Monday, January 20, 2020
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A Skye restaurant has won in the CIS Excellence Awards.

Edinbane Lodge fought off competition to claim Best Newcomer Award last night (Thursday 30 May) in Glasgow.

Also in the running were two premises in Edinburgh, The Little Chartroom and The Lookout by Gardener's Cottage, as well as Harris-based North Harbour Bistro.

Various events will be held throughout Skye and Lochalsh as part of Dementia Awareness Week.

Dementia Awareness Week runs from Monday 3 June to Sunday 9 June.

Events will be hosted by Alzheimer Scotland in Skye & Lochalsh in Portree, Sleat and Dunvegan in order to raise awareness of local dementia support, as well as the urgent need for more people with and without a dementia diagnosis, to sign up to dementia research.

Portree Library will be hosting an information stand from Monday 3 to Saturday 8 June.

Residents of Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch pay an estimated £3.8 million more in delivery charges each year.

This figure comes from research from the Scottish parliament Information Centre (SPICe).  

Kate Forbes MSP is urging Highlanders to take part in a new Scottish Government survey on delivery fees.

Uig Primary School is facing closure, depending on the result of a public consultation.

Members of the Highland Council's Care, Learning and Housing Committee have agreed to undertake the consultation on a proposal to formally close the school, which has been mothballed since the summer of 2010.

Under the proposal, children in the Uig area would attend Kilmuir Primary School, which is around 5 miles away. 

Various Mallaig and Armadale ferry sailings have been cancelled.

The affected sailings were scheduled to take place from today (Wednesday 29 May), Thursday 30, Friday 31 and Saturday 1 June.

CalMac cite technical problems elsewhere in the network as the reason for the cancellations.

CalMac is the first organisation in the country to be awarded a new level of Global Standard accreditation.

The ferry operator has received recognition for the helpfulness and professionalism of its customer operations staff.

Although accreditation is held by more than 300 private and public sector organisations across the UK, CalMac are the first to pass the new more stringent customer service audit.

CalMac's 44 strong Customer Service Team was given the much coveted quality assurance mark by the Contact Centre Association (CCA).

A Skye film-maker will premiere his North Coast 500 documentary in July.

Sean Grieve was inspired to create 'Discover Scotland: North Coast 500' after he noticed most of the media coverage on the famous route was from first-time experience.  

Sean stated: "I wanted to show an honest representation of the Highlands with an authentic soundtrack that all point towards a contemporary, thriving Scotland that cherishes its culture and heritage."

Discover Scotland: North Coast 500 takes audiences on a breathtaking adventure around a 516 mile round-trip of Scotland's north Highlands to a soundtrack by Mànran (2012 London Olympics), and Kathleen MacInnes (Robin Hood).

Apple and Google Maps have been asked to get on board with the 'Keep Left' campaign.

Kate Forbes MSP has written to the leading satellite navigation firms to see whether they can provide additional safety features on navigation devices that could help prevent vehicles driving on the wrong side of Highland roads.

Because some sat navs and smartphones give users a reminder of the speed limit, the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch hopes that a similar notice can be given so that tourists stay on the left hand side.

A £20 million investment to modernise health and social care services has been given the go ahead.

The plans were approved for submission to the Scottish Government at a meeting of the Board of NHS Highland on Tuesday 14 May.

Part of those plans include a new build hospital, located between the Dr Mackinnon Memorial Hospital and the Broadford Health Centre.  Construction will begin this summer.

As well as 24 In-patient beds, the facility will include an Emergency Department, X-ray and Ultrasound Services, Out-patient Clinics, an Infusion Suite and a midwife-led Community Maternity Unit.

The Scottish Government has been asked to contribute additional funding to restore air services from Ashaig.

The Skye Airport Working Group, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and HITRANS are asking for further support from the Government, as well as asking Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd to take the lead role in delivering the project.

On the 16 May, Highland Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee agreed to contribute a further £170,000 towards the cost of further engagement with statutory bodies and preparation work but recognised that help from the Scottish Government is vital to ensure the project takes off.

The Chair of this Committee and also Chair of HITRANS, Councillor Allan Henderson, has now written to the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Transport Infrastructure and Connectivity, Michael Matheson, to press home the case.

Concerns have been raised over flooding at Portree taxi rank.

Drainage repairs are needed in order to prevent overflowing.

The image above was posted to a local Facebook group, highlighting the problem.

A Skye festival will receive funding from the Connect Local Regional Food Fund, backed by the Scottish Government.

The Skye Food & Drink Festival will receive £5,000, which will go towards extending the number of festival days and venues to become a six-day island-wide event.

Now in its third year, the Festival, which takes place for 2019 between 24 and 29 June, aims to raise awareness of Skye's unique position as a gourmet island.

2019 will feature a four-day festival trail during the week days between 24 and 28 June.

500 juvenile salmon made a break for freedom during a delivery at Uig Bay.

The fish were being transferred to Grieg Seafood Shetland Ltd's seawater fish farm and, in the process, were lost over the side of the delivery boat this week (May 22.)

Any resident in the Highlands are encouraged to try out a new video consulting system from NHS Highland.

The sessions take place every Friday between 1pm to 4pm and are intended to allow members of the public to use the system before they have a real video appointment with a consultant.  

NHS Highland say that all the user needs is a reliable internet connection and a device in their home - like a smartphone, laptop or tablet - that can make video calls (like Skype or Facetime). Calls need to be made from the Chrome or Safari browser.

A shop in the Carbost area has been extensively damaged following a break-in.

Police say entry was forced to the shop at some point between 5:30pm on Tuesday 21 May and 9:20am on Wednesday 22 May.

'Significant staffing issues' could result in Sleat Surgery having no reception cover on Fridays after 3pm.

NHS Highland Practice Manager, Liz Dobson, noted that there currently are issues with both GP cover and admin staff.  

This is likely to result in there being no reception cover after 3pm at Sleat Surgery on a Friday.

Ownership of the Orbost Estate is set to change.

The estate was bought 22 years ago by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

The regional development agency have outlined their planes for a phased exit from its ownership of the estate.  

The 2,337-hectare estate was bought in 1997 to stimulate the local economy and encourage resettlement by providing access to land and affordable housing.

Hopes are high that Portree Hospital will be fully operational soon.

Next week the Scottish Government’s Health Secretary will visit the Isle of Skye at the invitation of constituency MSP Kate Forbes.

On Monday 27 May, Jeane Freeman MSP is expected to meet with healthcare campaigners, as well as patients and staff at Portree Hospital, Broadford Hospital and Lochalsh Healthcare Centre.

The visit to Portree Hospital is particularly significant, following Sir Lewis Ritchie’s review on healthcare provision, which categorically stated that the hospital in Skye’s biggest population centre must remain open.

A woman is appealing for help to find her missing camera.

Lily Mika visited Skye on 16 May and left her camera near Sligachan.

Apart from the sentimental value of the photographs, Lily has also lost all the images that make up a photo project.  Lily told Skye Times Online: "I'm taking artistic topless photos in the most beautiful places that I visit.  

"My goal is to publish a book with these pictures to empower women, encourage them to become more free and confident to do what they want.

"I also want to raise awareness about breast cancer.

Highland Council have reduced their overspend by £3 million.

The news is to be reported to the council's Corporate Resources Committee meeting next week

Budget Leader Cllr Alister Mackinnon, Chair of the Resources Committee, said: “The final outturn for the year is an overspend of £2.280M.

£198,967 has been awarded to the Skye and Raasay area and will be used on local improvements.

Highland Council say the new funding is to stimulate economic investments in Highland town centres and to help them diversify and flourish.

In partnership with COSLA, The Scottish Government have provided £50m capital to set up the Town Centre Fund 2019-2020.

A motion to use £170k to study and seek support for a trial air service between Skye and Glasgow has been approved.

The Highland Council Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee voted today (Thursday 16 May) to use the funds for development studies and to authorise the chair to write to the Minister of Transport for further support for the trial air service.

