Friday, December 14, 2018
The skye times mobile

Portree is one of the latest Highland towns to have free WiFi.

The WiFi can be accessed in the centre of the town, thanks to a project led by the Highland Council.  

Named “High-Fi”, the free Wi-Fi is aimed at stimulating economic growth and will increase digital inclusion across the Highlands. Easy access to digital connectivity is seen as essential if the Highland region is to be innovative and keep its competitive place in the tourism market.

Allied to this, WiFi also offers the opportunity to gather data to support tourism and the creation of a wireless infrastructure in a town centre allows smart traffic management technology to be utilised.

A draft Uig Development Brief has been launched by Highland Council.  

The consultation period will run for 8 weeks from now until 21 September 2018.

The Brief aims to provide a framework for physical development and transformation of the Uig Harbour area.  £30 million is expected to be invested by Transport Scotland in the Skye Triangle ferry service.  Improvements are expected to include a new ferry vessel and major upgrade of Uig Harbour.

Once approved in its final form, the Brief will provide a detailed planning policy framework which the Council will use to inform its decisions on any future planning applications.

Chair of the Isle of Skye and Raasay Area Committee, Cllr John Gordon said: "I’m pleased to see the development brief progress to the consultation stage as it will give the local community, businesses and other stakeholders an opportunity to influence the plan which will shape the future of the area for many years to come.

"A Scandalous Liaison on Skye" - if it sounds like the title of a Mills & Boon, that's because it is.

Mills & Boon have commissioned the story after Skye's Fairy Pools topped a list of the UK's most romantic places.

Mills & Boon say the list pf the UK's 10 Most Romantic Places was formed with the help of a panel of travel experts and a survey of 2,000 people.  Ten stories have been commissioned to celebrate each location.

Marguerite Kaye penned the Skye story, which features rugged Highlander, Rory MacDonald, and the magical backdrop of the Fairy Pools.  The area forms the setting for a “secret trysting place where love blooms amid the magical combination of rocks, tumbling water and heather.”

Kate Forbes, the constituency MSP for Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh, will host 14 surgeries next week over six days as she enters into the second week of her summer constituency tour.

Ms Forbes will visit both of Skye’s hospitals, meet with the island’s four local councillors to discuss school and roads infrastructure, and see how work has progressed on tourism infrastructure projects. She will also attend the community celebration event at the Fairy Pools, marking the acquisition of the 12.3 ha from Forest Enterprise Scotland.

Kate Forbes MSP said: “It’s a packed week in Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh, as I meet local people and discuss the issues that matter.

“I am keen to hear about people’s concerns, as that’s my primary job, but also to celebrate progress that’s been made since last summer.

The Minginish Community now officially owns 30 acres (12.3ha) of land at Glenbrittle after completing the asset transfer.

The land extends roughly from the fence line below the S-bend down to the burn above the next forest entrance south of the car park.

To celebrate this acquisition the Minginish Hall Association are arranging a community event on 10th August at 3:30pm-5:30pm. The Association are very pleased to announce that local MSP Kate Forbes will be attending the event.

An eleven-month-old "Thank You" has finally reached its intended recipient.

A post in the Scottish Hill Walking & Wild Camping Facebook group praised "a very kind person" who discovered three pairs of walking boots and placed them on a fence in Eynort.

The post, from Joanna Hayes, went on to explain that her children's walking boots had been left on the roof of their car and fallen off.  Back in August, she hoped to reach and thank the person who saved her children's footwear.

Update (30/07/18): Police Scotland confirmed the owner was traced safe and well a short time after the bicycle was found in Kyle. It Appears they had left the bicycle and trailer for a short time to seek shelter from the rain.

 

A bicycle, complete with trailer and luggage, has been found in Kyle. Police are trying to find the owner to confirm their well being.

The bike was discovered near the Kyle RNLI station around 6am this morning (Saturday 28 July.)

Visitors and locals may need to plan their journeys carefully, as they won't be able to fill up in Broadford filling station.

The fuel service will be unavailable in Broadford for a minimum of 12 weeks as work is carried out.

Contractors will begin work on Tuesday 28 August.  It is expected that the fuel service will be restored after 12 weeks; however there is a contingency of a further two weeks, if required.  

 

 

A car fire took place in Kyle on Thursday 26 July.

Police are appealing for information and say enquiries are ongoing to establish the cause of the fire at Langlands Terrace.

Police officers were made aware of the fire at around 2.40am.  The fire was extinguished by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and nobody was injured, though the vehicle was extensively damaged.

Constable Derek Ferguson said: "Enquiries are ongoing in relation to the cause of the fire but we would ask anyone with information to contact local officers on 101 quoting incident number NP/3189/18 or, if they wish to remain anonymous, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

 

 

Ever wanted to be on television?  Now is your chance!

Extras are wanted to take part in Gaelic drama series, Bannan.

The series will be filmed in Sleat during the months of August and September.

Organisers say that having Gaelic is not essential and that the opportunity includes pay and the chance to experience television drama from a unique perspective. 

Sarah Jane of Young Films told The Skye Times: "We're about to commence filming of the 6th series of Bannan – all filmed locally in Sleat in the Isle of Skye. 

"It's an exciting stage of the production when we are looking for extras – we have a number of regular extras who have been with us since the beginning but we are always looking for new people to join them. 

"This time we have a few smaller speaking parts so are looking for Gaelic speakers with an interest in being on screen.  We also have a scene where we are looking for 'younger' extras – 18–30 year olds!  It's such a great chance to see a drama being made in the local community."

For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A report of a possible missing person led to several coastguard rescue teams making for Rubha Hunish.

Duntulm, Portree and Dunvegan Coastguard Rescue Teams, along with help from Stornoway Coastguard, and local police headed for the scene.  

Upon investigation, it was discovered to be a false alarm.

A major Hollywood star has been spotted on Skye.  

Gerard Butler headed to Dunvegan to visit The Therapy Studio.

Massage provider, Graham Watt, snapped a photograph with the star, captioning it: "Even famous people need fixed now and again."

A 74-year-old charity founder has arrived on Skye as part of a 7,000 mile-long charity walk.

Brian Burnie is aiming to take his charity, Daft As A Brush Cancer Patient care nationwide and establish free cancer patient transport.  

Brian stated: “The walk has been equally challenging as it has been rewarding.  From the snow and frost in March to the recent heatwave in July, I’ve been walking in all conditions. I’ve met some amazing people, many have offered me drinks and food to keep me going. The generosity of people has been truly moving.”

Plans for improving car park facilities are Raigmore Hospital are back on track, says NHS Highland.

A proposal has been approved to fund the project to create two over-spill car parks.

Planning permission is already in place to allow the car park extension which will create an extra 200 spaces on the hospital site.  

The Highland Health Board Endowment Fund Trustees approved the proposal and the project will receive £558,188 from the endowment fund.

David Park, chief officer for NHS Highland, explained that this funding approval is the result of a lot of work and planning from the Raigmore car park working group.

Police are urging people to be on guard against a possible fraud involving emailed invoices.

Police say a home owner, who recently had work carried out on their property, received an initial invoice by email from the company they had used.

Then an additional email was then received shortly afterwards with alternative bank details.

Temporary road restrictions will be in place in Inverness for the Little Mix concert.

The concert will take place in Bught Park on Sunday 29 July and will see Bught Road, Ness Walk Upper and Ballifeary Lane closed.  

The closures will affect vehicular traffic, but pedestrian access and access for emergency vehicles will be maintained at all times.

Alternative routes for vehicles will be available using Bishops Road, Ballifeary Road, Ballifeary Lane (part), Glenurquhart Road, Torvean Avenue, Springfield Gardens, Dunachton Road, Bught Avenue, Bught Road (part), Bught Lane and Bught Drive.

Full details of the closures can be found here.

Police in the Skye & Lochalsh area are urging local residents to be on their guard after a series of reports from local residents about people attending unannounced at properties in the area.

Concerned residents have reported these unannounced callers offering to buy scrap metal or old vehicles in the Lochcarron, Shieldaig, Applecross and Torridon areas.

Constable Craig Allan said: "We have received reports from concerned residents about people acting suspiciously and approaching their property.

"On each occasion they have been offering to buy old vehicles or scrap metal.

"Our advice is not to engage in a deal with anyone who arrives on your doorstep unannounced.

"Instead decline as politely as you can and contact police on 101 if you want to pass on your concerns."

The issue of new minimum landing sizes (MLS) for lobsters has been raised with the head of Marine Scotland and two Scottish Government Cabinet Secretaries.

This follows a meeting Kate Forbes MSP had with west coast fishermen.  

Earlier this year, as part of a two-year measure, Marine Scotland increased the MLS to 88mm, which prompted creel fishermen on the Isle of Skye to raise the matter with Kate Forbes. In year two, the MLS rises to 90mm – which local fishermen believe will hinder their trade.

Creel fishermen say they would like to see the same MLS of 87mm – which is the ideal plate-sized lobster – applied to the whole of Scotland.

A volunteering group on Skye has been launched by a 21-year-old woman from Bernisdale.

Eilidh Beaton was inspired to launch the group after getting involved with the charity Guide Dogs while working in Glasgow.

Eilidh is appealing to locals to join her in raising funds to support people with sight loss.  She stated: “I am originally from Skye but first got involved with Guide Dogs in Glasgow when I moved there for my teaching placement. I’m now back in Skye for the holidays and want to replicate the group in my hometown.

“I have had the chance to talk to Guide dog owners and see the difference a Guide dog can make to someone’s life. This has made me want to help to raise awareness of the charity on the island and help raise money to support them.”

Community Fundraiser, Tammy Robinson, said: “Eilidh was shortlisted for a Guide Dogs Volunteer award in June due to her passion and enthusiasm, and I can’t wait to see what she will achieve in the future, especially with this new group.

Last year, the Highlands had over 1,000 missing persons investigations, which has prompted MSPs to call for greater awareness and support for missing persons and those they leave behind.

The Scottish Government launched a new National Missing Persons Framework last year, which laid out the responsibilities for professionals to support missing children and adults, although the guidance is not statutory.

At Holyrood, Coatbridge and Chryston, MSP Fulton MacGregor has been campaigning to ensure better implementation across the country.

In 2017/18 over 23,000 missing episodes were reported to Police Scotland, with almost two thirds of those reports related to children and young people – many of whom are at risk of grooming, exploitation or abuse.

More than half of the children who go missing in Scotland will be in the care system, meaning they are at a particularly high risk.

Adults who go missing are also highly vulnerable and may face serious risks, and it is thought that up to 80 per cent will be experiencing mental health issues.

Anyone travelling through the Stromeferry Bypass from 3 September until 24 November should plan for delays.

Highland Council say essential works will take place to the rock face to the west of the avalanche shelter, resulting in road closures and traffic management for up to 12 weeks.

From 3 September, the A890 will be closed overnight between the road closure gates at Ardnarff and west of Attadale.  The closure will take place from between 10pm and 7am.  The road will have traffic control in operation during the day between 7am and 10pm whilst a road to rail bypass road is installed. Highland Council say this is planned to be completed within two weeks, but could be finished sooner.

 

 

Broadford now has a defibrillator for emergency use.

The defibrillator is located by the gift shop beside the petrol station.  

 

 

A steering group has been formed to help implement Sir Lewis Ritchie's report into Out-of-Hours (OOH) healthcare.

The group was formed at a meeting in Tigh na Sgire on Wednesday 18 July 2018.  It was decided that the group will be made up of community representatives, local practitioners, and staff from NHS Highland, NHS24 and the emergency services. The Scottish Ambulance Service is working with the project and will also be a key player.

The meeting reviewed progress so far, working from the first interim report to the Scottish Government. The meeting stressed the urgency in finalising plans and starting to get improved services on the ground.

Visitor numbers to Scotland have soared, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The figures are the highest since the ONS travel trends survey began in 1961/62.

The figures are published amid ongoing debate about the impact of tourism at popular destinations, such as Skye.  Skye has also been scouted as a likely filming location for one of HBO's Game of Thrones prequels, The Long Night. 

The number of visitors is up by 17% during 2017, while spending by visitors from Europe has increased by 36% to £1.1 billion.

Overseas vacationers in Scotland increased by 27%, and their spending rose nearly a fifth.

A rucksack containing camping equipment was stolen in Portree.

Police say the rucksack was reported missing on Saturday 7 July.

The Osprey rucksack is described as being orange and was last seen at around 10:15am near the information centre on Bayfield Road.

Anyone with information about its whereabouts should call 101, quoting incident NP3067/18.

 

A female who took ill on a boat trip was assisted by several Coastguard teams and local RNLI.

Portree and Kyle Coastguard, as well as Mallaig RNLI and the Coastguard helicopter were all tasked with assisting the female yesterday (Thursday 19 July) at around 5:15pm.

The female was transferred to the ambulance at Broadford Airfield.

 

A large rally will be held in Inverness, resulting in temporary road and street closures.

Expected to be one of the largest rallies to be held in the city, the event will see thousands of Scottish independence supporters taking part in the All Under One Banner event.

Highland Council has released information on temporary road and street closures in Inverness during the rally through the city on Saturday 28 July. 

The closures, which include Castle Street, Ness Bridge, Ardross Terrance and Culduthel Road, will run from between 1pm and 2:45pm.

The full list of closures can be viewed here.

The road linking Ullapool to Inverness is likely to remain closed for some time, say police.

Police have confirmed that one male has sadly died following a two vehicle road traffic collision on the A835 earlier today (Thursday 19 July).

The collision involving a motorcycle and motor car was reported to police at 2:35pm and happened near to the Braemore Junction on the A835.

The road is likely to remain closed for some time whilst officers carry out investigations into this incident.

Anyone who may have witnessed the collision is asked to call Police Scotland on 101 and quote reference number 2102 of 19th July.

Two men reported missing in the Highlands have been traced.

Police had been searching Anthony Young and Darren Hamilton, believed to have been travelling in a camper van.

Police confirmed that the men have been found safe and well.

 

A serious road traffic collision has taken place on the A835.

The accident happened on the A835 just north of the junction with the A832 at Corrieshalloch Gorge.

Police are currently in attendance and have asked people to avoid the area if possible.  

The A835 links Inverness to Ullapool.

 

Did you visit a Portree pizzeria on Tuesday 17 July?

And did you pay by card?

If so, L'incontro might be looking for you.

A post on the pizzeria's Facebook page asks for anyone who was in the premises on Tuesday night and who paid by card using a PIN number to check their receipt.  They say that someone has substantially overpaid and are looking to return the money.

They have asked for the person to message them privately.  Their Facebook page can be found here.

 

Police are still seeking information which could help trace two men missing in the Highlands.

Anthony Young (top left) and Darren Hamilton (top right) have been reported missing from Northumberland.

It is believed they may be camping in the Rothiemurchus/Cairngorms area near Aviemore.

They are thought to have access to a light-coloured Talbot campervan, reg XKZ 1498.

Anthony Young, 48, is described as being around 5ft 7in tall and of heavy build with gingery blonde hair cut in a mohican style.

Darren Hamilton, 52, is described as being 6ft tall and of slim build with dark curly hair, greying at the sides.

The Isle of Skye is at "risk of being ruined by tourism," according to a list in CountryLiving.

The lifestyle and home magazine stated that the rise of tourism has some negative impacts.  "A number of the world's most famous natural wonders are at risk of ruin as they struggle to keep up with the excessive demand of visitors," it continued.  "Some may even be destroyed for good, if we're not careful."  The list went on to highlight nine places thought by writer, Olivia Blair, to be most at risk.

