently restored vessel was named after Sir Walter Scott’s first novel.

Waverley was originally intended to sail only between Craigendoran & Arrochar in West Scotland however she now sails right round Britain offering regular trips on the Clyde, the Thames, South Coast of England and the Bristol Channel with calls at Liverpool & Llandudno.

Skye’s starring role in the world of astronomy is further enhanced next week.

Recognised as one of the best places in Europe to view the dark skies, Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Professor John Brown will be on the island on Tuesday 24th May to give not one but two talks as an easy to follow introduction.

The event takes place at Sleat’s Sabhal Mor Ostaig with a discussion entitled “Gobsmacking Facts About our Universe” taking place at 2pm. This will be followed in the evening, at 8pm, by “Comets – as harbringers of life and death”

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Both events are suitable for 8 year olds and over and are free as part of the Plasma Conference being run by the Institute of Physics at SMO.