Several roads will be closed for the Skye Half Marathon.

The annual race will be held on Saturday 8 June.

The race will start at Portree High School and the road will be closed from 10:20am until 10:50am for the start of the race and fun run.

"Significant investment" will be required to secure the future of the Portree Community Centre.

The Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association, PBCT, local Councillors, HIE and the Portree Community Centre Committee (PCCC) alongside representatives from Portree Nursery and Portree Primary have held a series of meetings to discuss the future of the Community Centre and the Camanachd Square/Park Road area. 

A 70-year-old woman with an injured ankle was rescued yesterday (Wednesday 15 May.)

The woman had sustained an ankle injury at the Old Man of Storr around 5:30pm.  

They used a SPOT beacon to alert the Coastguard to their location.  

Skye Mountain Rescue Team assisted the ambulance service in attending to the woman.


A wildfire warning is in place across Scotland until tomorrow (Friday 17 May.)

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service say: "Our rural areas can be devastated by these fires – as can the lives of people living and working in these communities."

They have also issued a wildfire leaflet, containing suggestions for making your home safer.  

Suggestions include having an escape plan in the event of a wildfire, calling 999 immediately upon seeing a fire in the countryside and creating a safe, fire-resistant zone around your house.

A third Gaelic Language Plan has been published by the University of the Highlands and Islands.  

The document sets out the university's strategy for continuing to promote and develop the use of Gaelic through its practices, curriculum and communications until 2022.

Proposals include producing more bilingual resources, encouraging staff to learn Gaelic as part of their development plans and holding more Gaelic events.

Skye residents have made their voices heard on island issues, caused by increased tourism.

The first phase of a major survey on tourism and its impacts on Skye had over 250 responses when it was conducted throughout March and April.

In the online survey, Skye residents were asked what they believe are the main issues facing the island as a result of the increase in tourism. 30% of respondents highlighted dangerous driving as the major issue but most respondents focussed on a lack of infrastructure – lack of Toilets (18%), poor Roads (14%), Parking (7%) and lack of Public Transport (2%).

Parking enforcement activities are set to be rolled out across the Highlands today (Tuesday 14 May).

Highland Council say locations in Kyle, Kyleakin, Portree, Sligachan, Dunvegan, Storr and Broadford are all included in the list.

The enforcement will concern roads containing on-street parking, waiting and loading prohibitions and restrictions.

Mobile Officers have begun patrolling these townships on a random basis and are operating from bases in Fort William, Skye and Inverness.

Inverness could be home to a specialist playcentre for Highlands and Islands youngsters with severe disabilities and learning difficulties, if plans go ahead.

The project is the brainchild of Elsie Normington of the Elsie Normington foundation. Elsie stated: “A specialist, bespoke playcentre is really crucial to serve the Highlands’ most severely disabled children and young people who have complex needs.”

The £4 million project is still in the fundraising stages, with the long-term goal to establish the complex, called the Haven Centre, in the Smithton area of Inverness.

New electric car charging points have been installed on Skye today (Tuesday 14 May.)

The brand new points are located at An Crùbh in south Skye.

The hub, which was built by the community of Camuscross and Duisdale, can now add electric car charging to its list of local services, which include a cafe, shop, post office and gathering space.  

Some parts of Raasay will be without electricity on Thursday 16 May.

The Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) will be on the island all day, carrying out essential works to the overhead electricity network.

Police Tweet Awards are now open for nominations.

Local Police Twitter Account, @LochabSkyePol, are once again hoping to make it through to the finals.

The account reached the award finals back in 2017 and are hoping to do so again this year.

A window in Rona Place, Portree was vandalised earlier this month.

Police are currently investigating the incident, which they say took place on Tuesday 7 May at around 7pm.

A marine tourism firm in Skye will expand after securing funding for a new vessel.

SeaSkye Marine Limited will receive funding from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) for the new vessel, which they will use to run trips to St Kilda.

HIE has awarded the company a grant of £36,910. The money will go towards the cost of upgrading the vessel used for the St Kilda trips from an 11-metre to a 13-metre vessel.

The iconic paddle steamer, Waverley, has been withdrawn from service.

It was previously announced that the vessel needed extensive repairs to her boilers.

It has now been decided that the paddle steamer will need new boilers, if she is to carry on.  

A number of sheep have been badly injured in the Glendale area.

Police are carrying out enquiries after the sheep were found on common grazing hill land at Husabost.

Police say they believe the significant injuries were caused by a dog.

Plans are in place to make next year's Skye Marathon sustainable.

Organisers will be looking for ways to make the popular event even more eco-friendly, including analysing their plastic usage, the dyes in their T-shirts and the medals.

Organisers have said: "We have been reviewing the race's sustainability over the last year, but there is still some work to be done if we are to get it right."

A campaign has been launched that aims to increase the number of foster carers in the Highlands.

It is hoped this will prevent children from being placed miles away from their home area.

It is understood that there are 30 children in Highland Council’s area waiting for an adoptive home, as well as five children waiting for a permanent foster family and 10 children who are in need of a respite foster family.

The campaign has been launched by the MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, Kate Forbes.  

UK islands will be key tourist hotspots this year, according to Avis Car Rental UK.

The rental brand have analysed popular destination searches on its website in March 2019 versus the same period last year.

Skye, Arran, the Outer Hebrides, the Orkneys and the Shetland Islands all appear on the list.  

Inverness saw an increase of more than 30 per cent this year – acting as the gateway to Oban, Skye and the Outer Hebrides.

A new set of lines at Drynoch junction have taken local drivers 'by surprise.'

The road marks now indicate traffic coming from Sligachan direction and turning left towards Carbost must give way for vehicles turning right from Dunvegan.

A Highland Council spokesman said: "The right of way has not changed it has only been formalised in line with the current standards used throughout the country where there is a diverging lane for vehicles turning left and where vehicles turn right at the same junction into the same side road.

A casualty with an injured arm was airlifted to Broadford today (Thursday 9 May).

The casualty was on a motor cruiser on the east side of Skye.

The cruiser was anchored at the time of the accident.  

Flodigarry Trust have acquired a site for the new Flodigarry Centre.

An official celebration on Saturday 4 May marked the acquisition. 

Urras Baile Fhlodaigearraidh/Flodigarry Trust held a turf cutting ceremony, which saw the first turf cut by Kate Forbes MSP, at the centenary cairn.

Various systems will go down at Portree Medical Centre today (Tuesday 7 May.)

IT maintenance will result in the systems going down from 12pm today until 12pm tomorrow (Wednesday 8 May.)

A man has been airlifted to hospital after falling from a cliff.

It is reported that the man fell from a cliff near Lealt Falls shortly after 5:30pm.

A multi-agency operation saw Portree, Dunvegan, Duntulm and Kyle Coastguards, along with the Coastguard helicopter and the police, rescue the man yesterday (Monday 6 May.)

The economic and environmental benefits of planting trees on crofting ground will be in the spotlight this week, when the Croft Woodland conference takes place on Thursday and Friday in Boat of Garten.

Organised by The Woodland Trust and and Scottish Forestry, formerly the Forestry Commission for Scotland, the conference will start by celebrating the impact of 25 years of crofter forestry following the Crofter Forestry (Scotland) Act of 1991.

With European Parliamentary Elections scheduled to take place on Thursday 23 May, Bill Gillies, Electoral Registration Officer for the Highland and Western Isles area, is urging voters to make sure they are registered to vote in time.

He said: “To vote in the European Parliamentary Election, anyone who has never registered or has recently moved must register by midnight on 7 May. [today] The quickest and easiest way to register to vote is online at - it only takes five minutes.”

An eight week long maintenance project will take place on the two bridges that make up the Skye crossing.

The project will see expansion joints replaced on both bridges.  

The £600,000 project will begin on Monday 13 May.  Temporary traffic lights will be in place at various periods throughout the project.  