Skye was named at number three, with the list saying the island's recent film and television appearances have led to an influx of tourism.  

There are just over three weeks to go until the 2018 Skye Agricultural Show.

The organisation say that, while everything is starting to take shape, they are always looking for more volunteers to help on the day.

They have asked that anyone, who could spare even an hour, could get in touch.

Their Facebook page can be found here.

 

 

A food exchange box was recently installed near Carbost.

The box's mysterious and sudden appearance prompted questions on a local Facebook group.  

The idea behind the box came from crofter, Davide Khalil, who told The Skye Times: "I believe food is a human right and think that people in food poverty are often not with cars to visit food banks.

"So it's my idea that a box like this one at every recycle area in Skye might offer a local access point for food banking to those who are in need at the end of the road."

Mr Khalil estimates that the equivalent of five meals have passed through the box in the last week, since it was first installed.

Works are to begin on an additional £1.5M worth of repair schemes on Highland Council roads this summer.

Cllr Alister Mackinnon, Highland Council’s Budget Leader said: “At the Council’s meeting in March, Members agreed a revised 5 year Capital Plan and agreed to prioritise roads maintenance if there was any underspend in the Council’s capital programme for 2018/19.

“A close review and reassessment of the Council’s Capital Budget showed that there was an underspend in resources required for ICT investment based on latest prices and operational requirements. I am very pleased that we have been able to act swiftly to redirect these funds into much needed repairs of Highland roads.”

Events showing the Maritime & Coastguard Agency's new Emergency Towing Vehicle (ETV) are coming to the Highlands and Islands.

People had the chance to see the vessel at Ullapool during a local Rotary Club and RNLI Open Day.  Hundreds of people visited the harbour side for the event.

Russel Freeman from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency said: "The size of the vessel meant people really couldn’t miss it and it was really popular, with several hundred people coming onboard to have a look.

The final of a Talisker cocktail competition will be taking place next month.

The Race to Skye contest challenged entrants to create a cocktail inspired by the Made by the Sea marketing campaign.

 

After a series of regional heats, three Scottish bartenders (Liam Grogan of Kelvingrove Café in Glasgow, Stefanie Anderson of Bon Vivant in Edinburgh and Miran Chauhan of Buck & Birch, also in Edinburgh) were named finalists.

They will be heading to Skye for the final, which takes place between August 13 and August 15.  They will compete against finalists from Leeds, London and Manchester.

The crew of two boats worked together to rescue a man overboard today (Monday 16 July.)

The man on a fishing vessel fell overboard into Loch Hourn. 

After responding to a Mayday broadcast from the Coastguard, another nearby fishing vessel raced to the scene to assist.  Working together, the crew on both vessels were able to haul the man out of the water.

The man was winched on board the Coastguard helicopter and taken to Broadford landing site where he was transferred into the care of the Scottish Ambulance Service.

Stornoway Coastguard helicopter and Mallaig RNLI both attended the scene.  

James Instance, Duty Controller for HM Coastguard, said: "We’re pleased that in this situation the crew were able to take action by recovering the man from the water. We wish him a speedy recovery."

 

 

 

Police are searching for Good Samaritans who came to the aid of a cyclist.

The police say the people stopped to help the cyclist, who fell ill between Shieldaig and Applecross on Saturday 14 July.  

Police have asked the people to get in touch on 101.

 

New public eco-toilets could come to the Kilmuir area, if suggested development projects get the go ahead.

A Kilmuir Community Council consultation event outlined the benefits a Development Trust could bring to the area.   The presentation which ended with a question and answer session included the key steps in the process of setting up a Trust and highlighted the support available for communities who wish to establish Trusts for their area.

Potential projects suggested included developing facilities at the village hall, providing tourist and visitor information in the area, improving Camus Mor slipway and exploring options for Duntulm Castle.

Chair of the Kilmuir Community Council, Stephen Varwell, said: “The support for a Trust was overwhelmingly positive. It was clear such an organisation would be supported and welcomed in the community and as such it could really complement the role of other community Groups in Kilmuir.

A yacht with engine problems north-east of Staffin was towed back to Portree.

Portree Lifeboat headed out to the vessel on Sunday 15 July at 8:35pm.  After locating the 10 metre yacht, it was towed back to Portree Harbour.  

At 1am the yacht was transferred to a visitor mooring.  

A Waternish-based artist has relocated his studio.

Ian Williams, and his wife, Gill, have moved to Skeabost.  Ian told The Skye Times: "The move has been quite amazing - it feels as if it was meant to be."

The Williams' old gallery, Brae Fasach, is now in the hands of Richard and Sarah Boone.  

A new studio and shop has been built in the Williams' new premises.  Ian said: "It is great to be able to work once again next to where I display.  Visitors will see how 'it' is done.

"I am taking inspiration already from our new environment: the trees, water, wildlife, skies and our neighbours have all given me a new breath of clear and fresh air."

Gill finds inspiration from the night skies, regularly photographing aurora borealis and creating photobooks.  

A new attraction at Lealt Falls will be opened later this month, if all goes to plan.

The new viewing platform will form part of the Skye Ecomuseum.  Development is still underway and the area remains closed to the public.

Staffin Community Trust (SCT) hopes the year-round public attraction will showcase the Trotternish landscape and looks forward to telling the story of Lealt and the rest of the district through new interpretation signage.  The platform will be wheelchair accessible.  

A casualty was rescued near Kyle of Lochalsh.

The lifeboat and coastguard assisted the casualty on the shore at Loch Na Beiste.

The casualty was then taken to the RNLI station and passed into the care of the Scottish Ambulance Service.

A bicycle stolen in Broadford has been reunited with its owner.

Police appealed for information after the bike was stolen outside the Harbour Restaurant around 6pm yesterday (Saturday 14 July.)

The bike was a Specialized Dolce Evo cycle belonging to a Skye visitor.  

 

Scotland's first salmon farming visitor centre and cafe has been planned for Skye.

Kyleakin site manager, Kevin O’Leary, expects the Marine Harvest factory to be open by the end of this year.  Once the plant was running smoothly, he said the focus would be on developing the visitor centre and an accommodation block.

“Our plan is to build two extra buildings,” explained Mr O’Leary. “One is an accommodation block for people visiting, because in Skye it can be quite a struggle to get accommodation, and the other is a visitor centre built overlooking the gorgeous view to Raasay and beyond.

“If somebody comes on Skye, it’s one of the first places they can stop on the main road, and we’d like to provide visitors with an opportunity to learn about Marine Harvest and salmon farming while enjoying a taste of our Scottish salmon.

“After we get the factory up and running at full capacity we can start to concentrate on those buildings. We’re just at the initial stages of planning, but would like to build something that really impresses visitors to Skye as well as our local community.”

Marine Harvest has spent upwards of £100 million on the Kyleakin feed plant, which will have an annual capacity of 170,000 tonnes.

Three Mountain Rescue Teams came to the assistance of an injured walker.

Kintail Mountain Rescue Team received the initial call out to the casualty, who had taken a tumble when descending from the South Shiel Ridge.

The Coastguard helicopter was unable to reach the walker due to low cloud, but Skye and Glenelg Mountain Rescue Teams assisted with carrying the casualty over difficult ground.  

The Kintail Team praised the casualty, who had gone walking well-equipped, administered First Aid to himself correctly and gave an accurate grid reference to help the teams locate him.

Police are attempting to reunite a dog with its owner.

The dog has been handed into a local police station.

Police describe the dog as "lovely" and ask anyone who thinks the dog is theirs to phone 101.  

A leaflet designed to educate visitors travelling through Skye and Raasay has been published.

Diagrams on how to drive on single track roads, instructions on preserving the local countryside and a list of public toilets are all included in the booklet.

Published by SkyeConnect, 15,000 copies of the locally-printed leaflet are being distributed throughout the area.  A .pdf version can be found in Dropbox.

SkyeConnect say they are hoping to issue an abridged version in various languages for the benefit of international visitors.  They also hope to include further information on electric car charging points and camp sites.

A number of boxes have been left at Portree's Visit Scotland office.  SkyeConnect say anyone who needs them can pick them up or print their own off.

 

 

A detailed review of Portree Community Centre will be undertaken.

The building has been closed to the public since April 2018 due to water damage.

A new board of eight Trustees have been selected and are keen to ensure the building can continue to meet the needs of the local community.

Speaking on behalf of the new committee, local business owner, Thomas Wilson, said: “I am delighted to be chairing a strong board of volunteers all of whom bring a wide range of skills to our project.

"Our aim is to ensure the Portree Community Centre will provide sustainable benefits and significant value to the community of Portree and the Isle of Skye.

"We have had several meetings already and are busy preparing for the work which is needed to get the Community Centre back to a state where it can again be used safely. We are awaiting a loss adjuster from the insurance company and are in the process of assessing how the Centre meets the need of the community and how we can make sure the facility and surrounding area can deliver long into the future.

"We know there is a strong desire from the community to see the centre open and available, but our immediate priority is to ensure it is safe to use.”

The committee will be issuing regular updates via their website and Facebook page.

A 91-year-old lady has shared her memories of a pre-NHS Skye.

An Acarsaid resident, Catherine (Katie) Matheson, related: “The family were delighted when the NHS started, as we no longer had to pay and we got better care."

The NHS came into being 70 years ago on 5th July 1948.

Katie, originally from Waternish, said it cost her family four shillings, or around £7 in today's money, every time they called a doctor out.

 

Glamaig Hill Race proved to be an exciting event for the Skye Mountain Rescue Team.

"Over the weekend, a fair number of the team scampered up Glamaig in the annual hill race - which inevitably meant we got a call out at the same time," the team said on their Facebook page.

Just before the starting gun fired, the team were called out to the Fairy Pools.  All non-racers hastened to the assistance of a casualty who had fallen and injured their leg.

Have you seen a lizard in your letterbox lately?

The Scottish Wildlife Trust in Skye have heard reports of a lizard in a letterbox in Sleat.  They have asked anyone who has spotted any reptiles to let them know.

The Scottish Wildlife Trust Region Group is for members and supporters in Skye and Lochalsh.  Their aim is to conserve and improve the wildlife of the region.  To get in touch, visit their Facebook page here.

A Skye town could claim the title of Scotland's Most Beautiful Village.

Hidden Scotland organisation have asked people to vote for their favourite towns and villages in Scotland - with Portree making the shortlist.

The town is famous for its picturesque houses nestled on the harbour.

The winner will be announced in August.

To vote, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

A local textiles studio will be closing down.

Wheatear Textiles, owned by Maxine Stephenson, will close its doors for the last time on Friday 13 at 2pm.  

Maxine worked with Harris Tweed, creating bespoke handbags - later expanding to include lampshades, cushions and footstools in her shop - until ill health meant she could no longer operate as she had been.

Maxine told The Skye Times: "I can't believe how successful Wheatear Textiles became in such a short length of time.

Guidance on how to drive on single track roads and reminders to dispose of litter properly and respect the natural environment should be issued to all AirBnB guests staying in the Highlands, a leading MSP has said.

Kate Forbes MSP believes the move could be one of several measures to encourage responsible and sustainable tourism in popular rural areas in her constituency, particularly at hot spots like the Morar Sands near Mallaig, the Fairy Pools on Skye, and Chanonry Point on the Black Isle.

With tourism in the Highlands growing, more local people are embracing the economic and social opportunities of home-sharing through AirBnB, which enables hosts to generate extra income in areas with fewer employment opportunities.

Skye's Out-of-Hours provision will be based in Broadford this evening (Monday 9 July.)

NHS Highland say the care will be provisioned by the Rural Practitioner Team at the Dr Mackinnon Memorial Hospital from 6pm.

The Minor Injuries Unit/Urgent Care Centre based at Portree Hospital will reopen at 8am tomorrow morning (Tuesday 10 July.)There is no change to accessing emergency services and people should dial 999 if they experience a medical emergency and the Scottish Ambulance Service will respond as appropriate.

If it is not an emergency but cannot wait until your GP is open, NHS 24 can be accessed by calling 111.
 

Eighteen US theatre students are being deeply immersed in contemporary and traditional Scottish culture before presenting the world premiere of a new play by Davey Anderson at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Exposure to Scotland's performing arts sector (and the chance to be part of the world's largest arts festival) provide an unbeatable opportunity to help prepare talented young people hoping for a bright future in US theatre, TV and film.

Alex Fthenakis, who runs Pepperdine Scotland, said: "Scotland often doesn't realise how much of a 'wow factor' experience with its new writing has in the rest of the world.

"For young graduates to have worked closely with Davey Anderson or Lynda Radley on a significant Edinburgh Fringe premiere and to have met people like Cora Bisset and Peter Arnott makes potential US employers sit up and take notice.

"Our aim is to deeply immerse them in Scottish theatre – but more than that, to let them discover something about the country, its history and its astonishing variety. It's a place that offers everything from vibrant modern cities to remote and beautiful countryside."

The students spent time in Glenelg on the west coast where playwright and storyteller Eddie Stiven introduced them to elements of Highland history, including the impact of the Clearances, and the region's long Gaelic tradition.

They spent time on Skye at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the Gaelic college, and hosted a ceilidh for the Glenelg local community.

Two vehicles have been significantly damaged in Portree.

Police say the damage to the vehicles took place in Cearn Romesdale.  They estimate that it took place around 7am on Sunday 8 July.

They have appealed for anyone with information to call 101.  

Anyone at Portree Harbour today (Saturday 7 July) would be forgiven for thinking a dramatic sea rescue was taking place.

Stornoway Coastguard helicopter and Portree RNLI lifeboat were working together - but only as part of the Lifeboat Open Day event.  

The annual fundraising event involved the Isle of Skye Pipe Band, led by RNLI mascot, Stormy Stan, marching down to the harbour.  

Police are looking for a man from Northumbria.

Local officers want to ascertain the well-being of Anthony Young from Northumbria.

They describe the man as 48-years old, with red/blond hair in a Mohican style and being around 5 feet 7 inches tall.  He is also said to have a heavy build and is likely to be travelling in a Talbot camper with the registration XKZ1498.

Anyone seeing him is asked to call 101.

 

 

Now is the time to have your say on the Raasay Land Management Plan for the forest.

The plan will be finalised by the end of September.

A revised plan has been issued following a meeting on June 12.  The plan can be accessed here.

Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) are welcoming comments and suggestions.  

Comments should be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by the end of July.

Have you recently moved?  Don't forget to fill in your local Electoral Registration Office as soon as possible.

Everyone is urged to complete and return their annual canvass form, especially those who have moved address recently.

Research by the independent Electoral Commission indicates that recent home movers are far less likely to be registered than those that have lived at the same address for a long time. Across Great Britain, 94% of people who have been at their property for more than sixteen years will be registered, compared to 40% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.

Local residents are urged to complete and return their annual canvass form to their local Electoral Registration Office as soon as possible.

The form ensures that the Highland Electoral Registration Officer can keep the electoral register up to date and identify any residents who are not registered so that they can be encouraged to do so. This will mean that residents will be able take part in any future elections.

West Highland businesses that have developed opportunities for young people could be up for an award.

The Developing the Young Workforce Award will acknowledge the contribution businesses have made to support young people.  

Dornie Hall toilets will remain open, following a public appeal and the MSP intervention.

The future of the toilets had been under-threat after Highland Council announced it was ending a funding agreement with the Dornie and District Community Hall Association for use of the facilities.

