iLAND – Isle Martin Festival

Once upon a time someone thought it was a good idea to invite the community to curate thier own festival on their own island…so the call went out, asking for people to propose what they would do to contribute to a weekend of festivities. The response has been overwhelming! With the focus on community, sustainability and the land, we now have almost 30 different activities, ranging from Kids Yoga to the launch of our new Heritage Lottery Funded project on the islands history.

Everything is being organised and run by volunteers and we still need people come and help! If you’d like to volunteer for a couple of hours, in the lead up or on the weekend, then please email Volunteer tasks range from helping set up, stewarding parking, pier and pontoon, to helping clear up. Whatever your skills and availability we’d love to hear from you. A two hour slot would be much appreciated!

Parking at Ardmair is limited to disabled only, due to very limited space.

Bus – Ullapool to Ardmair. A free Shuttle bus will be operating from Latheron car park – outside the old Hydro shop/Dulcies, near Tesco. The shuttle will stop at the Isle Martin jetty where boats will run from. Friday: 4-5 and 8-9, Saturday: 10-8, Sunday: 10-12 and 3-5

Please feel free to bring your own boat if you have, but as pontoon space will be at a premium please be prepared to use your anchor and it is essential that one side of the pontoon be kept clear for the the ferrying boats at all times. There are two taxi companies in Ullapool and the trip from Ardmair to Ullapool costs about £7. The numbers are Ullapool Taxi’s 07517612619. Ewan’s Taxi’s (providing the shuttle bus) and 01854 612966.

While we would love to have wheelchair access one day, this is sadly currently not advisable. Our new boat Auk does have a drop down front so that it can land on the beach and be easily stepped in and out of. If you’d like to visit but are concerned about the access then please do contact us and we’ll help if we can.

Coming prepared: Wear sensible clothing – paths are rough so wear sturdy shoes, it’ll probably be cold and wet and midge. Bring drinking water.

Children under 16 must be accompanied by adults at all times. Lost children will be fed oysters and seaweed and can be collected from the information point at the Mill House.

Camping: There is space to camp so you are welcome to bring your tent and stay the whole weekend.

Food: Nellie will be running the cafe this year, to raise funds for her own volunteering trip abroad. Ockran Oysters will be there on the Saturday with their wares. We will have a communal half barrel barbecue going, so bring some fine local produce and be prepared to share with your comrades! We have had a generous donation of some bits and pieces from Highland Wholefoods in Inverness and potatos from Fearniewell Croft that are ready to be crafted into soups and stews by any willing volunteers.

Drink: We are delighted to announce that An Teallach Ale will be there. It has been execellent luck that they have recently opened premises in Ullapool and are more than happy to pop over to the island for the weekend. While the island does have some running water it is not advised to drink it, so please bring your own drinking water. Please also be prepared to take any empties home for recycling.

Rubbish: In the last year hard working volunteers have removed an estimated 10 tonnes of rubbish from the island! We have the photos of boat loads to prove it and weighed 3 tonnes of scrap metal alone! So please take every scrap of recycling and rubbish home with you. Actually you’d be improving the island by bringing a bag and spending ten minutes collecting rubbish from the beach, snagged in brambles and wrapped around trees.

This is entirely volunteer run and community owned, so you are the responsible adults, look after the place, take your rubbish home, keep an eye out for one another. The island is a wild place, with all the risks of the outdoors, such as steep cliffs, slippery paths, boggy ground, and rocky terrain. This is no walk in the park!

We are not asking for an entry fee for this event as we think it should be as accessible as possible to everyone. The trust runs on a minuscule budget and our yearly overheads are only around £3000 ordinarily, and we’ve splashed out on this event as we feel its the right time to welcome a new generation and re-engage the community in the run up to the launch of our new Strategic Plan. So if you are in a position to give a donation to the trust it will be received gratefully. All money raised will go towards urgent repairs, match funding projects and improving access for the community.

A donation of £3 from each person would cover the cost of the bus hire.

A donation of £1 will cover toilet roll and cleaning products purchased for this event. We’ve made the switch to eco products as everything that goes down the drain ends up in the environment at the end of the day!