BEAR Scotland have said: "Expansion joints are essential components on large bridges such as the Skye Bridge Crossing, as some bridge sections can move by up to 24cm during changes in temperature between the summer and winter months.

All Waverley sailings scheduled for May, June and July have been cancelled.

The paddle steamer will need extended repairs to the boiler and is currently berthed in Glasgow.

Organisers say they will need to replace a large section of the furnace in one of the boilers, which is estimated to take 12 weeks.

Waverley Excursions General Manager, Paul Semple, stated: "For the past 11 weeks our crew and contractors have been working on the ship’s boilers but the repair has increased in complexity and cost.

The Mallaig to Armadale crossing will be served by additional sailings on a three-year pilot from March 2020 in a bid to extend the tourist season, the Islands Minister Paul Wheelhouse has told campaigners on Skye.

The news was announced at a meeting this afternoon (3 May) with the Islands Minister, constituency MSP Kate Forbes and groups from both sides of the route including the Sleat Transport Forum, the Road to the Isles Marketing Group and local Highland councillors.

Portree harbour could be redeveloped, if a local community group's plans go ahead.

Portree and Braes Community Trust recently met with the Scottish Government’s Islands Minister Paul Wheelhouse to discuss the harbour's future.  

Kate Forbes MSP met with the trust’s development officer Fiona Thomson earlier in the year, and offered to work with them to help fulfil the harbour’s potential – including facilitating the discussion with Mr Wheelhouse. 

Locals have been attempting to secure significant investment for Portree harbour for three decades.

The search is on yet again to reunite Nemo with his family.

In this case, Nemo is a toy and his family lost him at Borve-based Highland Motors Limited.

The car dealership and repair workshop team posted a photograph of the toy on their Facebook, saying that he was found in their yard yesterday (Thursday 2 May.)

Anyone looking for Nemo can find the Highland Motors Limited Facebook page here.

Image from Highland Motors Limited Facebook page.

Members of the Broadford community are encouraged to have their say on the kind of housing they need.

Lochalsh & Skye Housing Association (LSHA) and The Highland Council are aiming to build 150 new homes over the next three years.

The Housing Association have asked the community what kind of housing would meet the needs of Broadford community.

A former member of the Skye Mountain Rescue Team has passed away.

The team took to Facebook to share the sad news of Eoghain MacKinnon's death on Tuesday 30 April.

The team stated: "[Eoghain] had been suffering from Leukaemia for the last year or so and unfortunately the treatment he had been receiving failed to improve his condition.

New pontoons have been installed in Dunvegan as part of a development programme to attract and retain visiting sailors.  

The project was led by Iain Houston, Chair of the Dunvegan Moorings Association, and had support from Crown Estate Scotland.  

Dunvegan Moorings Association is one of 125 mooring groups and associations managing areas of seabed under agreement from Crown Estate Scotland, allowing local communities to manage areas of seabed for the benefit of their members.


One of Skye's five star attractions now has a retail space in Portree.

As well as their famous Waternish base, Skyeskyns can now be found in town.

A mock ATM designed to help people identify the warning signs for skimming devices will be coming to Skye.

Officers from the Highlands and Islands Preventions and Interventions Unit will be carrying out practical demonstrations with the mock ATM throughout May to show what people should be watching out for.

Skimming devices are attachments added to cash machines to surreptitiously read card details without the cardholder's knowledge.

Preventions and Interventions officer Constable, Alan MacLennan, said: "We don't want to worry people unnecessarily about the use of cash machines but the public should be alert to this type of activity.

"Using an ATM is a routine act for many of us but that there are some criminals who will try to exploit any complacency in order to try and steal personal details.

A flyer helping road users navigate single track roads has been re-released.

The flyer, produced by SkyeConnect in association with Go Skye and Highland Motors, also depicts the island's road network.

A photograph of a boat on Loch Shiel has been picked as the winner of Kate Forbes MSP's constituency photography competition.

Budding photographers from her Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch constituency were invited to entries on the theme of 'Made in the Highlands', and the winning picture – along with two runners-up – will now be framed and showcased in her Scottish Parliament office in Edinburgh.

Over 150 submissions were made, and a final five shortlist was announced last month.

The Highland Council has the "lowest levels of reserves" they have ever had, according to their Budget Leader, Alister Mackinnon.

Meetings between the Chief Executive and Budget Leader with Highland Council budget holders will take place this week.

The meetings aim to set out tight budget controls throughout the year.

Highland Council say they are currently operating with an overspend of £5 million.  

A programme entitled 'A Sustainable Highland' was approved in February.  The programme aims to deliver £37.456m savings over the next three years.

The search for a missing Raasay man continued today (Wednesday 1 May.)

A remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) was used to assist with the search for missing 72-year-old, Alistair Lovie.

The Aircraft Emergency Beacon activated today (Wednesday 1 May) was a false alarm.

A multi-agency search was launched after the beacon was activated in the area around the Skye Bridge and Plock of Kyle.

The search was Kyle and Portree lifeboats, along with the UK Coastguard Helicopter and local Coastguard units search the area.  

An emergency beacon resulted in the launch of multiple rescue organisations today (Wednesday 1 May).

The beacon came from an aircraft and was activated around 9:30am from the vicinity of the Skye Bridge and Plock area.

No aircraft has been reported overdue and there is no indication of anyone being in difficulty, but the emergency response is continuing until the issue is resolved.

Edinbane Lodge has been named in a list of the Top 100 Restaurants in Scotland.

The 2019 Restaurant Awards Scottish Edition, delivered by Creative Oceanic, saw the restaurant with rooms recognised along with top restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh.  

Chef and Proprietor, Calum Montgomery, told Skye Times Online that the news came as a surprise to him.  "We didn't know we were up for the ward," he stated.  "We got an email saying our guests had nominated us and we were in the shortlist."  

The award ceremony was held on Monday 29 April at the Marriott Hotel in Glasgow.

Police Scotland is encouraging residents in the Highlands & Islands to sign up to a free app which provides community alerts of a person with dementia has been reported missing.

Purple Alert was launched by Alzheimer Scotland last year and creates a way of sharing information which could help return vulnerable people home safely.

The app - endorsed by Police Scotland - works best if a number of people in a community have downloaded it in order to share details and possible sighting of the missing person.

The app, which is available on iPhone and Android, uses GPS technology to send an alert to all users within a 30-mile radius.

Sergeant David Campbell, Highlands and Islands Division missing persons co-ordinator, is encouraging people to download Purple Alert during Scottish Missing Persons Week which runs from Monday, May 28 until Sunday, June 3.

A man has died after falling from a cliff at Loch Scavaig on the Isle of Skye.

The unidentified male was walking in the Elgol area when he fell down the steep drop on Wednesday 30 May.

The male casualty was picked up by Mallaig Lifeboat and transferred to Elgol Pier yesterday afternoon but later died.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency received the distress call at 12noon to reports of a man at the bottom of a cliff and the local lifeboat crew, including Portree Coastguard Rescue Team, Police Scotland and Coastguard search and rescue helicopters from both Stornoway and Inverness were dispatched to the scene.

A schedule of turbine blade movements for the last week in May has been published.

A police escort will help move the blades from Broadford Aerodrome, along the A87 and along the A82 at Invergarry and then Fort Augustus.

Travellers are advised to add on an extra 20-30 minutes onto their journey.

A popular Skye restaurant is heading for the bright lights of Glasgow this summer.

Organised by brothers, Calum and Niall Munro, the one-off event will take Scorrybreac restaurant and Skye Live Festival music to Glasgow's old fish market, The Briggait.  

The tasting menu will be both gluten and dairy free and consist of an array of fine produce, all sourced from Skye's natural and abundant larder, and will be served in a banquet style fashion. 

Tickets for the tasting menu will be priced at £50 per head.

The event will be held on Friday July 20 and Saturday July 21.  

More information can be found here.


Local police are attempting to trace the driver of a Ford Focus.