However, following a public outcry and pressure from Kate Forbes MSP, the local authority has had a change of heart – meaning that the toilets will now remain open.

Dornie Hall is a short distance from Eilean Donan Castle, one of Scotland’s most iconic tourist attractions, and a petition to the council had gathered more than 4,500 signatories.

The Dornie toilets are also well-used because they have disabled access and are coach-friendly.

Everyone is asked to use water wisely during the current period of hot summer weather.

Scottish Water say their customer usage has increased significantly. With the current weather conditions forecast to continue, they are encouraging people to take simple but important steps to conserve public water supplies.

In some areas there has been a 30% increase in demand for water during the summer so far and an additional 140 million litres are currently being produced and pushed through the system every day to meet current customer usage.

Scottish Water has been monitoring the situation closely and managing supplies across the country, including deploying additional resources to move water between distribution areas and tankering water to supplement local networks.

Some water treatment works and distribution networks are working at near capacity to meet demand.

Customers are being asked to reduce usage wherever possible. Businesses are also being asked to consider their usage and how they can use water more efficiently. Scottish Water say some simple steps include:

• Taking shorter showers

• Using a watering can rather than a hose to water plants

• Using a bucket rather than a hose to wash vehicles; only washing windscreens/lights instead of the whole vehicle

More people have received cleg bites due to the spell of warm weather, says the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland.

Aileen Bryson, from the Society, said they had received reports of the flies biting.

She said this was because people were spending more time outside in the sunshine, and having more skin exposed.

UK islands have been found to have the best places for dining, according to Sous Vide Tools.

Taking 259 Michelin star and AA listed restaurants throughout the UK, they put together a list of The Fine Dining Hotspots Of The UK to find out how many fine dining spots there are for every 100,000 people.

The Isle of Skye took second place, with Jersey coming in third place.

The overall top scorer was the Isle of Scilly.  

 

A 28-year old from Portree is well on his way to establishing a career at sea by graduating from City of Glasgow College’s Nautical Faculty.

Jake Napoli took the HNC Marine Engineering – Cadetship Route course, and recently praised the support offered by the teaching staff at the award-winning Riverside Campus on the banks of the Clyde.

The course involved working with cutting-edge technology, including the ship simulators and fully working engine room and the chance to sail up the Norwegian Fjords.

New developments from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig could see more affordable housing, an initiative to house and learn from elderly Gaelic speakers and plans for a new sports centre.

 

Kate Forbes MSP, attending a Kilbeg Village road naming ceremony, also announced the imminent start on the next phase of the affordable housing.  The plans will shortly be submitted for Full Planning Consents.  

This next phase will see the creation of up to 31 units of housing on the site, featuring a range of models and types of tenure, including Rent to Buy, Self-Build, Housing for the Elderly and, affordable for rent housing. All tenures come with a Rural Housing Burden attached to title, thereby retaining the housing stock in perpetuity for the benefit of those committed to living and working in the local area.

Additionally an exciting new ‘pilot’ initiative is also being advanced which will encourage the opportunity for elderly Gaelic speakers to relocate to special housing for the elderly being planned for the village, as part of a special initiative which will seek to promote the benefits of transgenerational transmission and communication, whereby students from Sabhal Mòr will have the opportunity to benefit from the rich resource which elderly native speakers would bring to their learning experience and environment and from which the elderly will, in turn, gain great potential benefits from the stimulus, support, engagement and interaction with a new generation of young Gaels.

Blazing sun and clear blue skies set the tone for the weather at Struan Gala on Saturday 30 June.

The community event featured something for everyone - including bouncy castles, Drakes of Hazard, football, vintage cars and tractors and axe throwing.

Nine drivers are to be reported for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs over the past weekend in the Highlands and Islands.
 
The detections came during the first weekend of a national safety campaign aimed at removing drink drivers from the roads.
 
The nine drivers to be reported include seven relating to drink drive offences, with the other two related to driving under the influence of drugs.
 
These incidents were recorded across the region - with detections in the Skye, Easter Ross, Nairn, Orkney, Aviemore and Fort William areas.
 
Performance figures reported to Highland Council last week revealed that the number of drivers detected has increased by 13% - equating to 51 drivers more than the same period last year.

The Staffin Crofters' Memorial Project is to be showcased at an Australian conference.

ATLAS Arts director, Emma Nicolson, is currently in Melbourne, at a mixed program of site visits, closed workshops, and exhibition and public conversations. Emma Nicolson who has been working with the Staffin Community Trust for four years on their plans for a contemporary memorial to the crofters' struggles on the Kilmuir Estate, has been sharing her expertise in and knowledge of memorials and memorial practices with other delegates.

A sheep, advertising the Lamb To Loom event, has gone missing.

Lamb to Loom told the story of wool and weaving in Minginish from Monday 25 June to Saturday 30 June.

The organisers posted on their Facebook page: "Not very nice end to the show - one of our lovely sheep signposts has gone missing!

"These were going to be sold for funds and had already been promised to locals who had requested one.

An open day was held on Raasay to enable farmers and crofters to learn more about local barley trials.

The event was held on Wednesday 26 July.

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

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

The long-term objective is to produce a single malt from 100% local barley, grown on Raasay, Skye and Kyle.  

While acknowledging that this whisky may be only a small percentage of total product, R&B is keen to challenge the limitations of production.  

Volunteers are wanted for local emergency services.

H.M. Coastguard, Skye Mountain Rescue, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the RNLI are all looking for volunteers.

Anyone wanting more information can find out more at the Skye Agricultural Show on Saturday 5 August.

Anyone planning to travel on the A9 south of Inverness should expect delays, warn police.

A collision occurred involving a canal boat.

The boat was being towed on a trailer when it was involved in the incident near Daviot at about 1.18pm.

Nobody was injured and one lane is now open in each direction.

However, road users are advised to expect disruption in the area as recovery is expected to take some time.

Police are urging businesses in the Highlands to be on their guard following recent reports of fraud commonly referred to as "Ringing the Changes".

This type of fraud involves a person asking a member of staff to exchange a large sum of money for them into notes of smaller denominations or a different currency.

While doing this they deliberately confuse the staff member assisting with the transaction in order to obtain more money than they started with.

Two instances were reported to police at premises in Nethy Bridge and Boat of Garten on Thursday, July 27. Unfortunately two suspects were successful in gaining a three figure sum from one of the businesses.

Two men suspected of carrying out the scam were seen at a business in Boat of Garten at around 2.45pm, having earlier attended in Nethy Bridge.

Enquiries are ongoing and Police are urging businesses to be on their guard against any further suspicious behaviour.

Aviemore-based Sergeant David Cameron said: "All business owners and their staff should be alert and aware to this type of scam. In particular you should watch out for anyone asking for a large sum of money to be exchanged.

"These unscrupulous criminals are employing sleight of hand to leave with more money than they started with and it is possible they will target a busy period which can provide an ideal opportunity to confuse or distract you.

"It is better to be safe than sorry and if you are in any doubt consider asking another colleague for assistance or politely decline the request and notify the Police.

"This type of criminal tends to travel widely employing this scam and I would urge people across the Highlands to be aware of the risk.

"Anyone who has information that could assist with this inquiry is encouraged to contact Police on 101, quoting reference NM5093/17 or any anonymous information can be passed to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111."

The Glendale Community Council are undertaking a traffic audit today (Friday 28 July.)

The traffic audit will chronicle the number of cars coming in and out of Glendale.

The audit will be carried out at Skinidin and it is hoped to monitor the traffic between the hours of 10am to 10pm.

 

A new Facebook group has been started, intended as a directory for Skye visitors to find and locate dog friendly businesses.

The group was the idea of Janet Ward, who runs Skye Shepherd Huts.  She told The Skye Times: "I run dog friendly accommodation and am always recommending places to eat and sites to visit that are dog welcoming.

"More dog owners want to actively include their pets in all aspects of life these days.  Many will only go to eat where their dog will be allowed also.

"I decided it might be a good idea for all dog friendly businesses and public areas to have a Facebook group to list themselves."

The group is open to dog friendly, accommodation, restaurants, retail or anywhere dogs are welcomed.  Visit the group here for more information.

 

 

 

HM Coastguard winched a casualty from the Cuillin Ridge on Tuesday July 25.

The climber was airlifted to hospital after sustaining serious injuries.

The casualty suffered a 50m fall on the Cuillin Ridge.

 

Drugs with an estimated street value of £3,000 have been recovered by police officers in Skye.

The quantity of cannabis resin was recovered during a search of a house in Broadford on Thursday, July 27.

As a result, a 44-year-old local man was detained and further enquiries are to be conducted with a view to a report being submitted to the Procurator Fiscal at a later date.

Photographers are encouraged to submit their photographs for inclusion in a calendar especially for Homefarm residents.

Residents of the Portree-based care home will particularly like to see images of places that mean something to them.

Therefore, images of Carbost, Glenelg/the broch, Loch Tummel, Dumbarton Rock, Saltcoats, Loch Maree, Torridon and Helmsdale are especially welcome.

Those who wish to can share their high-resolution photographs.  The calendars will then be sold to the public to raise money for the care home.

Any images you wish you share should be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

Extras are required for Youngfilms Gaelic drama series, Bannan.

Filming for the popular series will take place in Sleat during August and September.

Gaelic is not essential.

Those who take part will have the chance to experience television from a unique perspective and will be paid.

For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 01471 888 162.

 

Stills and motions production company, LS Productions, have issued a casting call for rugby fans in Skye and Inverness.

They are looking for around 10 to 15 true Scotland rugby fans of any age or gender to feature in a small scene for a TV commercial. 

The filming dates are Monday 14 August or Tuesday 15 August and could be either very early in the morning or late at night.  The filming could take between two to four hours.

 

 

A fee will be paid.

 

To apply, send a recent picture of yourself, along with contact details and a note of whether you are based in Inverness or Skye (or somewhere in between) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Two men have completed possibly the first open canoe circumnavigation of the British coast.

Colin Skeath, a retired West Yorkshire Police officer, and his nephew, Davis Gould-Duff, began their trip at Strontian on 30 April.

They went on to travel 2,100 miles clockwise in their custom-made Downcreek Paddles from Ireland.

On Thursday 23 July, they began their circumnavigation of the Isle of Skye in their 17’ Old Town Penobscot.  They said: "At night we slept with midge nets on and no part of our skin was exposed……it was a bit like sleeping in a shark cage!"

"This had been a brilliant, rewarding but hard trip.  For four out of the five days the wind had been against us and, on occasions, so had the tide.  The sea at times carried a big swell and we paddled, sailed and paddled sailed, often for long periods, without much sleep."

The pair were aiming to raise money for Forget Me Not Children's Hospice in Huddersfield.

Their challenge took them over 86 days of paddling to complete.

More information can be found on the Canoeing Around Britain website.

 

 

Marine Harvest will be looking to fill 55 posts at a fish feed factory.

Highland Council approved the project in February.  The quarry at Kyleakin is being developed at a cost of £93m.

The construction of the factory is expected to be completed in the autumn of next year.

Marine Harvest said the 55 vacancies were across a range of disciplines including production, logistics, maintenance and health and safety.

Some of those vacancies are available to view here at The Skye Times job page.

The chance to try new arts and crafts projects, get help to fill in forms, write letters or use a computer - all available during Crumz at Ragtag.

The sessions take place every Thursday from 11am to 3pm and everyone is welcome to attend free of charge.  

The sessions provide a chance for those who attend to spend a few hours in a creative setting accompanied by chat and cake!

Police Scotland is urging the public to be vigilant after skimming devices were reported on cash machines in the Beauly and Nairn areas.

Both incidents involved a device being fitted to the ATMs which "captured" the bank card of anyone who used it and refused to return the card after an attempted transaction.

Cameras were also fitted to film the user entering the PIN code for the stolen card.

Two men - aged 24 and 25-years-old - have been arrested in connection with these incidents and are due to appear at Inverness Sheriff Court in due course.

Both the Nairn and Beauly incidents were reported to Police on Friday, July 21.

Police Scotland want to make anybody using a cash machine alert to this particular type of scam and urge anyone who sees anything suspicious around an ATM to report it immediately to Police, as well as the bank or shop where the cash machine is located.

Police Scotland offer the following advice:

A new befriending and support service has been formed for the Skye and Lochalsh area.

Skye and Lochalsh Neighbours and Friends will recruit volunteer befrienders in order to deliver its service from October.

The Skye and Lochalsh Council for Voluntary Organisations has joined forced with Highland Hospice to create the service, which will work closely with the Hospice's existing "Helping Hands" initiative.

Jo Ford, Senior Officer for Skye & Lochalsh Council for Voluntary Organisations (SLCVO) explained: “Over the past couple of years an increasing number of residents have been noting the number of lonely or isolated people in our community. Tradesmen, police and others are telling us that there are many people in Skye and Lochalsh in need of company and who would benefit from befriending.”

She continued, “There are some drop-in cafes and social events which run locally, but these are not accessible or appropriate to everyone. When we first spoke to Highland Hospice a year ago, we looked at a number of groups they could work with. However, it became clear that, with the Hospice providing the foundation for a permanent service, SLCVO should take this on – especially as we have the contacts for volunteers and other local organisations needed to develop this project.”

Acting Inspector Bruce Crawford from Portree Police Station agreed with Jo, and stated: “The stunning nature of the Skye and Lochalsh landscape that draws many thousands of visitors is often the very thing that leads to isolation and loneliness amongst some residents. With 80% of calls attended by local officers being non-criminal it is clear that vulnerability plays a large part in much of the work being carried out by Police Scotland.  A service aimed at supporting those in need of friendship and company will undoubtedly complement the work already being undertaken by the Police and partner agencies and help to improve the quality of life of those in need of additional support and human interaction”

NHS Community Development Officer Jean Macrae is also backing the project through in a number of ways, with one Kyle GP Surgery already having offered their waiting room as an opportunity to recruit volunteers.

Sconser could have its very own bunkhouse, if a planning application submitted to the Highland Council proves successful.

Morag and Hector Nicolson intend to build a small bunkhouse on their land, which is adjacent to the ferry carpark.  

Mr Nicolson has lived all his life in Sconser.  He works as a stone mason and dry stone waller, so plans to undertake the stonework on the bunkhouse himself.

Mrs Nicolson has retired from her job in the High School and currently runs a small holiday letting cottage adjacent to their house.  

The bunkhouse is intended as a new business venture for the couple in their later working years.  

The proposed building is on the site of an old ruined blackhouse.  

As the intended clients will be visitors arriving by bus, foot, ferry and bike, no car parking facilities are planned adjacent to the bunkhouse.  

This and further planning applications can be viewed here.

A yacht visiting the Sound of Raasay suffered engine failure today (Sunday 23 July.)

The yacht was located around two miles north of Portree and, thanks to the weather, was becalmed and at potential risk.

RNLI Portree towed the yacht back to Portree, where she is now secured pending engine maintenance.  

A competition is underway to name the newest addition to the Raasay House experience.

The competition involves coming up with a name for the new boat.

The best name will win the person who suggested it a boat trip for four people.

The competition closes on Monday 24 July at 2pm.

Suggestions can be made on the Raasay House Facebook page.  

A 77 year-old man who lives on Skye has been selected to compete in the Four Nations Powerlifting Championships in Ireland this weekend.

David Hearn will represent Scotland against teams from Ireland, Wales and England in Castleblayney, County Monaghan.

