For an update on activities that have taken place on the island over the summer have a look at our photo filled mailchimp newsletter using this link.
The shuttle bus will now run on: Friday 4-5 and 8-9, Saturday 10-8 and Sunday 10-12 and 3-5.
This will connect with boats to Isle Martin at Ardmair
The bus will depart from Latheron Lane in Ullapool, outside Dulcies and the old Hydro shop, opposite Tesco.
Running the bus will be one of our biggest costs for this weekend so if everyone keeps this in mind, uses it and makes a donation once they get to the island we will cover our costs.
Foundation Scotland have just awarded us £1500 towards the Access Officer post, meaning we have secured all the funding for 6 months of this job! If it proves a success then we will be seeking more funding to continue it as a permanent position. We hope that people will find access to the island easier and that more new users are able to visit and make the most of this community owned island.
Great things are happening!
The HIghland Council have just announced that they will be sending a wee bit of cash our way to support the Access Officer post. It’s exiting to see all the support that has been coming our way recently and projects taking shape. We have another bit of funding news to announce soon too. A little heritage project for the island.
We are extending our usual open day this year to bring you a mini festival!
Come and join us on the 19/20/21 of May on your iLAND.
Proposals are now open to come and curate an event using the application form on the iLAND page.
We have a number of applications in already so don’t delay!
This is available to members. To receive a copy please download a membership form, from the “Get involved” section of the website, and complete the intstructions on the form.
The morning of the 21st of May was not looking promising, with an endless low cloud and drizzle that seemed as if it could last all day, as a few people clustered around the Wester Ross Salmon sheds while waiting for the boat.
We had resigned ourselves to the fact that not many people were likely to visit the island today, what with the miserable weather, but soon we had a que of people as more and more cars arrived. The fishfarm even had to launch a second boat, to cope with the swelling numbers, as they ran back and forth across the water from 10am till almost 1pm. The very patient and professional boatmen just had time to have their lunch on the island before commencing an afternoon shipping everyone back off. Including those from 3 private yachts and a canoe we estimated that there were a total of around 85 visitors to the island that day. So a massive thank you to all that braved the weather and made the day such a success!
Visitors soon found their way up the stairs in the Mill House to the “pay what you can” pop up cafe, run by Nellie Wilson and Tiril Planterose, where they were greeted by an array of freshly baked cakes and the smell of brewing coffee. The windows in the cafe soon steamed up with the number of bodies packed into the room, with people resorting to standing in the hallway as those inside finished refuelling, before heading outside where it was beginning to brighten up.
Former RSPB warden Bernard Planterose led an ecology trail, giving a history of the islands bird populations and reforestation. This was followed by a foraging session with Emma Magenta, which included the recipe for the nettle soup which was served at lunch along with Ullapool Bakery rolls, and some of the ingredients of the foraged salad that was also available for lunch.
Ullapool High School pupils had set up an exhibition in the Macloed House, the artwork on display had been created by the pupils and inspired by the island. “Inspiring and thought provoking – thank you” and “beautiful” were some of the comments left by visitors to the exhibition.
As the sun came out people explored the islands houses, visited The Street (the path having been hastily cleared that morning by Robbie McFedries), got lost in the woods and wondered along to the Old School and over to the back beach. There was an afternoon rush at the cafe were Ellie and Tiril had to hide the last two pieces of cake for themselves, they had brought almost 200 portions with them!
So as the last cake crumbs were swept from the Mill House, the doors locked up again, and the last visitors rounded up we all piled into the last boat of the day and back to the mainland.
Isle Martin Trust believes that the island should be open and accessible to all, and that the community can benefit in many ways even from little visits such as this. From giving children and grown ups a safe environment to run around in to learning about foraged food. It’s great to see so many people working together as a community and this day would not have happened had it not been for all the hard work of all the volunteers, some of who have been mentioned here. We had a sign up sheet on the day for those wanting to get more involved and we are always desperately seeking more support, volunteers, funds and board members to allow us to maintain and progress our aims to open up the island more.