The police describe the car as "light coloured" and possibly an '06 plate.

They say the driver was involved in a road traffic crash on the A87, 1 mile north of Kyleakin.  

According to the police, the crash happened about 5:30pm on Friday 18 May.  No one was injured in the accident.

The Fingal Centre pool in Portree will be closed today (Tuesday 29 May) until further notice.

A pool plant issue has resulted in the closure and all swimming lessons have been cancelled today.  It is hoped to have an update by 5pm this evening.  

To check if the pool is open, call 01478 614 819.


Police Scotland can confirm that a man will be reported in connection with a wildfire on Skye on Sunday 27 May.

Officers worked with partners in the Scottish Fire and Rescue to tackle multiple fires in the Skye, Lochalsh and Wester Ross areas at the weekend.

The 49-year-old man will be reported to the Procurator Fiscal in relation to a fire near Sligachan on Skye, which was reported to emergency services shortly after 10am and was finally brought under control around 12 hours later.

Police enquiries are ongoing to establish the cause of all of the fires.

Inspector Lynda Allan said: "It is thanks to the tireless work of retained and full-time firefighters that these fires have been brought under control with no injuries or significant damage to property.

Kate Forbes MSP has praised the "sacrifice" of retained firefighters serving in rural areas after tabling a motion recognising their devotion to duty at the Scottish Parliament.

Inverness has the Highlands' only full-time fire station, meaning that stations such as Dingwall, Drumnadrochit, Dunvegan, Fort William and Kingussie all rely on retained firefighters.

The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch said that many in the general public did not realise that firefighters were holding down other jobs whilst still responding to emergencies at all hours.

Kate Forbes MSP said: "I recently met and spoke to retained firefighters and was amazed at their level of commitment and sacrifice.

"To my shame, I had not fully appreciated how much time and effort that retained firefighters devote to training and responding to emergencies.

A wildfire, which took hold of the Crossal area of Skye, has been extinguished.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service told The Skye Times that the crews left the scene by 5pm yesterday (Monday 28 May.)

The wildfire began on 9:51am on Sunday 27 May, devastating the area and necessitating the closure of the road between Sligachan and Drynoch.

A warning for an increased risk of wildfires is in place across Scotland until Thursday, May 31.

Members of the public are being urged to play their part in preventing further potentially devastating fires.

Area Manager Bruce Farquharson, Chair of the Scottish Wildfire Forum, said: "A great many people will be enjoying the outdoors in the good weather this weekend, we urge everyone to make sure that they don’t increase the chance of wildfire – be aware of the risks and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

“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.

A Road Traffic Accident on the A9 Longman Roundabout is causing delays, say Traffic Scotland.

The organisation heard reports of the accident today (8:27 am on Tuesday 29 May) and say it is causing queues in both directions.  

Trunk Road Incident Support Service is currently en route to the scene.  

On Saturday 26 May members of Portree lifeboat fundraisers and crew walked from Sligachan to Portree raising money for Portree Lifeboat.

In total they collected £1816.28 along the way.

The team say: "A big thank you goes out to everyone who stopped and donated money, HM Coastguard for their escort and Portree Co-op for kindly donating the much needed refreshments."

Photo from RNLI Portree Facebook page.

Information is being sought on an innovative artist who had a home on the Isle of Raasay.

Tom Newton, creator of several electronic stucco works in the 1980's, had a self built home on the island.

Dr Stephen P. Castell, touched by the unusual designs, is hoping to find more information about the artist.  He told The Skye Times: "I heard about Tom Newton back in the 1980s, in the early days of the microcomputer and related IT developments, when he had some publicity for his ‘electronic stuccos’ sculptures (or 3-D paintings).

"These were constructs which modelled electronic components, such as computer transistors, microprocessors etc to create large-scale works of art, in coloured plaster.

"One of them, for example, ‘Monolithic Transistor’, is it seems in the permanent collection of the Science Museum since around 1984.

"Back in 1988 Humberts was mentioned in the FT as looking to sell Tom Newton’s self-built home on the island of Raasay.

Scottish Gaelic adult learners attending Highland Council Gaelic classes had the opportunity to meet up and compare experiences last week.

A group of 14 adult learners of Gaeilge (Irish) from the Omagh/Fermanagh in Northern Ireland, have been visiting the Highlands as part of an exchange with adult learners of Scottish Gaelic who attend Highland Council classes.

The group who have been visiting a number of local sites such as Culloden, joined with the Inverness based Gaelic learners at a Cèilidh on Thursday evening where everyone enjoyed sharing their learning experiences as well as participating in song and dance activities.

The group learnt about the Scottish Gaelic historical experience from Mr Padruig Moireach of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig as well as taking part in a fun Scottish Gaelic lesson led by local tutor Mr Iain Mackay.

The group concluded their trip with a visit to Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Skye to learn more about the College and all the various businesses that are based on the campus.

Access to Lealt Gorge and its car park will be unavailable today (Monday 28 May) for approximately four weeks.

Work is set to commence on the new viewing platform and car park dedicated to the popular attraction.  


The capital works form part of a new phase of Staffin Community Trust’s (SCT) Skye Ecomuseum project - which also includes new interpretation and a wide ranging events programme involving schools, older residents, families and visitors.

An economic report has estimated that the Staffin economy, which is classed as fragile by the Scottish Government, would be boosted by an additional visitor spend of £165,000 in the first year of the ecomuseum project’s delivery. The viewing platform will provide commanding views of two waterfalls, the Trotternish Ridge and across to Wester Ross.

SCT will also build a new 20-space car park to cater for the expected public demand to visit the platform. SCT progressed the car park plans after Highland Council advised that permission for the platform would not be forthcoming unless more spaces were created.

A Nairn man, who had previously been reported missing, has been found.

51 year old Alexander Macrae was reported missing earlier this week, say Police Scotland, but has been traced, safe and well.

Police Scotland are keen to trace a Nairn man who may have travelled to the Lochaber area.

51 year old Alexander (Alec) Macrae is described as being 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a slim build, blue eyes, receding grey hair and possibly stubble.  He also has a white complexion and tattoos on both upper arms, with one depicting a skull.  

Although it is unknown what Mr Macrae was last wearing, he is described as having a silver watch on his left arm.  He has a Scottish accent.

Police say his family are concerned for his welfare after he was last seen on Friday 25 May 2018 at about 12pm at Inverness Retail Park.  At this time, he was driving a white Kia Rio, with the registration SY59 YSZ.


Police have concerns for Mr Macrae's wellbeing and would urge anyone with information on the whereabouts of Mr Macrae or his vehicle please call Police Scotland on 101.

A fierce blaze has led to the road between Sligachan and Drynoch being closed today (Sunday 27 May.)

Thick smoke has engulfed the hillside and forest in the Crossal area.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said: "The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is currently in attendance at a wildfire on Isle of Skye.

"Operations Control mobilised three fire engines to Sligachan Hotel Road, Carbost after the call came in at 9.51am on Sunday, May 27.

"Firefighters are currently extinguishing 200 metres of heath land on fire and will remain on scene until the area is made safe."

The road will remain closed until the area is safe to drive through.

Kyle Lifeboat assisted a family with a three year old child on the Applecross peninsula.

The lifeboat launched at 12:44pm after the Coastguard was alerted to a family in trouble out in a canoe.

Two adults and the three year old child made it safely to the shore and were sheltering from the swell.  Once on the scene, two members of the lifeboat crew made sure everyone was accounted for and ensure there were no injuries.  

Once it was established everyone was safe and well, the crew transferred the casualties to the lifeboat and took the canoe under tow back to Toscaig, where the group had set off from.