The team of 12 must include five men, three women and a master, someone over 40 years old.  Master classes are divided into age groups ascending every five years.

Mr Hearn, now retired from a 30 year long career as a firefighter in Glasgow, is a master level 8.  In his last World Drug Free Federation Championships, Mr Hearn won his class of 75-80 year olds. He was one of three competitors in the M8 category.

The septuagenarian can bench press 85 kilograms, squat 112.5 kilograms and deadlift an outstanding 155 kilograms.

Mr Hearn intends to start with a comfortable weight at the start of the competition, before moving up and trying to beat his own record.

Skye Live have announced the line-up for their 2017 event.

The two day festival will take place on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 of September at The Lump in Portree.

Those included in the line-up this year include Dekmantel Soundsystem, Shanti Celeste, Dixon Avenue Basement Jams, Joy Orbison, Eclair Fifi and Optimo amongst others.

For the entire line-up, visit the Skye Live site here.

A large quantity of salmon heads has been dumped in a burn at Armadale.

Police Scotland said the fly-tipping incident may be connected to an attempt at doorstep sale of salmon.

They have appealed for anyone with information to contact the force.

A second survey is underway regarding Sleat health, wellbeing and sports facilities.

Sabhal Mòr Ostaig recently embarked on a student and staff survey to determine what health, wellbeing and sports facilities were required at the land on the College’s campus as part of the Kilbeg master plan.

This was followed by an open public meeting on Thursday 29th June to invite the views of the wider Sleat community and it was agreed that a second survey should be circulated providing the community with the opportunity to participate in the consultation exercise.

Your can access the survey here at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/JR3VF5R

Tha Sabhal Mòr Ostaig air ceisteachan a sgaoileadh do dh'oileanaich is luchd-obrach na Colaiste o chionn ghoirid feuch dè na goireasan spòrs is slàinte a bhiodh a dhìth air àrainn na Colaiste an lùib mòr-phlana na Cille Bige.

Chaidh coinneamh phoblach a chumail an uair sin air Diardaoin 29 An t-Ògmhios airson beachdan muinntir Shlèite a chruinneachadh agus chaidh aontachadh gun rachadh ceisteachan eile a sgaoileadh a bheireadh cothrom don choimhearsnachd a thighinn an sàs anns a' cho-chomhairleachadh.

Bhitheamaid fada nur comain nam b' urrainn dhuibh an ceisteachan goirid seo a lìonadh mar a gheibhear aig https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/JR3VF5R

Tapadh leibh airson taic a thoirt don phròiseict.

Photograph from Sleat Community Council Facebook page.

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) will host a series of public exhibition events to share proposals for construction work at the Skye triangle ports of Tarbert (Harris), Uig and Lochmaddy.

The proposals cover prospective work to improve harbour infrastructure and operations for the arrival of the new 102 metre dual fuel ferry currently being built by CMAL to service the route.

The public exhibitions and consultations are being undertaken as part of the application process for the required marine licences for works at the ports.  They will allow local communities and other interested parties to comment on proposals at an early stage, before final applications for the works at each port are submitted.  The events are also a follow-up to a series of public meetings held in April this year.

Ruth McIntosh, Principal Planning Engineer at CMAL said: “We visited each of the communities in April this year to let them know about our initial plans to explore harbour modifications.  At those meetings, we undertook to consider the comments received and update communities with developments as they progress.  The public exhibitions in September are an opportunity for communities to see how the plans have developed and have their say on the proposals.  

“We are now completing what we call the port master plans.  Drawings showing the preferred options for work at each harbour will be published online prior to the events in September and discussed at the exhibitions.  No final decisions have been made on what work will be carried out, and the works are subject to funding availability.  We encourage those with an interest in this prospective work to come along to find out more and ask questions.”

The public exhibitions will take place:

An award that acknowledges the contribution of businesses helping the young work force will form part of the Highland Business Week.

Developing the Young Work Force (DYW) West Highland will be supporting the Highland Business Week.  

The winner of the West Highland Award will go forward to the final of the Highland Business Award for Developing the Young Workforce.

The awards will be presented to the employer who can best demonstrate a significant commitment to the development and growth of opportunities for young people.

Applicants will be judged on opportunities and training offered, relationships with schools and colleges and how the investment in the development of young people enhances the organisation’s growth and capability. 

To enter, visit www.inverness-chamber.co.uk/events/event/highland-business-awards-2017 and download the application.

Coordinated by Inverness Chamber of Commerce, Highland Business Week, which runs from Monday 25 September through to Friday 29 September, hosts an exciting series of events. The finale of the week is the Highland Business Awards lunch, on Friday 29 September at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness.

Give DYW West Highland a call on 01397 705765 or email to find out the opportunities that are available to your business at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

North Skye Broadband announced today (Thursday 20 July) that it will no longer be processing an application for State Aid funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and Community Broadband Scotland (CBS).

The community organisation stated that the application process has been "dogged by delays due to complex public procurement requirements."

Those requirements included a nine-month delay waiting for a new State Aid funding scheme to be drawn up and approved by the EU after the Phase 2 scheme expired in June 2015.

North Skye Broadband (NSB) has already undertaken two separate State Aid Public Consultations – a mandatory requirement of the procurement process – and the decision not to proceed further comes as it was due to undertake a third such consultation, which itself has been delayed for nearly six months awaiting new and more accurate “Open Market Review” data (essential for the procurement process).

Geoff Semler, Chair of NSB, explained the reasons behind the decision: “Despite recent urgent discussions with HIE, CBS, and Scottish Government, a joint statement approved by all three bodies was issued to NSB on 22 June 2017 confirming that, in accordance with EU rules, the only funding available to North Skye Broadband in excess of the €200,000 de minimis provision would be via one of the formal State Aid schemes, none of which permit any funding other than for a network that is owned and operated by a commercial provider.

"Thus the State Aid process actually precludes NSB from adding any value to the implementation or operation of the network, instead it simply uses NSB as a funding conduit to provide a commercial operator (and its benefactors) with a state subsidy. Accordingly, it was agreed that as none of these schemes meet NSB’s requirements, the formal application process should be discontinued.”

A 77 year-old man with dementia went missing in the north end of Skye.

Dunvegan and Portree Coastguard Rescue Teams were tasked to assist Police Scotland in searching for the missing man.

The units proceeded to Dunvegan but stood down as the missing person was found prior to the search beginning. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sepa also plans to carry out further sampling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The donations totalled £2,400.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Blas Festival aims to bring quality events to venues large and small across the Highland, offering the opportunity for communities to celebrate Highland culture.  This year’s festival, taking place from 1 to 9 September, will be no exception.

The Festival will come to Skye for several performances.  

The 13th festival lineup has been published and among many highlights will be special events celebrating the 80th birthdays of four icons of Gaelic Culture - Kenna Campbell, Fergie MacDonald, Morag MacLeod and Finlay MacLeod.  The 2017 Blas Commission - Dìleab Uilleim - explores the Gaelic song legacy of Rev William Matheson, one of Scotland’s foremost collectors and authorities on Gaelic song.  Those shows will feature introductions to the songs by Jo MacDonald and performances from Robert Robertson, Rachel Walker, Ross Wilson, Alasdair Whyte, Eilidh Cormack, Linda Macleod, Allan MacDonald and Christine Primrose.

Mary Ann Kennedy will be performing songs from her new album An Dàn and Gary Innes will be performing his new album Era.  A CD of Lauren MacColl’s Fèis Rois Commission The Seer will be launched at two performances during Blas and Glòir nan Caman: Shinty’s Heroes will return with Hugh Dan MacLennan and a host of fine musicians focusing this time round on PM William Lawrie from Ballachulish.  Two Fèisean - Fèis Lochabair and Fèis na h-Òige - will host concerts celebrating their 25th anniversaries.

A day of exploration at Ashaig Beach will take place on Friday 21 July.

Greener Broadford Project Officer, janet Ullman, and Marine Biologist, Mike Kendall, will be exploring the beach at low tide.  They will discuss why a clean beach and sea affect everyone.

They will be meeting at the car park at Ashaig Beach at 12pm and the walk will finish at 1:30pm.

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

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

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

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

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

A new photographic competition has been launched 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Details of the competition can be found here.

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

The trials enabled those taking part to showcase their skills.  

The event raised £1818 for Crossroads Care.

Image from Scotland's For All Facebook page.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

A competition has been launched by NFU Scotland which focusses on Scottish food, farming and the environment to encourage people to get out and about and enjoy the countryside responsibly.

The NFU Scotland Photography Competition 2017 is open for entries in two age categories – 18 years of age and under, and 18 years of age and older – with some fantastic prizes up for grabs, including from NFUS affinity partner Travel Solutions, Aldi Scotland, Laggan Outdoors and Blackstone Clydesdales.

Winning photographs will appear within the Union’s membership magazine, the Scottish Farming Leader, which goes to 8,500 farmers, crofters and stakeholders.  Submitted images may feature on promotional material by NFU Scotland and Aldi, as well as on social media channels.

Images must be more than 300 dpi and at least 2MB in size and must have been taken in Scotland. Entries should be submitted by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with full name, address, date of birth, contact number and details of when and where the photograph was taken provided. The closing date for entries is Thursday 17 August 2017 at 5pm with winners notified thereafter.

The Blythswood Soup and Pudding lunch, originally scheduled held at Minginish Community Hall, has been cancelled.  

The event will be rescheduled.

 

 

Those who visit the Fairy Glen are currently puzzling over the state of the small loch at the foot of the glen.

The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs has accepted an invitation from constituency MSP Kate Forbes to visit the Isle of Skye. 

It is hoped that Fiona Hyslop will address a gathering of community representatives, local businesses and public bodies at the second of a series of meetings organised by Kate Forbes MSP. A date has yet to be finalised, but will be announced in due course.

These meetings are part an ongoing process led by Ms Forbes to identify and find solutions to the pressures on Skye caused by increases in tourism on the island. 

A key staff appointment has been made by a north Skye community organisation as it prepares to deliver a major heritage project.

Angus Murray is the new programme manager for the Staffin Community Trust’s (SCT) Skye Ecomuseum II. 

Angus, who previously worked for Museum and Tasglann nan Eilean in the Western Isles, will manage a wide-ranging activities programme for the project. It includes a new curriculum resource to be developed for Skye primary schools, children’s craft and storytelling events, health walks for older residents, archaeology/wildlife events/workshops, a local history society, a walking festival, business forum, guided walks and tours, etc

Various Highland High Life activities are available for young people this summer. 

Booking for transport is essential and an AYPES registration form must be submitted beforehand.

A Level 4 Sports Leader Award course week will be underway beginning 31st July. This is bookable online here.  For further information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

The Isle of Raasay is set to have its first legal whisky distiller.

Iain Robertson has been appointed distiller of R&B Distillers' Raasay Distillery.

He is a graduate of Heriot-Watt University's Brewing and Distilling School in Edinburgh.

The new distillery is to due to open in September.

Drivers are being advised that temporary traffic lights are in place on a section of the A890 Stromeferry Bypass.

The Highland Council has appointed Geo-Rope Ltd to carry out vegetation removal, scaling and rock slope stabilisation measures to the roadside slopes on a section of the A890 road between Ardnaff and Attadale in Wester Ross.

To ensure the safety of road users, and the contractors undertaking the work, temporary traffic lights have been installed on this section of road.  The works began yesterday (Monday 10 July) and are expected to last for 8 weeks.

Anyone using this road is advised that no road closures are expected but the temporary traffic lights will remain until all works are completed. Supervising staff from The Highland Council will be on site during the works.

 

Planning is already underway for the Highland Archaeology Festival, the huge celebration of Highland heritage which takes place in October, organised by The Highland Council. New this year is a chance to capture a bit of Highland Heritage in the HAF2017 photographic competition.

The competition invites people to submit one or two pictures which celebrate Highland archaeology, history or heritage.  Highland Council Archaeologist Kirsty Cameron explains: “It could be a monument in the landscape, a building, an object in a museum or people enjoying our varied heritage – there’s so much to choose from. We’ve kept it simple, with entries invited from under 16s and over 16s.”

Prizes for the under 16s are courtesy of DigIt! 2017– chocolate brochs for the first 50 entries, and T-shirts and broch lego kits for the top 7 entries. For adults, the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland have each donated a year’s membership and we are offering free entry to the Recent Archaeological Discoveries and Research conference in October.

The deadline for entries is Tuesday 15 August to allow the shortlisted entries to be displayed during Highland Archaeology Festival which runs from 30 September to 15 October. Winners will be announced at the conference on Sunday 15 October in Inverness.

During the Festival organisations, museums and individuals have offered over 100 events and exhibitions throughout the Highlands, as well as a museum trail and new for 2017, a geocache trail. Details are already posted on the HAF website www.highlandarchaeologyfestival.org, and a printed brochure will be available at libraries, service points, tourist information points and other venues from early September.

Further details and the entry forms for the photographic competition are available on the HAF website www.highlandarchaeologyfestival.org. Highland Archaeology Festival is part of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.

A bed and breakfast establishment on Skye is a finalist in an annual competition to decide the UK's best "Window with a View."

Bars, pubs and hotels from across the country have been selected from hundreds of entries for 11 different regions in the contest run by MyGlazing.com, a consumer advice website that offers support to homeowners looking to invest in glazing.

Bartenders were recently challenged to come up with an original serve championing island malt, Talisker.

Launched as part of its wider Made by the Sea campaign, the regional heats in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Bournemouth, Bristol and London, assessed by Diageo Reserve judges David Sinclair, Ali Reynolds and Ervin Trykowski, produced the six finalists.

The group heading to the Talisker Distillery on the Isle of Skye for the grand final are Rebecca Bevvy from The Laundrette Group in Manchester (pictured); Dave Ali from The Finneston, Glasgow; Andrew Lennie from The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen, Edinburgh; Daniel Bovey from Be at One, Bristol; Mike Pendergast from East London Liquor Company, London; and Charles Roche from Scout, London.

The final will take place in August, with the winner awarded the title of Talisker ambassador and receive a PR campaign to raise their profile in the sector. The paid role will see them communicate the Made by the Sea campaign through social media and events.

100 installations are set to be installed in various places around Britain's coast.

42 of those installations are intended for the Scottish coastline, with two hoped to be located on the Isle of Skye.

Called Daymarks, the UK charity, Tour de Coast, is aiming to connect the UK coastline together through the installations.  

Although the project is still in the early stages, a prototype has been made and potential locations pinpointed - but the team behind the project are keen to hear community feedback.

Marcial Boo, chair of Tour de Coast, told The Skye Times: "We're now in the process of agreeing the exact locations of the Daymarks around the country, and raising the £5,000 to manufacture each Daymark plus the costs of transporting it from Surrey where the blacksmith's forge is located and installing it on site.

"We want to agree the precise locations with local communities.

"We hope to have two Daymarks in Skye, at places where perhaps you would like to 'spread' visitors to - so we thought of suggesting one around Loch Harport and another near Uig, and not have one in Portree for example.

Anyone who hasn't had their say on the Proposed West Highland and Islands Local Development Plan (WestPlan) is encouraged to do so before midday on 21 July 2017.

Published alongside WestPlan is the Proposed Action Programme which shows how the Plan can be implemented on the ground.

Scott Dalgarno, Development Plans Manager explains, “We want to make sure that communities and other agencies work alongside the Council in delivering this plan and the Action Programme shows how that might happen. We have consulted Scottish Ministers, Key Agencies and other parties mentioned in the Action Programme during its preparation.”  

Strategic infrastructure projects for the West Highland and Islands area are identified, such as A890 Stromeferry Bypass and upgrading of facilities at Uig Harbour. Actions for specific settlements are also included, for example completion of the Portree Link Road and upgrades to Mallaig Harbour.

Comments on the plan have been coming in steadily, but the Council is urging anyone who wants to comment but has not already done so, to submit their comments before the deadline.  

Tim Stott of the Development Plans Team said, “You should let us know what you object to or support in the Proposed Plan, including any development sites, and mention the reasons why you object/support and any changes you would like to be made.”

Finlay Wild retained his status as winner of the Glamaig Hill Race as he ran to victory with a time of 46 minutes 18 seconds. 

He was followed by Richard Macleod with a time of 57 minutes 15 seconds.  Alex Scandolera took third place in 58 minutes and 22 seconds.

The first female across the line was Diana MacDonald with a time of 1 hour, 4 minutes and 34 seconds.  

The full race results can be viewed here.

Young carers in the Highlands are encouraged to have their say in a survey.

Young people aged 14-24 who are carrying out a caring or support role for a family member are encouraged to make their voices heard.  

A young carer is a child or young person under the age of 18 who cares for a member of their family. A young adult carer is a young person aged 18-24 who cares for a member of their family.

The information in this survey will be stored securely and will be seen by decision makers at Highland Council and other relevant agencies. 

The survey and more information can be found here.

A casualty was assisted to Broadford Hospital following a fall on the shore at Loch Coruisk.

The fall on Friday 7 July resulted in a leg injury.

Kyle Coastguard Rescue Team manned the landing site at Broadford Hospital as the coastguard helicopter flew in.

Colourful buntings, bouncy castles that lived up to their name, delicious local baking and a community atmosphere - all part of what made Struan Community Gala a delight to attend.

The Gala was held today (Saturday 8 June), after it had been postponed from its original date in June due to forecast wind.  

The event was packed full of activities, including various bouncy castles, competitions and activities to include all ages.  

A.C.E. Target Sports provided entertainment and friendly competition for the crowds with air rifle shooting and axe throwing.  

Finlay Wild defended his title as Glamaig Hill Race winner today (Saturday 8 July.)

Finlay crossed the line with a time of 46 minutes and 18 seconds.

A much-anticipated part of Glamaig Hill Race is the duck race.  

Over 40 runners took part in The Skye Bridge 10k today (Saturday 8 July.)

The race was won by Steven Worsley from Inverness with a time of 37 minutes and 59 seconds.  

In second place was Ellie Buchan from Aberdeen with a time of 38 minutes and 26 seconds.

The full race results are below:

 

Steven Worsley M 37.59

Ellie Buchan F 38.26

Chris Kerr M 39.47

Ally Sutherland M 40.25

Andrew Neil M 41.23

Mark MacDonald M 43.28

Alexander Tindall M 44.04

A car in Carbost village was damaged during the night on Thursday 6 July.

Paint was splashed on the car.

Local police have asked anyone with information to get in touch.

 

A couple from the Isle of Skye will be celebrating their wedding anniversary at the open water swim in Loch Lomond. 

Portree couple, Jacqueline Forrest, 53, and her husband Duncan, 56, have entered the Great Scottish Swim, which falls on the day of their 28th wedding anniversary on Saturday 26 August. 

Jacqueline said: “We decided to enter as we swim regularly at our local pool and thought it would be good to aim for something positive to do with our exercise routine. 

“We have never celebrated our wedding anniversary with something as unique as this, so when we saw that the date coincided with the swim, it seemed a shame not to go for it.

“Our children thought we were joking when we told them about it!” 

Duncan and Jacqueline will be swimming half a mile in Loch Lomond in the event, which offers a range of distances for swimmers of all ages and abilities: a half mile, 1 mile, 2 miles, 5K and 10K.

Fundraising for a charity is optional at the Great Scottish Swim, as many entrants choose to enter to mark their personal achievements or milestones

Jacqueline said: “We haven’t decided about swimming for a charity yet, but if we do, it would be a combination of sharing monies between a cancer charity and the RAF Benevolent Fund, as we have family associated with both.”

Regardless of whether they opt to raise money, the open water swim will be a fantastic way to commemorate 28 years of marriage.

Motorists using Highland Council car parking machines will no longer have to search for change with the introduction of ‘RingGo’ phone parking payments across the region.

RingGo is a quick, easy to use mobile phone service, which lets motorists pay for their parking with a credit or debit card, rather than using cash at a machine.  Drivers who park their car in an area featuring the RingGo service, can simply contact RingGo by smartphone app, calling 01463 690 001, SMS or on-line, and pay for their parking by phone. 

With RingGo, there’s no need to carry change; nor visit a parking machine; nor receive parking tickets as Parking Enforcement Officers check which vehicles are parked with RingGo via their handheld units.

Pre-register with RingGo by using the RingGo smartphone app (downloadable free of charge either through your phone or from the relevant store) or on the internet at www.myRingGo.co.uk/register (external link). 

While pre-registering for the service motorists will be asked to provide: the number plate, colour and make of their vehicle and their payment card details.

Drivers can also register at the same time they want to park, either by using the RingGo app or by calling the RingGo number which is 01463 690 001.

For further information on RingGo visit www.RingGo.co.uk

A father from Aucheblae will be walking 185 miles from Stonehaven to Skye this month.

Gary Stewart will be making the journey to raise money for SANDS, the Stillbirth and Neo-natal death charity.  

The charity has a special place in Gary and his wife, Kimerley's, hearts after they lost their daughter hours after she was born on September 30 2012.  

Gary stated: "This September marks five years since we got to say hello to our baby girl and then tragically had to say goodbye the very same day.

"I have decided to take on this personal challenge to honour what should be her fifth birthday with us.

Tha sinn air leth toilichte gun d’fhuair Sabhal Mòr Ostaig dearbhadh bho OGE agus barantas bhon GTCS airson cùrsa teagaisg ùr, BA (le Urram) Gàidhlig agus Foghlam, a thabhann bhon t-Sultain 2017. Tha an cùrsa teagaisg freagarrach airson oileanaich ullachadh airson an dà chuid Bun-sgoil (teagasg tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig) agus Àrd-sgoil (a’ teagasg Gàidhlig mar chuspair). Tha tuilleadh fiosrachadh mun chùrsa air làrach-lìn na colaiste.

The College has been successful in gaining UHI Approval and GTCS (General Teaching Council for Scotland) Accreditation for the BA (Hons) in Gaelic and Education, to be delivered from September 2017. The new course is for both primary (Gaelic-medium) and secondary teaching (Gaelic as a subject). Further information on the course is available on the college website.

Police officers in the Skye, Lochalsh and Applecross area are urging members of the public to be on their guard of suspicious callers.

In particular officers would ask people to be aware if they are offered services such as tarring and property maintenance.

Acting Inspector Bruce Crawford said: "It is well known that such door to door cold calling can be a front for criminal activity and I am particularly concerned that vulnerable members of our community may fall victim to unscrupulous criminals who prey on such vulnerability.

"Anyone offering such services should be asked to produce a written quotation bearing the full name and address of the company and information relating to cancellation periods available. No money should change hands prior to work being commenced.

"In a rural community we rely on friends, family and neighbours to look out for those most vulnerable to such fraudulent activity.

"Those intent on targeting the more vulnerable in our communities show no concern for the emotional or financial well-being of those they offend against and are very difficult to track down if the standard of work proves to be unsatisfactory.

"My advice is to use a reputable company, do not agree to any work being carried out before you have spoken to someone you trust and never hand over any money or bank details until you are completely satisfied."

Anyone with information regarding doorstep crime should contact 101 or Crimestoppers if they wish to remain anonymous on 0800555111 and their information is not urgent.

From today (Wednesday 5 July), waiting at any time on Bosville Terrace in Portree will be suspended.

The amended traffic regulation order will be enforced by by parking enforcement officers and will last until 30 September 2017.

Skye is one of the top ten islands for cycling, according to a list by Active Traveller.  

They cite Skye's "barren, craggy landscapes" and highlight the Trotternish peninsula as a must visit location.  

They describe the landscapes as being "shaded a thousand hues of brown, dripped with a thin, deserted ribbon of tarmac, backed by foreboding, dark grey mountains."

Also mentioned is stunt rider, Danny MacAskill's, 2015 video The Ridge, showing him riding the Cuillin Ridge - and a reminder not to attempt to copy him: "But don’t even think of riding there yourself – this ridge is considered one of the most extreme ridge scrambles in the world…" 

Skye is mentioned along with other islands, including Iceland, Tenerife and Mallorca.  

The full list can be seen here.  

 

Police Scotland is appealing for information after a Stagecoach bus was vandalised whilst parked in at the cemetery lay by in Dunvegan sometime between 8pm on Friday 30 June and 3.30pm on Sunday 2 July.

A fire extinguisher was also taken from the bus.

Anyone with any information that may be useful should contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting NP/5570/17 or speak to any police officer.

Alternatively information can be passed anonymously via the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

 

Prosecuting people who share or threaten to share intimate images without consent will be easier under a new law which comes into force this month.

From 3 July 2017, those convicted the offence could face up to five years in prison under the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Act 2016.

A public information campaign will raise awareness of the new legislation to ensure people understand that this behaviour is criminal and the severe penalties that it now carries.

The bold campaign also aims to increase the understanding of the many forms the crime can take, including the act of sharing and the threat to share intimate images. Exploring the consequences for those who are affected to drive home how the crime is affecting lives.

To find out more visit www.notyourstoshare.scot

Skye's "awesomely beautiful" and "percussively powerful" Gaelic singer, Anne Martin, opens the 2017 Skye Festival – Fèis an Eilein – on Wednesday 5 July with the world premiere of her exciting musical collaboration entitled Roots. 

Developed from Ceumannan, an inter-cultural song commission with Manchester-based sound artist Jason Singh, the project won a PRS Foundation award and was given a 15 minute showcase at the Hull International Festival before moving to Skye and then to London's Southbank. 

Anne returns to Sleat on 2 August to sing a collection of erotic Gaelic songs from An Leabhar Liath, revealing the risqué references in Gaelic song that have been lost over time. She appears with Ian MacPherson, Peter Mackay and Ingrid Henderson.

Delivered to the Isle of Skye by Sleat-based performing arts promoters, SEALL (Skye Events for All), The Skye Festival - Fèis an Eilein - is a celebration of island culture and performing arts and runs until 28 August in venues in and around the south of Skye. 

Traditionally, the Fèis has had a strong focus on Scots trad music and 2017 is no exception with concerts taking place by some of the country's most respected musicians, plus a few international stars. 

This year the line-up includes a performance by Charlie McKerron, Marc Clement and 'friends' (8 August); a cèilidh night with Fergie MacDonald (18 July); a mammoth fiddle night with Alastair Fraser (28 July); a concert featuring Donald Black and Martin Skene (30 July); an evening with singer Margaret Stewart and Ingrid Henderson (9 August); and a stunning concert featuring four of Scotland's top trad musicians − fiddle player Adam Sutherland; singer Mairearad Green; Hamish Napier, flute and whistle; and Blazin' Fiddles guitarist Anna Massie − will take place on 22 August.

Mallaig RNLI lifeboat and two paramedics received a call for assistance to the Isle of Eigg today (Tuesday 4 July.)

The request was received from Scottish Ambulance Service for assistance to evacuate a casualty with suspected collar bone fracture.

Mallaig RNLI lifeboat was tasked along with two paramedics.  Eigg Coastguard Rescue Team assisted transfer at Eigg.

Members of The Highland Council have agreed that an approach should be made to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, Shona Robison, to come to meet with the Leader of Highland Council, Cllr Margaret Davidson and the four Skye councillors on behalf of the Skye and Raasay Committee to request that the 24/7 NHS Emergency Cover be reinstated for Portree and North Skye.

The meeting with the four Skye councillors will also include Members from Ward 5 (Wester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh).

Members agreed the approach to the Cabinet Secretary following discussion on a motion to the Meeting of The Highland Council on Thursday 29 June from 3 Skye Councillors; Cllr Calum MacLeod, Cllr Ronald MacDonald and Cllr John Gordon  which stated: “The people of Skye and Raasay are asking for 24/7 NHS Emergency Cover to be reinstated for Portree and North Skye. The people of Skye and Raasay also have widespread unease about the NHS Highland redesign process with many key questions remaining unanswered.

Since these unanswered questions relate literally to life and death issues, we ask the Highland Council to approach the Cabinet Secretary for Health & Sport, Shona Robison, to come to meet with the Leader of Highland Council and with the four Skye Councillors on behalf of the Isle of Skye and Raasay Committee.”

Members also discussed the NHS response tabled to the Council from NHS Highland’s Chair David Alston.

Local police took to Twitter today (Monday 3 July) to appeal for help to find a missing walker.

A 52 year-old male was separated from his friend in the Trotternish Peninsula.  He was wearing a blue jacket, black trousers and a green rucksack.

The missing walker was traced safe and well.  

A 60 year-old male sustained head injuries by Loch Coruisk on Saturday 1 July.

The coastguard helicopter and Kyle Coastguard Rescue Team were tasked to assist the man who had received head injuries from his fall.

The casualty was taken to Broadford Hospital.

Kate Forbes MSP is seeking to hear views from constituents regarding a summer surgery tour.

The MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, which includes Dingwall, the Black Isle, Loch Ness and the Great Glen, is planning a whistle-stop tour of the entire constituency as part of her plans for the summer recess. 

Kate Forbes MSP said she was particularly keen to meet with local community organisations and businesses, whose views will help shape her priorities for the year ahead in the Scottish Parliament. 

From the end of July to the end of August, she will be meeting with community organisations, businesses and members of the public across the region. 

Kate Forbes MSP said: “I have always maintained that I have the most beautiful and constituency in Scotland, if not the world, which is home to some of the most enterprising communities. 

“It is a privilege for me to serve as MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch. 

Four people from Flodigarry Hotel received an award for their heroism and bravery.

Elizabeth and Paulus Temming, owners of Flodigarry Hotel, along with their employees, Mark Thornber and Leon Passveer, were presented with a Society for the Protection of Life from Fire Award at Portree Police Officeon Friday 30 June.

A fire broke out on site in one of their co-worker's caravan, Darren Neville. Given the very remote location of the fire - and the severity of the fire and smoke - it's clear that the swift and brave actions of those involved in rescuing Darren undoubtedly saved his life.

 

An alleged robbery took place in Portree today (Sunday 2 July).

The incident took place at Marmalade Hotel on Home Farm Road at around 4.50am.  A low three figure sum of cash was stolen, and subsequently discovered.

A 25 year-old man has been detained in relation to the incident.

 

 

An art exhibition in Portree will help raise money for Scottish Autism.  

The local Skyeworks Gallery in Portree is organising the 'Time and Tide' Charity Exhibition, for which artists are being asked to enter their pieces to go on sale from 29 July.  All artwork will be priced at £85, with £25 of the sale price being donated to Scottish Autism.  

Autism is a lifelong developmental condition that affects the way a person communicates, interacts and processes information.

Liza Hawthorne, owner of the Skyeworks Gallery, said: "I would love to raise as much money as possible for Scottish Autism because I know how much this charity does for individuals and families around Scotland affected by the condition.  Hopefully as many artists as possible will put their work into the exhibition: we are aiming to hang at least 100 canvases.  It's incredibly exciting - a real opportunity for the community to see and buy fantastic work at affordable prices AND raise money for a great cause!"