Speaking at Highland Council’s Corporate Resources Committee  on 24 May 2018,  Budget Leader Cllr Alister Mackinnon said that the Council’s reported overspend showed the extent to which successive budget reductions and council tax freezes meant the authority had no wriggle room to manage significant pressures in demand-led services like supporting children with additional support needs. He said:

“We have done everything we can to protect front line services and particularly services to children and young people.  That is why our focus has been on finding ways to increase income, such as car parking, or ways to reduce expenditure in areas where we have no statutory responsibility.  
"I know not everyone supports these measures, but today’s report should leave no one in any doubt that we have to deliver these commitments and also look for additional ways in which we can meet current and future budget challenges.  

CalMac officials will be quizzed by a Scottish Parliament Committee next week after MSPs agreed to recall the ferry operator to Holyrood's Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee for further evidence.

Skye MSP Kate Forbes said she will be "looking for answers" following the recent disruption across the ferry network and particularly on the Mallaig to Armadale route – which clocked up over 100 cancellations in less than a month of this year's summer timetable.

It is understood that the REC Committee will take oral evidence from CalMac representatives at its next meeting on Wednesday 30 May.

Skye will once again be featured on television.

Scotland From The Sky explores how aerial photography has revealed Scotland’s hidden ancient past and uncovered secrets buried right beneath our feet. 

Presenter, James Crawford, reveals how our ancestors have written their story on Scotland’s landscape.  His journey in this third and final episode starts with what was just a non-descript field near Crathes…  until an aerial shot revealed a quirky set of holes which then emerged to be a Neolithic lunar calendar.

The ancient Viking canal complex at Glenbrittle will also be explored in this episode.

The episode will be shown on BBC One Scotland from 9pm until 10pm on Wednesday 30 May.

Firefighters came to the assistance of a cow stuck in a bog.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews from Staffin and Portree headed to the scene on Saturday 19 May.

A spokesman said: “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was alerted at 2.01pm on Saturday, May 19 to reports of a cow stuck in mud in Portree, on the Isle of Skye.

“Operations Control immediately mobilised two appliances to the scene, near the B883 road.

“The crews, who are skilled in rope rescue, worked in partnership with local crofters to stabilise and secure the animal before assisting it to safety.

“Firefighters left the cow in the care of a local vet and left the scene at 3.20pm.”

Image from SFRS.




Over a tenth (14%) of people from Scotland plan to visit The Isle of Skye this year, as revealed in a survey about Britons' holiday plans by insurer NFU Mutual.*

The Isle of Skye can expect the most visitors to be coming from around the Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as the Leeds region, for reasons including viewing the beautiful wild landscapes, ancient monuments, castles and Dinosaur footprints, for hillwalking and to visit friends and family.

Falkirk and Fort William have been voted among the most charming towns in Scotland in a survey by

And Portree, Ullapool, Stornoway and Tobermory figure in the top 20.

Primary and secondary schools across the Highlands will receive £1.2m from the Scottish Attainment Challenge fund in 2018/19 to help boost the attainment levels of the most deprived pupils. 

Nine local authorities in Scotland and an additional 74 individual schools will share £50 million funding from the Scottish Attainment Challenge fund for initiatives targeted at children living in communities affected by high levels of deprivation.

This brings the total Attainment Scotland Fund investment to £170 million this year.

The advertising watchdog's decision to crackdown on misleading broadband speeds promoted by internet service providers (ISPs) is welcomed by Kate Forbes MSP.

Until today ISPs could advertise "up to" download speeds so long as they are available to at least 10 per cent of customers, but under new Advertising Standards Agency guidelines coming into force today (Wednesday 23 May) that figure will change to 50 per cent of consumers at peak time (8pm to 10pm).

The Scottish Crofting Federation has welcomed the announcement that Scottish Government will continue to support the National Rural Mental Health Forum with a grant of £50,000.

"Mental health is something we don't talk enough about," said Patrick Krause, chief executive of the Scottish Crofting Federation, "and perhaps especially so in rural communities. Yet our mental health is of course just as significant to our well-being as our physical health.

The National Rural Mental Health Forum (NRMHF) has been raising awareness of mental health issues with great success and it is good that this work is recognised and supported by the Scottish Government."

Police in the Highlands and Islands are again appealing to the public not to drink and drive - with 12 motorists already having been charged with alleged offences this month.

Eight men and four women from across the Highlands and Islands will be the subject of reports to the Procurator Fiscal in relation to drink driving offences.

Five of these incidents occurred over the last weekend alone.

The public is being asked for its views on proposals by The Highland Council to review the maximum level of charges for the hire of taxis or private hire cars fitted with taxi meters operating under licence of The Highland Council.

The proposed changes, which would take effect from October 2018 include:

Portree is set to have free WiFi by late spring 2018, according to Highland Council.

A project led by Highland Council and funded by the Inverness and Highland City-Region deal aims to stimulate economic growth and increase digital inclusion across the Highlands by allowing easy access to digital connectivity.  Entitled "High-Fi," the free WiFi will enable tourism support and create a wireless infrastructure in town centres.

The first phase was a Pilot in part of Inverness City Centre which was later rolled out to the wider city in early 2017 as Phase 2. The 3rd Phase will see the roll-out of the free WiFi to 14 towns in Highland.

The first town to get free WiFi is Aviemore. Additional towns to receive High-Fi during phase 3 of the project will include Portree.

A shop was damaged in Dunvegan.

Local police say the shop was damaged overnight earlier in May.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101.


Nominations are being invited from people seeking election to 9 community councils in the Highlands, including Staffin Community Council.

The need to hold interim elections has come about due to the resignation of some members which have brought the community councils down to below half of their memberships.

To stand for election candidates must be entered in the current Electoral Register for the Community Council area.

Ahead of the peak summer tourist season, Kate Forbes MSP is backing a campaign that is seeking to tackle the scourge of roadside litter across the Highland’s roads network.

Keep Scotland Beautiful have been running their Clean Up Scotland 2018 Spring Clean initiative, which raises awareness of the impact of litter as well as testing out new solutions to help alleviate the problem.

Recent research revealed that more than 100 bottles and cans are found on every mile of Scotland’s roads, and that over 96 per cent of the nation’s main roads are affected by litter.

Young crofters will receive recognition with two first-of-their-kind awards.

Following a call for nominations by the Scottish Crofting Federation, the awards will be given to two individuals.

The drive for the award is the Year of Young People 2018 and as such will celebrate the role of young people in crofting. The awards will be made at a special dinner which will be held during the Celebrating the Spirit of Crofting event on 5th October 2018 at Rothes, Moray and presented by Mel Irivine of Drummuir, one of the stars of BBC TV “This Farming Life”.

Highland Council's Environmental Health team have identified raised levels of naturally occurring algal toxins following routine monitoring at Loch Eishort (Skye), Lochs Beag and Ailort (Lochaber) and Loch Laxford (Sutherland).

Commercial harvesting sites in these areas have been closed as a consequence of the levels of an algal toxin called PSP (paralytic shellfish poison).

Eating shellfish such as cockles, mussels, oysters or razor fish from these areas is likely to pose a health risk arising from the consumption of these toxins.

As a sensible precaution, people should avoid eating shellfish from this area until further notice.

It is important to note that cooking does not remove risks from consumption.

A call for evidence has been issued regarding the Clean Growth Strategy.

This supports the commitment by the government to phase out installation of high carbon fossil fuel heating in new and existing buildings off the gas grid.

Views are being sought from installers, suppliers and manufacturers in the coal and oil sectors.  

The consultation will close on 11 June 2018 at 11:45pm.

More information can be found here.

Plans are revealed for a new road linking the A9 and A96 trunk roads in Inverness.

Transport Scotland published the plans, which include a cycleway and separate footway on both sides of the carriageway linking to Inverness Retail and Business Park.


The planned route between the city's Culloden Road and Smithton Junction would include new junctions at Ashton Farm and Cradlehall.

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said the road formed part of the £315m Inverness City Region Deal.  He added: "Since we identified the preferred option for the scheme late last year, our design consultants have been considering all the feedback received.

Businesses in Skye and the West Highlands now have more opportunities to develop their workforces through the University of the Highlands and Islands’ modern apprenticeship programme.