Liza continued: "'Time and Tide' is open to all entries and is anonymous (artwork should not be signed on the front), which gives a wonderful opportunity for artists to be creative and experimental!  We have a mix of highly acclaimed and unknown artists entering work. All art obviously takes skill and time, and to recognise this all work will receive a set remuneration of £50 if it sells."  

Artists can enter their work to the gallery up to the 28 July.

Karen Wilson, Fundraising Manager at Scottish Autism, said: "We love the idea that artists can enjoy exploring their talent, yet also help raise money for Scottish Autism and its many support services across Scotland.  We are enormously grateful to Skyeworks for choosing to support us, and would encourage as many artists and members of the public as possible to get involved too!"

Police have appealed for information concerned a car vandalised in Portree.

A grey Mazda was vandalised early this morning (Saturday 1 July.)

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 or contact PC Ferguson at Portree police station.  

 

A ceilidh featuring a live band will be held at Waternish Community Hall.

Local band, Sheepshank Redemption, will be performing.

The ceilidh will take place on Friday 4 August and there will be a bar.

Tickets are available from Cuckoo Tree Studios, The Shilasdair Shop and Dandelion Designs.

Tickets are £10 per adult and under 16s are free.

There will also be a raffle in aid of hall funds.  

Scott and the mountains of Skye he loved

 

He was a mountain man who loved the rugged hills of Skye and now, even in death, Scott Travers' passion for high places will live on helping protect others following in his footsteps.

Friends and family were shocked when Scott tragically passed away on only his 52nd birthday.

Now though thanks to those who knew him, his association with the island's mountains which meant so much to him, will continue with a £3,000 donation raised in Scott's name and handed over to Skye Mountain Rescue.

The money, in honour of the father of one who lived in Dunfermline but travelled around the world to climb, was raised through donations at his funeral and the Just Giving page set up by his fiance Debbie Macdonald.

Handing over the money to Skye MRT, Debbie said:  "Scott was at his happiest climbing mountains and often spoke of the amazing work done by the mountain rescue teams. He would be proud to help towards the safety of other kindred spirits.

The fields around Dunvegan School came alive today - abuzz with activities, entertainments and competitions.

Anyone who has used a cash machine in Mallaig in the last 48 hours is urged to check their bank accounts for unexpected cash withdrawals.

Police Scotland is urging the public to be vigilant after skimming devices were found on cash machines in Mallaig.



During this morning (Saturday 30 July) a member of the public discovered a skimming device on an ATM at the Royal Bank of Scotland branch in the busy ferry port, and further enquiries also discovered that an ATM at the local Bank of Scotland had been tampered with.

Lidl has been forced to recall one of its products over health fears.

The decision was taken because although the product is Alesto Honey Peanuts there is no mention in English on the label that there is peanut in it.

According to the Food Standards Agency, who have issued the alert, this makes the product a possible health risk to anyone with an allergy to peanut, a condition which can prove fatal in the event of an extreme reaction.

Exciting and ambitious plans to create a community woodland campsite in Broadford have taken a significant step forward.

The Broadford and Strath Community Company, who are behind the project, are now looking to appoint a project manager to manage the whole scheme and see it through to completion.

The post is funded by the Big Lottery Fund and Highlands and Islands Enterprise with the project manager to oversee the construction works for the development of the site, establish the campsite business and support the first year of its operation.

A 13 year old made his way to safety to raise the alarm after his uncle was badly injured in The Cuillin.

The French youngster had earlier in the day been out walking with his father and uncle however having set off to see the Fairy Pools they somehow overshot in misty conditions and ended climbing up and over into the rugged terrain of Harta Corrie. It was there that the man slipped and fell breaking both his arm and leg.

Skye Mountain Rescue were first alerted to the incident at around 5.45pm on Thursday (July 29) 

A man airlifted to hospital after a shoreline rescue near Portree was described as “improving” by local police more than a week after the dramatic incident.  

In what turned out to be a multi-agency on July 22 involving ambulance, coastguard, police and RNLI personnel a middle aged man was located and given emergency assistance after apparently falling on the rocky shoreline at Bearreraig Bay close to the Storr Lochs hydro electric plant.

On arrival at the scene Portree’s RNLI inflatable was used to put crew members ashore.

Members of the public - incliuding a ten-year-old boy and 14 year-old boy - originally raised the alarm.  The 14-year-old ran up to the top of the steep slope nearby to phone for assistance and also brought down blankets to assist the casualty on the beach.

Eventually he was stretchered to the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter which managed to land nearby before being flown to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness for emergency treatment

 

Trophies up for grabs

Skye Games takes to the water this week-end with the annual Dinghy Regatta.

With the main Highland Games events taking place on Wednesday, the sailing is on Saturday, (30th July), in Portree bay and with new boats and new sails the organisers, Skye Sailing Club, are confident it will be a great success.

A spokesman said: “Any Member at RYA Level 2 or above that is confident enough they will not crash into others can take part in one of the Club's boats.  We do not want to exclude anyone so will try and make it work for you.

Don’t forget today is Operation Tweet day for Skye Police. Follow them through their Friday shift and find out what they are doing.

Abbott Nutrition is recalling two batches of its PaediaSure Plus Fibre Vanilla Flavour 200ml bottle and its PaediaSure Plus Banana Flavour 200ml bottle on a precautionary basis because the product in some bottles may have different texture or consistency due to compromised sterility.

Normally used in relation to child growth and development, the product is for special medical purposes for use under medical supervision, and not for general sale by retail. The products below, according to the Food Standards Agency,  may be unsafe due to insufficient sterilisation.

One hundred and thirty fiddlers and cellists come together for a sell out event in Sleat tomorrow evening.

Celebrating 30 years of visiting the peninsula, Alasdair Fraser of Scotland and California, will being staging his Mammoth Fiddle event as part of the Skye Festival at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig.

The event is part of the annual Fiddle Summer School and Alasdair wants the concert to be an entertaining and fun extravaganza event for the course participants as well as the public. Last year he jammed in well over 100 fiddlers, 30 cellists and some soloists to entertain a full house of excited listeners.

Sea Cloud II

 

Portree RNLI were in action last night (July 27) to bring ashore an elderley lady in need of urgent medical attention.

Local crew members took their boat shortly before 5.30pm after a call from assistance from the 86 metre long pasenger cruise ship The Sea Cloud II.

 

Want to know what your local police team get up to in a normal working day? Then tomorrow is your chance to find out.

 Follow the steps of Skye officers from 7am – 5pm as – duties dependent – they tweet live all through their shift.

 If you want to find out more then just follow the link here

 

Processed meat product producer Mattessons have issued a recall notice the Food Standards Agency has confirmed.

Affected are Roast Chicken Flavour Fridge Raider products because they may contain pieces of plastic. The company say no other items in their range are involved.

For the full list of products involved with the recall check here

Talks about the future of the iconic Skye attraction – the Storr – take place in Staffin this week-end.

As consultation gathers pace the consultants chosen to look at all options are hoping to get some local views when they stage a public event at the Community Hall on Saturday (July 30).

Staffin Community Trust (SCT) announced last month that a consortium led by Hazel Allen of Dingwall-based Athena Solutions, Richard Heggie of Urban Animation and Sam Foster Architects, were awarded the contract to carry out an Options Appraisal of Highland Council-owned land at the Storr.

The team is now looking for input from local people as it sets about investigating all the options at the busy site, next to the A855 Staffin-Portree road.

Skye's Fiona Mandeville

 

Crisis point looks to have been reached in the on-going row surrounding the Crofting Commission.

For after weeks of claim and counter-claim the Scottish Crofting Federation (SCF) appeared to have had enough and have called for the head of the man they see as ultimately responsible for the common grazings row.

Now the SCF want the resignation of the Commission’s Convenor, Colin Kennedy and as an olive branch to the to the rest of the board have made it clear that with him gone they are happy to continue to work with the Crofting Commission in the future.

Skye based SCF Chair, Fiona Mandeville said: “It is clearly time for Kennedy to go,”

 

The skills of four Polish medics weren’t enough to help after one of them fell heavily while out walking on the Trotternish Ridge.

Skye Mountain Rescue had to be called in to assist the party when one of the group dislocated his shoulder following a fall while carrying heavy equipment.

In the end the walker was helped off the Ridge and later needed medical attention at Broadford hospital for his injuries.

Raasay’s Italian connection is continuing to play a significant part in the island’s planned new distillery.

For while work continues apace to build the new facility and convert the old Victorian era Borodale House, over 1,500 miles away in Tuscany the vital equipment needed for the whisky making process is also on-going.

For R&B Distillers who are behind the new distillery have, as well as sourcing their red wine finishing casks from Frilli in the Italian region, are also having their specialist stills and equipment made there. 

 

The countdown has begun for this year’s Isle of Skye Highland Games.

Once again thousands of visitors are expected for the big event which will take place over Tuesday 2 and Wednesday 3 August.

Although the Skye Games in their present form were inaugurated in 1877, the tradition which they represent goes back hundreds of years before that, with clan celebrations that included fiercely-constested feats of strength and endurace, together with piping and other forms of entertainment similar to those that can be enjoyed at the games today.

Alexander with mum and dad at the unit

Portree parents Alan and Megan Mackenzie have been back to say a big thank you to hospital staff who helped keep their son alive.

Young Alexander, now 2 years old, travelled with mum and dad to Raigmore’s Special Care Baby Unit to not only show nurses how well he is now doing but also to hand over a donation of £3,230.

Two years ago Alexander needed specialist care at the unit after he was born two months early and late required shunt surgery.

So to say thank you, Alan a stalwart of the Isle of Skye Pipe band, and his family held a ceilidh fundraiser and a raffle to raise money for the unit. Altogether the collected a total of £4230. A £1000 of that was given to the Ronald McDonald House in Glasgow where they Alexander spent two weeks while having the brain surgery.

Concerns are growing over news that jobs could be lost at Ministry of Defence contractor (MoD) QinetiQ as part of a UK wide review.

The British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre, run by the company, has its headquarters and offices at Kyle of Lochalsh and a facility on Rona which make use of  the waters of the Inner Sound between the Isle of Skye and the Scottish mainland to carry out surface and underwater water range tests of weapons, equipment and vessels.

Although the review is still at an early stage QinetiQ have confirmed that as many as 3 percent of its national workforce of just over 6,000 could go. Whether any of those job losses would impact on the Kyle facility is not yet known.

Ironically the latest news follows on the heels of controversial proposals to expand the existing 25 sq km range by a further 25 sq km, which, it was claimed, would actually help protect the local economy.

Hotel Eilean Iarmain where the rescue took place

 

Just weeks after tragedy was narrowly avoided following a dramatic sea rescue off Skye a new film – aimed at highlighting the dangers of drinking or falling into water, especially after drinking – has been released.

It was in May that the coastguard was alerted in the early hours after two men apparently went into the water in the bay at Isleornsay.

The pair, who had earlier being drinking at the Hotel Eilean Iarmain were said to have fallen in the sea as they returned to their boat by dingy.  Fortunately, despite being in the water for over two hours they were located and pulled to safety by RNLI staff called to the scene.

Now, a new film which targets 18 to 29 year old men with a message about the dangers of cold water shock has been launched by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency.   The 40-second film aims to highlight the dangers of jumping or falling into water, especially after drinking, and reveals some stark dangers. 

Braes Village Hall and History and Heritage Week is now underway

Through until Saturday there will be everything from an exhibition to photography competition, open gardens and walks as well as craft workshops, pop-up cafe, and talks by local historians.

Opening times and events are as follows.

 

Local lad John Gillies was named Player of the Camp when Scotland’s rising young shinty stars came together last week.

John was one of seven Skye players who took part in the 2016 National U17 Shinty Development Camp.along with the country’s top up and coming youth players.

 

Competitors in the Kyles' Cup

 Bad weather may have forced an earlier postponement but there was plenty of action over the week-end when Skye Sailing Club’s Kyles' Cup finally took to the water.

In mixed conditions, the weekend's double legged Kyles' Cup saw three different winners, proving that small keelboat racing is a close business around Skye and Lochalsh.

With larger boats unable to make the rescheduled date, after last weekend's high winds, the way was left for a close battle for the Kyle and Lochalsh Community Trust trophy among a fleet in which a boat of 33 feet was the 'big one'.

Kay and Anne preparing to leave Skye


Today could end in tears for Skye adventure pair Anne MacAskill and Kay Simpson.

For having made it to the Iranian border in the 10,000 mile long Mongol Rally the duo have hit their first major obstacle –  they haven’t got the right documentation to legally enter the country.

Anne from Dunvegan said: “We may have hit a brick wall though to get into Iran tomorrow as we do not have a carnet de passage and a couple of men on motorbikes were going to get charged $2,000 to get through.

“We shall face up to that in the morning but in the meantime, I am getting my goon and scarf ready in the hope that we succeed.”

During their first week 67 years old Anne and Kay, aged 69 – the oldest competitors in the long distance event – made it all the way through to the border between Turkey and Iran without too much difficulty.

Relaxed by the roadside

 

Istanbul and still going strong. That's the latest report from Skye's long distance rallying pair, Anne MacAskill and Kay Simpson.

For during their first week taking part in the 10,000 mile Mongol Rally the pair, Anne, 67 and 69 years old Kay have managed to get to the Turkish city without any real problems.

Writing on social media, Anne, the mum of international recognised stunt cyclist, Dannym said: "It surpised us to only take an hour to get over the border. But before that we have had a lot of driving, driving, a bit of eating then sleeping.

"We spent Sunday night near Brussels then drove on Monday from there through Germany to Passau and into Austria. Lots of roadworks! Kay kept having to tell me we can't go a see friends here and there for coffee on the way!

Businesses in Skye are being encouraged to join others across the Highlands and apply to the next round of Scottish EDGE funding and the chance to win up to £100,000 each in grants and loans.

The Scottish Government funded competition supports and encourages business growth in Scotland. The ninth round for applications opens from 1 August to 7 September.

Portree's main Co-op

 

Skye charities and community groups could be in line for huge cash windfalls with the return of the “divi”.

For the island’s three Co-op stores are to re-introduce a new membership benefits scheme later this year which will not only bring cash rewards for customers but also potentially major extra funding for local causes.

Under the reward scheme – set to be introduced in the autumn - members will receive a 5% reward for any purchases they make of Co-op own brand products and services.

However, a further 1% will then go to benefiting local causes and projects under the community reward initiative. Initially members will choose from a list of three selected by staff on Skye, but later they will be able to propose local causes they think should benefit.

The Broadford store

Although no exact figure has been put on the money which will be available to Skye causes, there is speculation amongst local staff that between them the three Co-op stores on the island, two in Portree and the other at Broadford, could generate a five figure sum annually to benefit charity and community groups.

News that the on-going inquiry into the Edinburgh trams fiasco has now cost in excess of £3.5 million has been slammed on Skye.

FlySkye,  which has been fighting a long but frustrating fight to bring regular flights back to the island, have hit out over the high expenditure believing the money could have been far better spent.

Commenting via social media a member of the group said: “Watching the evening news and thinking that the cost of the inquiry into Edinburgh's tram fiasco, could have paid for the Skye airport!

“At least our project would be money well-spent for the community.”

Dr Hanson

 

Skye doctor Jonathan Hanson is leaving behind his island duties to help Team GB athletes go for gold in Rio.