The university is offering opportunities to employ over 300 new modern apprentices around the region working within in a range of subject areas, including hospitality, engineering, administration and retail.

It has brought together apprenticeships from across its college network to create a regional portfolio which best serves businesses. As well as being able to access the modern apprenticeships available through their local college, it will now be easier for businesses to tap into programmes from across the university partnership.

Communities should have a stronger voice in planning what their neighbourhoods look like, says a Holyrood Committee today (Thursday May 17) .

The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee sets out recommendations to strengthen the Planning (Scotland) Bill in a report published today, while recognising that it has the potential to improve the planning process overall.

The Bill aims to streamline the system of development planning, support delivery of planned developments and includes a new right for communities to produce their own plans for their local areas called Local Place Plans.

CalMac ferries sailed into another storm of protest yesterday (Wednesday May 16) as the company announced an emergency service for June 1-12 while the Clansman ferry is fitted with an new propellor shaft

The underlying problem is that the company no longer has a large back-up vessel and can’t cope when one vessel is out of service.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar in the Outer Hebrides spoke of anger and frustration over the implications for the travelling public, local and visiting, at one of the busiest times of the year.

Staffin Primary School have won the Poppy Scotland Places and Spaces Competition.

The competition challenged entrants to explore design and Remembrance.  Staffin Primary School's design was one of six shortlisted.

The school stated on their Facebook page: "A very big thank you to you all for voting and sharing over the last few weeks. The children are absolutely delighted at winning. The hard work is not over however and we must now organise the creation of the garden using the £1000 prize money from Poppy Scotland."

Photo from Sgoil Stafain Facebook page.


A teddy bear lost in Staffin earlier this month is waiting to be claimed.

The bear, who sports a Station Master cap, was discovered on the verge north of the Staffin Hall and shop.

The bear was rescued and is currently in the safe-keeping of the Staffin, Isle of Skye Facebook page team.

The Young Films Foundation has announced its first Skye residency programme from Saturday 19th to Friday 25th May.

Joe Thomas, star of The Inbetweeners, is headlining in this summer’s anticipated hit comedy The Festival, and is delighted to be able to get away to Skye for a few days, and to share his wide experience of the film industry with participants on the programme: "My collaboration with Producer Chris Young over the years has always been stand out memorable, so I am very happy to endorse this event. Chris has made Skye the hub for a lot of his creative endeavour, and it is great to see him wanting to share his vision and experience with the next generation of film-makers."

The Young Films Foundation residency programme is for six specially selected aspiring Scottish film-makers – writers, directors and producers – who are being offered an intense week of workshops and masterclasses in their chosen field: amongst the many and varied programme activities, the participants will have one-to-one mentoring sessions on script-writing, as well as hands-on directing experience with a small cast of actors in the Skye Space Studio in Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

The programme participants were selected from a wide pool of applicants: during the week they will have the opportunity to pitch their project ideas, host their own film-screening, join in a Round Table discussion on ‘British Film and TV’, and enjoy a sneak preview of the new season of BBC Alba’s Bannan, in the presence of the Creative Team and key cast.

Producer Chris Young said: "We are really excited about the upcoming Residency and look forward to welcoming our six participants to Skye to develop their projects.

"The week is already brimming with activities for them, thanks to the many visiting film industry leaders who are offering their input at the sessions: this will be a significant launch pad for new Scottish talents in film and TV.

"We are particularly grateful to our partners and to local Skye businesses, many of whom are generously hosting dinners, lunches and other events throughout the week."

Amongst the visitors to the Residency is celebrated Scottish producer Andrew Macdonald who includes amongst his successful output films such as Trainspotting, The Beach and Sunshine on Leith. As he said: "The film industry is hard to break into, and it is a great service to the industry in Scotland that this new residency programme is being launched by Chris Young. I am greatly looking forward to being in Skye and contributing to the sessions."

A large number of Skye’s school pupils got involved in outdoor activities on the 9th and 10th of May when the team of Spòrs Gàidhlig visited Portree with an action-packed programme of events.

The two days were sponsored by The Highland Council. Gaelic-medium pupils from six of Skye’s primary schools participated, and sessions were also delivered to pupils from Portree High School.

On Day One, Bushcraft sessions were held for pupils of upper primary age who learned the rudiments of working with fire in the outdoors. On the following day the six primary schools participated in an Orienteering Festival in Portree. Through its Iomairtean programme which runs throughout Scotland, Comunn na Gàidhlig has been delivering orienteering sessions at individual schools since 2016. 

Portree High School is one of five schools to have secured funds to address mental health issues in the community.

During Mental Health Awareness Week, it was revealed that secondary school pupils in the Highlands to have secured more than £15,000.


Mental health charities including Mikeysline, Scottish Association of Mental Health and Spirit Advocacy have benefitted from youngsters securing grants through the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI) Scotland.

Mental health causes represent a quarter of YPI grants already awarded this academic year in the Highlands - the highest proportion in any of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas.

Skye Mountain Rescue received two call outs in one day earlier this week.

The team were called out to the Quiraing and tasked to assist a walker with a lower leg injury.  

Shortly after assisting, the team received a second call out for a casualty who had fallen on the descent out of Coire Lagan.  The casualty had dislocated their shoulder.  

Coastguard helicopter was available to assist, but low cloud necessitated taking the coastal route to Glenbrittle before transporting the team part-way up to the mountain.  Everyone was off the hill by midnight.

Plans are being put in place by The Highland Council for the next phase of works to the rock face at the A890 Stromeferry Bypass.

Essential stabilisation works will begin on 3rd September 2018 on a 72 metre section of rock face close to the west of the avalanche shelter.

The rock face is in a single track road section, immediately adjacent to the railway track.

Kyle Primary School Nursery is one of six settings selected as part of a phased expansion of early learning and childcare provision.

The Scottish Government aims to almost doubling the entitlement to funded early learning and childcare to 1,140 hours a year by 2020.  This will be open for all three and four-year olds and eligibile two-year olds, with the aim of providing high quality, flexible early learning and childcare that is accessible and affordable for families. 

Highland Council, as part of the phased expansion of early learning and childcare provision, is trialling 1140 hours from August 2018 in six locations.

As part of this phased expansion, children enrolled at the above locations will be offered up to 1,140 hours, for the year starting in August 2018.

A fund to promote natural and cultural assets in the Highlands and Islands is to be set up.

Scottish Natural Heritage has been invited to establish a challenge fund based on European Regional Development funding.

The fund will support the sustainable development of natural and cultural assets, especially in more rural parts of the region.

Mike Cantlay, chairman of Scottish Natural Heritage said: "Nature and culture are closely linked in the Highlands and Islands and in many places they are central to the local economy, maintaining rural populations, jobs and skills.

"We want to make the most of new opportunities to spread those benefits to more rural communities in the coming years.

"We look forward to taking the next steps when we meet with stakeholders later this month."

Kate Forbes MSP has welcomed a new Scottish Government scheme that will enable registered adult nurses in the Highland and Islands to become fully qualified midwives in 20 months.

Subject to final approval from the Nursing Midwifery Council, the £500,000 pioneering initiative will have its first intake in January 2019 and be run in conjunction with the University of the Highlands and Islands, NHS Highland and NHS Western Isles.

The Scottish Government is funding tuition fees for 20 students, provide bursary support for those currently not in employment – thought to be about £6,500 per student – and, along with the NHS Boards, fund salary costs of existing employees undertaking the training.

Local police have asked for information on an altercation between a lorry driver and a supermarket delivery driver.

They say the altercation took place about 8pm on Thursday 3 May near Attadale.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 with info re. NP2228/18.

Broadford Co-Op and Filling Station could receive redevelopment - if plans submitted to the Highland Council are given the go-ahead.

The Co-Op group have submitted plans for alterations and extensions of the food store and the petrol station.

Plans include adding a further fuel pump, adding a new jet wash facility and electronic vehicle charging points.  The Co-Op are proposing to provide a dedicated fuel sales kiosk, preventing fuel customers from accessing the food store via the petrol station.  

A new trolley bay and ATM machine are also part of the proposed plans.

The full application can be seen on the Highland Council planning website.

Skye Mountain Rescue dealt with three shouts in just 24 hours this week.

A full team call out was requested for a casualty who took a serious fall whilst descending Sgurr Mhic Choinnich. 

The team said: "We had just enough time to negotiate the traffic congestion at the Fairy Pools when another call out came in for a lady with a lower leg injury back North at the Quiraing.

"Fortunately the cloud eventually cleared and the casualty on Mhic Choinnich was able to be uplifted by the coastguard helicopter. In the mean time a few team members had made the 50 mile journey to the Quiraing and were able to stretcher carry the casualty down the path with some much appreciated assistance from passers by."

A casualty was rescued at the Storr on Wednesday 9 May.

Skye Mountain Rescue assisted the person, who had suffered a lower leg injury.

The team said: "Low cloud and some very slippery conditions underfoot meant the casualty had to be carefully stretchered some distance back down to the car park where the coastguard helicopter was eventually able to assist and transport them to hospital."

Gaelic-speakers will have a chance to recommend names for common marine molluscs.

A public consultation has been launched to choose Gaelic names for Scotland's shellfish.

The Scottish Natural Heritage has published a list of 85 marine mollusc names, Gaelic terms for parts of the animals and for different seashell shapes.

The recommendations have been produced by a team from Scottish Natural Heritage and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

Gaelic-speaking environmental educator Roddy Maclean has been leading the project.  He interviewed 14 older Gaelic speakers, mostly from the Western Isles, to obtain guidance on the names they use for marine mollusc species.

Mr Maclean said: "There was a general agreement on the names for the most common species.

Uig and Tarbert sailings will suffer delays today (Wednesday 9 May.)

The current forecast shows southerly 50 knot winds at Lochmaddy from 9am until mid-afternoon.  The ferry will remain at Uig and follow a delayed timetable:

The B851 Inverness to Fort Augustus road is currently closed (Wednesday 9 May.)

The closure is located close to Farr and is due to a road traffic collision. 

Police have advised motorists to use an alternative route.


Out-of-hours care at Portree Hospital should be maintained 24/7, say experts.

An external review was commissioned of the Out-of-Hours (OOH) Urgent Care services.

Sir Lewis Ritchie met with community representatives in Portree, to share a number of recommendations.

In a new report, the expert panel has recommended that out-of-hours urgent case access at Portree could be better provided by:

The Scottish Ambulance Service increasing its paramedical capacity and capability, including by giving consideration to the re-deployment of fast response vehicle capability and deployment of paramedics on shift rather than present on-call arrangements.

NHS 24 working with NHS Highland in developing a hybrid staffing role based at Portree Hospital, but could provide a service Scotland-wide.

In-patient bed availability at Portree Hospital continuing until sufficient alternative resilient provision is provided in North Skye.

While supportive of NHS Highland's strategy to provide more care at home, it was also recommended that further work be done to look at care at home and care home capacity especially in the North of Skye.


One man has successfully run across 10 islands in just 36 hours.

Alistair Macpherson has completed his charity continuous run of 120 miles for Macmillan Cancer Support and raised nearly £8,000.

The long-distance runner started at Vatersay and then ran across Barra, Erisky, South Uist, Benbecula, Grimsay, Berneray, North Uist Harris and then finished in Skye on Sunday 6 May..

Speaking after completing his adventure, Alistair said:  “I have done plenty of runs for charity before but this one was the most technical and gruelling. We had to make sure we go to the ferries at just the right time. Luckily the Scottish weather was for once not completely against us.

Cake-makers and cocktail aficionados will have the chance to show off their skills at the Skye Food and Drink Festival in June.

Cocktails will be judged on appearance, its funky name and the taste.

Alcohol-free cocktails are welcome.

Judging the competition will be festival host and food-writer, Cate Devine, as well as Leah Dunlop of Praban Gaelic Gins and Thomas Wilson of Isle of Skye Distillers.

The cake-making competition welcomes tasty cakes with a wow factor.  Entries are placed into two categories: adults or under 14's.

A new extreme sports record has been set on the Black Cuillin Ridge.

A team of British slackliners set the record for walking the highest altitude highline in the UK, at 3209 feet.

Skye man Matt Urquhart, Sarah Rixham, Benedict Russell-Smith, Joshua Leupolz, Jack Chandler, Jediah Doohan, Lewis Docherty and Charlotte Stait worked together to set the new record.

The idea came from Matt, whose family home has a view of the mountains.  The goal was to span the 137 feet wide gap above the Great Stone Chute between the ridge of Sgurr Alasdair and the peak of Sgurr Thearlaich.

A four-day weather window between April 27-30 gave the team the opportunity to scout, set up and successfully walk the line.

Ian Blackford MP and Kate Forbes MSP are welcoming the findings of a report on the future of NHS care delivery on Skye.

The report was commissioned by NHS Highland after numerous concerns were raised by people living in North Skye as to the provision of services in the area when the new Broadford Hospital opens. These worries were compounded by the temporary withdrawal of Out-of-Hours (OOH) cover on several occasions over the past festive season.

Ian Blackford and his colleague, Kate Forbes MSP, raised these matters with NHS Highland as the situations developed and continued to follow them up asking that NHS Highland look at these failings and produce a plan to prevent any recurrence.

In response to this pressure and that of a strong public campaign, a report was instigated under the leadership of Sir Lewis Ritchie, the results of which have just been revealed.

Ian Blackford said: “I warmly welcome the publication of Sir Lewis Ritchie’s report and am delighted with the recommendations he has made. I believe these deal with the legitimate concerns that many constituents had in the North of Skye both in terms of urgent and emergency care and the ongoing provision of beds in Portree.

Armadale to Mallaig sailings are disrupted due to a technical fault, say CalMac.

MV Loch Bhrusda has developed a technical fault with her forward main engine and has therefore been withdrawn from the Mallaig-Armadale service while she is fully assessed for repairs.

In the meantime, the MV Loch Fyne will continue to provide six return sailings a day.

MV Loch Bhrusda was providing three return sailings (11:00/13:30/15:20 out of Mallaig and 12:15/14:40/16:35 out of Armadale) which are now cancelled.

CalMac say it will likely be Thursday 10 May before MV Loch Bhrusda is returned to service.

A list of cancelled sailings is below:

Portree's Misty Isle Gin has been voted one of the Top 10 Scottish Gins in a survey from the Scottish Gin Society.

Number one on the list was Isle of Harris Gin, praised for its "iconic bottle and fresh flavour."

The survey was started ahead of upcoming World Gin Day in June.

The Scottish Gin Society said it was wonderful to see smaller distilleries featured on the list, stating: "For us, it is wonderful to see these feature alongside the big brands.  It demonstrates their devoted following, as passionate fans are keen to vote for them."

The full list can be viewed here.

A Skye primary school is one of six finalists in a learning competition.

Bun Sgoil Stafainn/Staffin Primary School P4-P7 pupils hope to renew the war memorial garden in Staffin, if they successfully win the competition.

Class teacher, Josie MacLeod, told The Skye Times: "It’s a really worthwhile cause...

"We are the only school in the Highlands to have reached this stage and we have our fingers crossed we will get enough votes!"

The competition, Poppy Places and Spaces, highlights the importance of the poppy and remembering veterans.  Staffin pupils hope to incorporate a poppy gate, benches and flower beds into their local memorial area.

To vote for Staffin Primary School, visit this link.

The 2018 Isle of Skye Half Marathon has officially sold out.

The popular race, due to take place on Saturday 9 June, will see 1,000 runners take to the roads.

The race has sold out in record time and will, for the first time in the event's history, see the 1,000 racers run the course in reverse, with a full road closure.