The 43 year old is just one of two NHS Highland doctors who will be heading for the Olympic Games in Brazil which are due to start next month.
Going with him will be Culloden based Dr Derick Macleod and the pair will have been chosen to serve as medical officers for the Performance Services Team during the games which will take place from 5th to 21st August.

The two doctors will primarily be based at the Olympic Village in Barra de Tijuca as part of a multi-disciplinary team made up of 44 highly-experienced health professionals from all four home countries.

Dr Hanson is a qualified consultant in sport and exercise medicine – one of only four in Scotland – and works part-time as a rural practitioner in Broadford. At the same time he shares his expertise working at the Sportscotland Institute of Sport in Stirling and for Scottish Rugby.

Nearly a week after a body was found, Police have now confirmed that it has been formally identified as that of missing pensioner Roger Fletcher.

The 77 years old disappeared after leaving his holiday home near Dornie to apparently go out walking on June 5. After he was reported missing a major search was launched and there were repeated sweeps of the area with tracker dogs.

However, it was not until Friday 15 July that a body was found at Camas-luinie near Dornie.

The Food Standards Agency have issued another recall warning.

Lytham Foods is asking customers to return  a variety of its Freshbite Wraps because of concerns over the company procedures that are in place to control Clostridium botulinum.

 

Classical music and crofting come together for a special performance on Skye.

Scottish Ensemble, the UK’s leading string orchestra, will perform a concert at Portree’s Aros Centre tomorrow night – the first time in five years - and tickets are still available.

Local residents are more likely to associate Inkster’s name with his law firm, Inksters, after he became one of the most prominent consultants and commentators on crofting law – one of the firm’s niche areas of expertise – during the recent events concerning common grazings committees being evicted from office in Lewis by the Crofting Commission.

But Inksters, the Scotland-wide solicitors firm which has offices in Glasgow, Forfar, Inverness, Wick, Lerwick and Portree, is also increasingly becoming known amongst Scotland’s artistic community for its philanthropy, supporting a diverse range of cultural and charitable organisations through funding and sponsorship.

Stepdance and fiddle courses are to be staged at Sleat’s Sabhal Mòr Ostaig from August 8 – 12.

The step-dancing will be led by Sophie Stephenson, a traditional musician, performer and step-dancer from Fort Augustus.

In 2016 Sophie will be leading her own course at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig where she first attended step-dancing classes, with Harvey Beaton twelve years ago. Sophie is an experienced and encouraging tutor, having performed at camps and festivals throughout Scotland, Canada, the United States and Norway, and having attended the University of Edinburgh, Colaiste Bheinn na Faoghla, and Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, as well as tutoring regularly with Fèisean nan Gàidheal.

Joanne Harris coming to Skye

It's still weeks away but Skye Book Festival is turning heads as well as pages with its latest line up announcements.

For the organisers have pronounced themselves "thrilled" to confirm that Joanne Harris, the bestselling author of a host of books including the story to large screen success "Chocolat" will be at this year's event.

They have confirmed that the author will be at the Aros Centre on Friday 2nd September at 7:30pm when she will be talking about her latest novel 'Different Class'.

The dark psychological, thriller tells the story of a veteran Latin teacher in a Yorkshire Grammar school, facing all the changes of modern education and the disruption of reconnecting with a former pupil from his past

Peter May

And having already confirmed last month that Peter May, the multi award-winning author of the Lewis Trilogy set, the China Thrillers and the Enzo Files was to attend things have got even better.

For Mr May is now to use the festival to officially launch a new book. He will be at the event on Saturday 3 September with the book going on general release some five days later.

The Skye Book Festival runs right over the week-end September 1-3.

The Skye Camanachd Shinty Lotto was drawn on Saturday 16 July 2016.

The numbers drawn were 2, 13 and 14 and there was one winner who scoops £250!

The prize fund for Saturday 23 July 2016 is £250!

Latest to join scheme

 

When it comes to Staffin a community run online directory really is the business.

And now the Staffin Community Trust (SCT) has added its tenth local commercial concern to the local resource making it easier than ever to find out what is available, opening times and even the stock they carry. biz listings have welcomed the 10th local business to join the burgeoning online directory.

A Skye cyclist received minor injuries after being struck by a car.

The incident happened yesterday at around 4.15pm just outside the centre of Broadford. Although police have not identified the rider they have confirmed he is a local man in his 40’s.

Officers who attended the scene said a foreign visitor to the island was driving the vehicle when it clipped the bike rider. However, after due investigating a decision was made not to report the car driver for the accident.

 

 

With just days to go the final preparations are being put in place for this year’s Dunvegan Show.

Organised by Duirinish & Bracadale Agricultural Association the event is once again being as a fun day out for all the family.

To be held at Dunvegan School on Saturday 30 July activities get underway from 10am when judging begins.

Last year's youngest competitor, Tim Nicolson

Other events during the day include a dog show, horticultural, home produce and handicrafts competition and sale, as a well as vintage tractors, a sheep shearing demonstration, highland dancers, bouncy castles, a display of agricultural wartime memorabilia and rally cars.

BBC Alba’s use of Skye as the setting for its drama “Bannan” has been highlighted as one way the Gaelic language channel can deliver not only to audiences but also the Scottish creative economy in general.

The series and its positive impact on the island was raised during a parliamentary event in Westminster. As it is seen as one of a number of productions to provide a boost to the Highland & Islands creative economy. A success which could be built upon if BBC ALBA was strengthened with more original programming, it was claimed.

MG ALBA – which operates BBC ALBA in partnership with the BBC – said the opportunity to achieve parity for the Gaelic language channel with Welsh counterpart S4C had the potential to unlock substantial benefits for independent production sector as well as secure the future success of the channel amongst its core audience.

Persistence has paid off and Sleat is now getting some extra special attention.

Sleat perfectly Skye have reported that following “a lot of hard work” from Visit Sleat and ferry company Calmac’s marketing team, the southern part of the island is now being put even more on the tourist destination map.

Police are appealing for help to solve a local crime near Portree

A concrete mixer has been stolen between 4.30pm yesterday and 7am this morning. The missing machinery disappeared from a worksite at the Storr Lochs pumping station. Any information? Call 101.

 

SNP MP Ian Blackford took to the floor at Westminster yesterday to firmly oppose the renewal of Trident on Scottish soil.

The member for Ross, Skye & Lochaber made his views clear as he addressed parliament during the debate over the issue.

Speaking on social media today, Mr Blackford said: “Last night I took part in the Westminster debate on the renewal of Trident. A debate which saw 58 of the 59

Scottish MP's oppose the signing of a blank cheque to replace these obscene weapons of mass destruction.

Police were called to a spate of accidents which occurred along or just off the A87 on Skye yesterday.

During the first incident, around lunchtime, an Austrian motorcyclist was taken to Broadford Hospital with minor injuries after he slid off his machine in front of another vehicle close to the Sligachan Hotel.

Then at around 4.05, emergency responders were called to the Broadford – Elgol road following an incident involving a French registered small Mercedes lorry which had been converted into a camper.  For several hours the road was blocked and as a precaution ambulance service staff attended although they were not needed.

Finally at 4.15pm close to Broadford a minibus collided with a car. Again fortunately there were no serious injuries.

Today police on Skye tweeted: “Can we please have a better day on the roads today with everyone going to/from/within safely!”

 

. An accident shortly after 4pm today during which a vehicle overturned has left the road blocked between Broadford and Elgol near to Kirkibost. No information yet about any possible injuries.

 

Police are seeking information about a blue Volkswagen Golf stolen from Kyleakin between 8pm on Saturday and 4.20pm on Sunday. They say it was later found abandoned near to Kyle of Lochalsh. Any information  - call 101

They've only just begun their 10,000 mile road trip but already Skye's Anne MacAskill and Kay Simpson have set themselves apart.

For the pair, taking part in the Mongol Rally as The Gallivanting Quines, found themselves picked on Day 1 of the event ...for being the oldest participants!

Over the coming months Anne, 67 and 69 years old Kay will have the journey of a lifetime as they take a gruelling route in their 20 year old van across England, France, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia.

Speaking on social media after the start at Goodwood - the spiritual home of British motorsports - Anne, the mum of stunt cyclist Danny, said:  "It was great to see some friends and family today to see us off - before the big send off though, several awards were handed out, including to ourselves when we received one for being the oldest particpants!!

It has served the community for close to a century but this week looks set to see the end of Portree’s Margaret Carnegie Hostel.

Opened back in 1924 to board girls who lived too far away from Portree High School to travel in on a daily basis, demolition of the building’s former annexe has already taken place. Now contractors are expected to begin demolishing the hostel itself over the coming days.

The MC hostel in fact pre-dated the school’s Elgin Hostel which was used for boys’ accommodation after it was built in 1933. That building, now sympathetically restored to a high standard, will serve as a present day hostel for youngsters attending the school as well as housing the Highland Council’s local archive centre.

Seven Skye Camanachd youth players have joined up with some of the country’s top youth players at the 2016 National U17 Shinty Development Camp.

The Skye players who travelled south are Martin Pringle, Connor Gilpin, John Gillies, Angus MacDonald, Stewart Taylor, Sam MacPhee and James Morrison.

They headed south to Strathallan on Sunday and they will be put through their paces by some of shinty’s top coaches with the camp finishing on Thursday.

High winds over the week-end forced the cancellation of the popular Kyles Cup sailing competition.
And with similar poor weather forecasts for the week ahead organisers, the Skye Sailing Club, have set new dates for the event  this coming week-end, Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July.

Announcing the cancellation decision the club said: “The forecast for this weekend is showing sustained winds of F6 with gale force gusts.
It is clear that this will be more wind than several boats and their crew will wish to start in due to the greater likelihood of damage – personal and technical.
"It is regrettable, and the weather may well end up being 'possible' on the day, but with travellers and boat movements needed the decision had to be taken ahead of the morning of the event. Obviously the change of date will mean the event is not possible for some but becomes possible for others.”

 

Fiona during her long distance cycle

 

A cardiac arrest while out cycling almost cost Fiona Grant’s husband his life but today the Broadford woman was expected to complete a 700 mile  two wheeler adventure that could help prevent others from dying.

For the past two weeks or so, Fiona has been on a massive cycle ride that has taken her from Lews Castle College UHI on Lewis to Shetland, Oban and then back to the college’s centre in her home village.

On the way Fiona, who works for the UHI and altogether will visit 13 of their university and college centres, has been raising funds for the Skye based Lucky2Bhere  as well as the UHI Scholarship Fund.

It was back in 2009 that Fiona’s husband Donnie was taking part in the gruelling Bealach Beag cycle sportive that he suffered a cardiac arrest. Fortunately trained staff were able to respond quickly and their skills saved him.

Director of Studies and Vice-Principal of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig (SMO) John Norman Macleod has been named at the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Herald Higher Education Awards.

Prior to his appointment, SMO was an independent college offering seasonal short courses in Gaelic language and culture, but today it offers five honours degrees as well as postgraduate courses and serves as the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture on the Isle of Skye.

A spokesman for City of Glasgow College, which sponsored the award, said: "Education is at the heart of everything we do and this event is a great way to celebrate the tremendous work and commitment of Scotland's universities and colleges.

"We would like to congratulate all the entrants and particularly like to pay tribute to John for winning the Lifetime Achievement Award which we were delighted to support this year."

Made in Sleat makes a welcome return next week-end as the event is staged for the third year in a row.

Once again the showcase for all things Sleat will bring together a wide variety of makers and artists drawn from the south of Skye.

The event runs from July 23-30 and is to be staged at the Duisdale Hall open daily from 10am-5pm.

Police have confirmed that a body found near Dornie  is that of missing pensioner Roger Fletcher.

The 77 years old who disappeared after going out apparently walking on June 5 prompted police with tracker dogs to carry out a series of searches in the area without any success.

However, early today (Friday 15 July) a police dog handler located a body which was found at Camas-luinie near Dornie, Lochalsh.

Peter and Alexandra with Skye MRT

 

So what do you do if you’re a stranded in thick mist and waiting to be rescued from a mountainside? How about proposing to a loved one!

For that’s just what happened on Skye earlier this week after two young Polish climbers sparked off a mountain rescue when they ran into difficulties while crossing Bealach na Glaic Moire.

Anne & Kay with their van

She’s not under starter’s orders yet but Danny MacAskill’s mum is off on a big adventure all of her own.

For instead of nervously looking on while her famous son risks life and limb, 67 years old Anne together with friend, Kay Simpson, 69, set off this week…to drive 10,000 miles in a two decade old van.

The pair left the family’s Dunvegan home today to compete in the Mongol Rally. It begins on Saturday and takes in an incredible route covering England, France, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia.

Danny

Stunt cyclist Danny whose video of his ride through the Cuillin has been seen by 40 million people, seemed pretty upbeat about the whole thing and told his fans via social media: “And they're off! Was great to see my mum and her friend Kay set out on their 10000 mile drive to Mongolia as part of the 2016 Mongol Rally.”

Highland Council is urging that under the new BBC Charter audiences in Scotland get a fairer deal regarding the future of the broadcaster especially in relation to the case for supporting and developing Gaelic.

Councillor Hamish Fraser, Chair of The Highland Council’s Gaelic Implementation Group said: “We acknowledge that BBC ALBA is currently achieving a great deal and delivers a good service within the context of the limited broadcasting hours and the resources available at their disposal. 

However, in order to support the strategic aims of the Highland Council in relation to Gaelic and cultural development, it is important that BBC ALBA fills the gaps in its service provision, especially in the areas of news, children's programming, drama and comedy- all of which are culturally and creatively important to our communities”.

Carbost, Skeabost Bridge and Staffin are all to get higher speed broadband speeds within six months.

The pledge comes from Highland and Islands Enterprise who are tasked with delivering new fibre connections in the region.

Also benefitting locally, but not on Skye are Balmacara, Dornie, Glenelg and Stromeferry.

More than 600,000 premises across the country can already connect to their fastest-ever broadband speeds through the Digital Scotland roll-out.

The programme is delivered through two projects – led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise in its area and the Scottish Government in the rest of Scotland. Other funding partners include the UK Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), BT, local authorities and the EU via the European Regional Development Fund.

Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, said: “We are now more than half way through the roll-out of the programme and as we progress we are starting to reach very small and more remote communities. Deploying fibre to areas like this is part of the plan that will help ensure that Scotland becomes a world class digital nation by 2020.

Movie stardom saw the normally busy Glenelg-Skye ferry finishing everyday operations early this week.

For with a film crew wanting to use the historic vessel, the Glenachulish ceased ferrying vehicles and passengers from 4pm on Tuesday.

The boat is to feature in an up and coming movie, "Above the Clouds" which is expected to be released later in the year. 

The newly created montage

 

A new artistic endeavour has found a safe berth in Sleat.

For CalMac employees Sam Graham and Graeme Mackenzie have teamed up to provide a novel view of nautical goings-on in the area.

And now visitors and customers at CalMac's Armadale ferry terminal can see an interest packed photo montage in the ticket office which tells the story of vessels associatied with port.

The Food Standards Agency is highlighting a product recall from supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

Both have issued warnings about canned pasta products as they may contain pieces of rubber. These products were all manufactured by Noliko N.V in Belgium.

The Tesco products affected are:

Two Skye organisations are celebrating after being awarded funding from  Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland.

Counselling Care: Skye & Lochalsh, has been given a grant of £3,600 which they will use towards the Administrator/ Fundraiser’s salary, while Skye & Lochalsh Mental Health Association did even better.