A black and white rabbit has been found in Kensaleyre area.

Anyone who recognises the rabbit, which was running loose, can arrange collection by phoning 101.

Work is due to take place to upgrade the traffic light system in the centre of Kyle of Lochalsh.

The upgrade began in early autumn 2017, when a new design was submitted.  

The work, scheduled to commence on Tuesday 8 May, will involve repositioning of existing signals, an upgrade of the existing equipment and improvement works to the crossing points to bring them up to standard.

This week in the Scottish Parliament, Kate Forbes MSP will highlight the number of dangerous potholes on Highland roads and call for major improvements.

In a parliamentary debate on The Conditions of Scotland's Roads on Wednesday 9 May, the constituency MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch is expected to urge Highland Council to expedite repairs to the worst affected areas across the region.

Her lobbying on behalf of constituents has already resulted in repairs to parts of trunk roads like the A82 and A87, but Ms Forbes is concerned that local roads – the responsibility of local authorities – are not being fixed quickly enough.

Kate Forbes MSP said: "There are very few roads in the Highlands that can boast no potholes.

Survey work will be carried out with a view to improving traffic flow at one of the busiest Inverness roundabouts.

The Longman Roundabout will be the subject of five nights of survey work on the central reservations of the A9 and A82. The work is set to begin on Monday 14 May.

Transport Scotland have said some traffic management measures would be required and the outside lanes of the trunk roads would be closed between 8pm and 6am.  Transport Scotland also stated its contractor would "closely monitor" the operation of the traffic management measures to ensure that delays were kept to a minimum.

Photograph from Transport Scotland.

Delays are to be expected on the A87 at Breakish.

Travellers can expect delays from today (Monday 7 May) until Friday 8 June.

Roadworks are being carried out by BEAR Scotland on behalf of Transport Scotland to improve drainage and verges.  This will form the final phase of ongoing improvements to the drainage system, with associated provision of a hardened verge.  

The work will start at the Old Church House and end 5 to 10 metres into the Sleat/Armadale junction.  

Work will be carried out between 7am until 5pm each day.  Temporary traffic lights with a single lane closure will be in operation.  Traffic management will be in place outwit working hours.


A cyclist has died after coming off his bicycle near Ord on Skye.

David Anthony Young, 73, died in the incident on Friday, May 4.

No other vehicles were involved. It is believed he collided with a wild animal.

The road was closed to allow for collision investigation to be carried out at the scene.

Sergeant Chris Murray, of the Road Policing Unit, said: "Our thoughts are with David's family and friends at this difficult time and ask that their privacy is respected.

"Our enquiries into this tragic incident are ongoing, and I would appeal for anyone who saw David on the morning of  May 4, who has not already spoken to police to contact us on 101, making reference to NP2208/18."

Skye Mountain Rescue and the Coastguard Helicopter were called out following concern for a 70 year-old.

The call out took place earlier this week after the 70 year-old failed to make a rendezvous point in south Skye.

The missing person turned up safe and well.


SOS NHS Skye is set to meet with Sir Lewis Ritchie on Tuesday 8 May.

Previously, members of SOS NHS attended meetings with Sir Lewis Ritchie and Fergus Millan, adding evidence to Sir Lewis' independent view of urgent out-of-hours care in Skye, Lochalsh and South West Ross.

SOS NHS Skye stated: "We provided him with supporting evidence we have gathered over the years, real life stories, statistics, information on our meetings with NHSH and the lack of follow up, the total lack of confidence the people of North Skye have in NHSH, the problems with ambulances, transport, weather conditions etc. He asked questions and we asked questions.

One man will begin the challenge of running across 10 islands in 48 hours.

Alistair Macpherson will undertake his 10 Island Challenge in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.  

He will start tomorrow (Friday 4 May) at Vatersay and then run across Barra, Erisky, South Uist, Benbecula, Grimsay, Berneray, North Uist, Harris and then on to Skye. In total he will cover almost 120 miles.

Alistair MacPherson, a former resident of Skye, is no stranger to raising money for cancer charities with this latest adventure being his fourth fundraising event for cancer charities.

Speaking ahead of his fundraising event, Alistair said:  “Macmillan is very close to a lot of people’s hearts in the wonderful work they do, especially in the highlands and islands. It will be a privilege to do this event for Macmillan and I hope to raise thousands of pounds.

A troupe of Gaelic-speaking Bollywood dancers from Staffin are set to perform at Belladrum Tartan Heart Festival.

Six years ago, Davinder and Sonia Gill moved from London to run Mackenzie stores.  Before moving, Sonia was a dancer in Bhangra and Bollywood groups and performed all over the UK in many shows including at the Dome in Birmingham for the Bhangra Awards.

Staffin Bollywood started as a fund-raiser for the SkyeDance Festival.  Sonia says they are now looking into fusing Gaelic songs with Bollywood music. The first dance performances in this genre could be at Belladrum this year.
"I go through the different styles of dance when teaching, not only Bollywood as it is important for them to have versatility when dancing," says Sonia.  "The kids learn about Indian culture, food, clothes, music, traditions - and of course dance as there are so many variations of dance - giving a different visual result. I learn from them as well - everyday is a lesson."

Today (Thursday 3 May) Kate Forbes MSP will raise the importance of connecting 100% of the Highlands at the Scottish Parliament.

In a Scottish Government debate on Scotland's digital connectivity, the constituency MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch is expected to call for improvements to be made as quickly as possible.

Previous research broken down by UK Parliament seats showed that Skye, Lochaber and Ross, the closest match to Ms Forbes' own constituency, has the worst connectivity in the whole of the UK.

Kate Forbes MSP said: "It may surprise most people to know that broadband is actually a reserved matter which means it is firmly and squarely the responsibility of the UK Government to deliver broadband.

Highland Council say has been a huge increase in the numbers taking part in football competition, Cuach na Cloinne.

The 2018 competition will be the biggest ever with 78 teams across 38 schools participating.  

Cuach na Cloinne is a football competition for P4-7 pupils going through Gaelic medium education.  Regional competitions will be held this year in Lewis, South Uist, Skye, Inverness, Oban and Glasgow with the successful teams from the regional competitions all meeting at the national finals in Inverness on 29th May.

Donald MacNèill, Ceannard of Comunn na Gàidhlig, which organises the competition said,  “Cuach na Cloinne has built up a good reputation and is now firmly established in the school calendar, with the children all looking forward to playing in it.  We are looking forward to a highly successful competition this year with up to 500 young people taking part in it.   It is a matter of great encouragement to see the numbers participating increasing year on year. We have more teams taking part in this year’s competition than ever before. I want to record my gratitude to the sponsors of Cuach na Cloinne, without whose assistance the competition wouldn’t happen. They are Bòrd na Gàidhlig, Comhairle nan Eilean and The Highland Council.  I also want to send my best wishes to all 78 teams as they fight it out for this year’s title.”

A performing arts promotion charity on Skye is helping to celebrate the Year of Young People through the medium of music.
SEALL (Skye Events for All) on Sleat is piloting an annual Young Musicians Bursary which will, each year, give one young fiddle player from the Skye and Lochalsh area the chance to attend the prestigious Alasdair Fraser Fiddle Camp at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in July. The bursary will cover fees and accommodation and anyone between the ages of 18 and 26, who is on a low income and who has a basic knowledge of fiddle playing, is invited to apply, regardless of ability.
The course takes place between 21 and 27 July and includes a range of unique workshops, lively performances and the opportunity to get to know other musicians and participate in group work for all abilities. Classes are held daily and sessions/concerts are enjoyed nightly, with a huge final cèilidh on the 27 July.
The camp, which runs alongside a cello course by Natalie Haas, holds the unique honour of being the only one taught by Alasdair in the whole of the UK, and each year students from Scotland and around the globe return to join Alasdair and Natalie in creating a unique experience on Skye.

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  

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 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, 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

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.

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