They have bee awarded a grant of £4,000 towards the Project Workers salary that supports the weekend service provision.

Commenting on the awards, local MP Ian Blackford said: "Each of these organisations are very worthy causes and do a lot of good work in their respective communities."

The Highland Community Planning Partnership Board have given their full support to a campaign running to reduce loneliness and social isolation.

The Board, made up of representatives from The Highland Council, NHS Highland, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Third Sector and a number of other organisations, met at the end of June to consider options for a breakthrough achievement for 2016. 

At the meeting all agreed to sign up to the campaign launched by NHS Highland to reduce loneliness and isolation and in doing so the Board will now focus on encouraging as many staff as possible to make a pledge to take action.

 A 27 year old man accused of various offences has pleaded guilty and being remanded in custody after appearing before Portree Sheriff’s court.

The offender was arrested following reports of a vehicle being stolen from the Clobsha Nan Cuaridhean area of Broadford and subsequently crashed near Kyleakin.  The man, who comes from the Glasgow area was charged with road traffic offences and crimes of dishonesty. 

 

A couple who went missing in poor visibility conditions on Skye yesterday were found safe and well.

The alarm was raised shortly before 9am after information that the pair, thought to be in their early 20’s, had become disorientated whilst in the Fairy Pools area.

Skye Mountain Rescue was called out and eventually some four hours after the initial alarm the two missing walkers were found and led to safety.

A teenage boy, reported missing at the week-end, has been found alive and well in the Isle of Rum, following a massive search and rescue effort co-ordinated by Police Scotland, UK Coastguard and Mountain Rescue.
 
The teenager’s family, on holiday from Norway, contacted Police Scotland yesterday (Sunday 10 July 2016) after they became concerned for his safety when he did not return from a late evening walk.
 
A massive search and rescue operation was launched involving local officers and dog handlers from Police Scotland; Coastguard Rescue Teams from the Isle of Rum, Fort William, and Mallaig;  UK Coastguard search and rescue helicopters from Inverness and Stornoway;  Mountain Rescue Teams from Lochaber Fort William and Mallaig; Salin Inshore Rescue Team and Mallaig RNLI lifeboat.

 

Officers on the Isle of Skye dealt with a number of incidents at the weekend which resulted in three men being reported to the Procurator Fiscal, all of whom are expected to appear at Portree Sheriff Court today (Monday 11th July).

 

Following reports of a vehicle being stolen from the Clobsha Nan Cuaridhean area of Broadford and subsequently crashed near Kyleakin, a 27 year-old male from the Glasgow area has been charged with road traffic offences and crimes of dishonesty.  As a result of investigations carried out into this incident, a number of items of stolen property have been successfully returned to their rightful owners.

 

 A 40 year-old male from Glasgow has also been reported for road traffic and disorder offences in the Staffin area on Saturday evening, during which a female Police Officer sustained minor injuries.

 

 And a 39 year-old male from Sweden has been reported for a road traffic offence following a collision that occurred on the A87 near Druim Na Cloich on Saturday which resulted in two people being taken to hospital for treatment.

 

 

 

He may be taking part in the Thunder Run but Jonathan Bungard’s stamina sapping ordeal will hardly be over in a flash. For later this month he will be hoping to raise hundreds of pound to support a Skye church by completing the gruelling 100 mile event in less than 24 hours. Money raised by Jonathan, the son of recently ordained priest Rosemary, will go towards urgently need repairs to the rectory at St Columba’s Church in Portree.

Skye has become the new home for a little lost otter.

The 10 week old male was discovered alone near Inverness and after been initially cared for by 
Munlochy Animal Aid has now been transferred to Broadford which will be its home until it reaches the age of around one years old.

Now being cared for by the International Otter Survival Fund, the young creature will then be released into the wild.

Police in Portree have confirmed that a 12 years old child from the village has been reported over an incident of damage to a car which occurred in the Blaven Road area on July 4.

MS Prinsendam, nicknamed the Elegant Explorer, became the latest cruise ship to dock in Portree.

Carrying nearly 800 passengers and with a crew of 440 the 204 m vessel, with nine passenger decks, is owned and run by the Holland America Line.

Police praised passers-by who sprang into action after a collision between two vehicles on Skye at the week-end.

Officers who attended the scene said that first aid was administered and passing traffic directed around the accident by the Good Samaritans until the arrival of the 999 services.

The incident occurred shortly after 3pm on Saturday some four miles south of Sconser. Police say that two vehicles were involved a VW Caddy with Swedish number plates and a VW Golf. Although there were slight injuries none were believed to be life threatening.

Skye Mountain rescue team members were scouring part of the Cuillin this morning to try and locate a man and a woman missing in the hills. The alert was raised earlier today and searchers set off from Sligachan at around 8.50am.

 

As well as being an exciting day for the over 100 people taking part in the Glamaig Hill Race, Saturday July 9 was a fun day out for all the family.  Bouncy castles, barbecues and a prize-giving in the evening made for an exciting day to remember.

 Over 100 runners took to the mountains in the annual Glamaig Hill Race!  

Donnie (right) with Alex Salmond and Kate Forbes

Talks have been underway to ensure an irreplaceable Scottish language resource – which has its roots on Skye - is not threatened for future generations to share and enjoy.

Skye’s Donnie Munro, chair of the Tobar an Dualchais/Kist o Riches archive had a meeting with local MSP Kate Forbes and former SNP leader, Alex Salmond – now a Westminister MP – to discuss how the invaluable resource can be not only preserved but allowed to expand in the years to come.

Originally £100,000 of Scottish Government funding was used to set up the £3m archive which was launched back in 2010.  Donnie who has been chairman since its inception described how the new website would open up Scotland's past as never before.

He said: "This is the most ambitious cultural digital heritage project anywhere in Europe, if not the world.

It was no hi-tech rescue when firefighters were called to save a bovine stuck in a bog.

Instead the crews from Portree, Broadford and Dunvegan hefted pitchforks and spades to manually dug out the stranded £2,000 beast.

The exhausted and very hungry bull was discovered 48 hours after it was last seen roaming Ben Aketil windfarm on Skye. Rescuers believe the animal had tumbled three feet in a remote area of peatland. When later crofter Ian Duncan discovered it with just its head sticking above the mud, the Fire service was called for help.

Another cruise ship, this time the 181 metree long Azamara Quest was due to dock in Portree today. The vessel can carry nearly 700 passengers

International competitors are expected to flock to Staffin next week for a major event.

However, few if any, of those taking part are likely to be household names.

For next Friday will see around 60 sheep dogs taking part in the annual and hugely popular Staffin Trials at Ellishadder. The annual event will be judged by a man with an impressive pedigree himself.

Skye residents were expected to be contacted this week in a far reaching investigation launched by detectives from the City of London Police’s Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED).

For the island has been identified as one of a number of locations around the UK where addresses are being used by unscrupulous insurance ghost brokers to obtain fraudulent car insurance deals.

Officers will be contacting dozens of residents in Aberdeen, Inverness and the Isles of Skye and Harris as part of ongoing investigations into suspected ghost brokers. Some addresses in these areas are being used by fraudsters on car insurance applications to give their unwitting victims seemingly cheap deals on their car insurance.

Once the false address details are provided and a quote obtained, the ghost brokers will often forge or alter cover letters to show the real address of the victim. These are then sent back to the victim making them think they have valid insurance cover in place, when in fact, they’re left with policies that are not legal or with no insurance at all.

One of the tell-tale signs this is happening is that residents in rural areas may receive letters from insurers that are addressed to people that don’t live there.

Police in Portree are investigating reports of damage to cars and a fence which occurred in the  Blaven Road and Fletcher Place areas. If you have any information please call 101.

Pictured: (left to right), host for the ceremony, comedienne Sally Phillips, Amanda Meldrum, Training & Development Officer,
Joyce Laing, Head of Human Resources, Rhona McLeod, Chief Executive, Pam Russell, Chair of the Board,
Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People.

Trust Housing Association have been crowned winners of the Excellence in the Third Sector category (over 250 employees) at the annual Investors in People Awards 2016, the leading industry event recognising high performance in people management.

THA runs amenity housing in Druim na Pairc Portree, and sheltered housing in Shulishader Beag, Portree.

The Isle of Skye Golf Club joins 300 others next week to encourage the next generation of golfers.

A Golf for Free one hour session is to be staged on Tuesday 12th July from 11am-noon as part of the HSBC Golf Roots programme.  It is celebrating the 145th Open at Royal Troon  by encouraging more youngsters and families to get involved in the sport.

For further information telephone 01478 650465.

Demolition underway

Builders creating the brand new Raasay distillery have been busy this week – demolishing!

For as part of the overall project which will see the new concern up and running next year and likely to attract around 12,000 visitors a year to the island, a section of the old Borodale House, which will form part of the overall complex, is being pulled down.

This week work begin to remove the old extension which is then, in due course, to be replaced by the actual distillery production unit.

The @LochabSkyePol Twitter feed covering the Skye, Lochalsh and Lochaber areas of the West Highlands has been nominated for a national Police Twitter Award for informative and proactive approach taken to use the account to keep the community updated with activity in the area.

This is the first time an account from the Highland and Islands area has been included in these awards, which recognise positive use of the platform in Policing across the United Kingdom.

Over the past year the account has seen followers more than quadruple, has gone viral with tweets about recovered drugs and American rap stars whilst also passing on valuable crime prevention, personal safety and community updates to followers and receiving positive international media coverage in the process.

It’s been described as one of the toughest races in Scottish hill-running and this Saturday sees the latest running of Glamaig Hil race.

The steepness of the climb, variable weather conditions and the incredible descent have made it a “must do” event for runners drawn from across Scotland.

Currently the Mens’ record is held by Finlay Wild in 2012 with 44:27 timing while for the women that was set all the way back in 1990 by Tricia Calder with a time of 56:10.

The race begins at 3pm with registration taking place at the Sligachan from 1pm.

However, the day isn’t all about the running with a little something for all the family planned.

Portree Pier will be the unusual setting on Sunday for a special service that will be echoed around the world.

To mark Sea Sunday, churches from across the globe come together to remember seafarers and pray for them, their families and those who support them.

Sea Sunday, is organised through internationally active Mission to Seafarers which, since 1856, has served the men and women of the merchant fleet who have dedicated their lives to seafaring; crews who have in turn served their countries during war and through peacetime.

In Portree on Sunday the ecumenical service will take place at the RNLI station from 10.30am

Andrew Wright, Secretary General of the The Mission to Seafarers, said: “This year marks the Mission’s 160th anniversary and we are celebrating the lives of seafarers and their families by holding a special Sea Sunday on 10 July 2016.

For the first time today the Scottish Affairs Select Committee were meeting on Skye to focus on aging population, the impact of a period of population growth and how businesses can retain talent in the Highlands and Islands.

Among the panellists will be people at the heart of the local community, including representatives from academia, local government and community groups.

The Committee will also hears from Gregg and Kathryn Brain, whose fight against deportation has made headlines around the world, about their experience of immigrating to Scotland.

Committee chair Pete Wishart commented: "I am delighted to be coming to Skye, to meet the people who live here and understand the challenges they face. It is pleasing that the last few decades have seen steady population growth on the island.

Brian Inkster

The war of words may be over but the row over the Crofting Commission’s handling of the common grazings issue appears to be rumbling on.

Specialist in Crofting Law, Brian Inkster, who has already commented in depth on the dispute has weighed in again following what he claims was a “massive U-turn” by the Commission. 

He said: “Common sense and an apparent recognition of the actual law on the matter have at last prevailed. The Crofting Commission has been at sea on the management of common grazings funds for some time. No one could fathom out how or why they dreamt up a policy that had no basis whatsoever in law or simple logic.

Paul Murton on Skye

The movie moguls of Hollywood have been now it’s the turn of the small screen to take a tour around Trotternish.  

For Staffin and the peninsula are to feature on the BBC this autumn as presenter Paul Murton focusses his popular “Grand Tours of the Scottish Islands” to the north of Skye

Last month Paul and his film crew toured Trotternish and later this year – possibly late September or early October - BBC1 viewers will get a chance to find out what he discovered.

Armed with his Victorian tourist guidebook, Blacks, the Staffin Community Trust reports that there was filming not just in Staffin but right along the ridge. 

1 neil hart m 37.35
 2 lea macleod m 38.24
 3 chris james skye and lochalsh running club m 39.05
 4 norman gilllies m 39.07
 5 thomas barrow nairn road runners m 39.16
 6 james macinnes m 39.40
 7 sandy laing skye and lochalsh running club m 41.04
 8 chris kerr m 41.30
 9 Robert macaskill m 41.36
 10 emma birnie f 42.20

The Scottish Government backed  - Let’s Get Online initiative – comes to Portree this week.

On Friday (July 8) a team will be in community library to provide one-to-one free informal internet sessions and printed advice to assist the local people to make the most of the internet and all that it entails.

Entertainment for people of all ages could be found at Kyleakin Gala this afternoon.  

Whether it was axe-throwing or archery, courtesy of ACE Target Sports; the rousing skirl of pipes from the Lochalsh Junior Pipe Band or the excellent Highland Dancing display, the organisers of Kyleakin Gala worked hard to ensure there was something for everyone.

The whole of Kyleakin was abuzz with excitement today (Saturday July 2) as over 60 runners took to the roads for the Skye Bridge 10k Race.  

The race was won by Neil Hart from Reading, while the first female across the line was Emma Birnie from Glasgow.

Skye Mountain Rescue team leader Gerry Akroyd MBE was amongst over 100 “local heroes” nominated for the opening of the Scottish Parliament.

Local MSP, Kate Forbes, decided to invite the 71 years old along to honour the volunteer rescuers on the island and recognise Gerry’s four decades of being nvolved with the mountaineering scene locally.

Each of the parliament’s 129 MSPs were invited to choose a local hero to join the historic Riding of Parliament, from Edinburgh Castle along the Royal Mile for the opening which was carried out by The Queen.

The latest cruise ship to sail into Portree today was the French vessel 'L'Austral' bringing some 200 passengers and with a crew of around 140.  She is expected to leave at around 6pm this evening.

Portree Primary have grabbed gold to join a group of select schools across Scotland.

For the school is one of just 92 across the country who have been presented with The sportscotland School Sport Award coverted gold award.

Work well advanced

Sleat’s £5 million new Torabhaig Whisky Distillery is moving ever closer to beginning the production of its very first spirit.

Scheduled for full opening in Spring 2017, work on producing the new whisky is expected to begin this autumn.

With work on the distillery and accompanying visitor centre continuing apace, Ian Blackford, MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber has been the most recent visitor to the site where he was greeted by project manager, Hamish Fraser from Mossburn Distillers Ltd and Richard Beattie of the Colorado Group.

Ian Blackford visits

He said: “This is a remarkable project and will, no doubt, become one of the most popular distilleries on Scotland's west coast. Importantly it will provide employment for local people and bring back to life a beautiful old barn built more than 150 years ago.

The licence application process for anyone with an air weapon is now open.

From July 1 anyone with an air weapon can apply for a licence which must be obtained before the new legislation making the guns illegal to have without one comes into force after December 31, 2016.

In the recent Air Weapon Surrender Campaign run by Police Scotland a total of 13,500 weapons were handed in.

ACC Mark Williams said: "I'm delighted with the response so far from the public and would once again like to thank those responsible members of the public who handed in their unwanted air weapons.

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