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NEWS. Click below for coronavirus updates.

Bringing you the latest and the best information from the entire range of sources that we currently have access to. We will update these pages as soon as any new information becomes available.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Updates

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Update from Tiree Medical Practice: COVID19

24th March 2020

Many of you may have noticed activity around Baugh Church. 
Whilst we hope we never have to use it we have set up Baugh Church as a potential ward ( not hospital) so that we can look after a number of unwell people at a time if we needed to do so.
The church now has a couple of hospital beds and is equipped with supportive treatment such as oxygen, fluids and medicines.
As you are all very well aware we have limited medical staff and we are hoping to make a list of potential volunteers who might be able to help us keep the ward going. In particular we are looking for people who may have had carer or nursing backgrounds but we are basically keen for anyone that thinks they might be able to help. Volunteers could not be in an ‘at risk’ group.
To give an update on the current situation on Tiree: we have a few families self isolating but this has not increased a huge amount over the past few days. Please let us know if you think you have symptoms and are self isolating as it will help us get an idea of levels of the virus on the island.
Thanks so much to everyone for paying attention to all the advice regarding self isolating and social distancing we really hope it will pay off so keep it up!
Also thanks to all our amazing volunteers who are helping with prescription deliveries and with shopping please contact Rona if you need assistance with this.

Doctors :

Mike,Linds,Ali and Andy

22/03/2020

CalMac state ferry travel across Scotland must be for essential travel only

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced today, Sunday 22 March 2020, that ferry travel across Scotland must be for essential travel only.

From now on ferries will be for those who live on our islands, who have an essential need to travel to or from the mainland, and for essential supplies or business.  Nothing else. The return of non-residents from islands back to the mainland will also be deemed essential travel. 

If you have already bought or booked a ticket but your travel is not essential, then you should not be travelling, and you must contact us for a refund. We expect the travelling public will listen to this new guidance to keep everyone of us as safe as possible

Glasgow-Tiree Air Service Public Service Obligation (PSO)

Tiree Community Council and Tiree Transport Forum are in dialogue with the Aviation Sector of Transport Scotland on our Glasgow to Tiree PSO through the COVID 19 health crisis which is seriously impacting on the numbers using the Glasgow flights, Michael Bratcher, Aviation Department, Transport Scotland has responded to us this week as follows;
There are no immediate plans to change the network further but things are moving quickly so that may change’

Update on Glasgow-Tiree Air Service

Michael Bratcher, Transport Scotland, Aviation Dept. 23 March 2020

As you may be aware, capacity is being scaled back on the Tiree-Glasgow service at present in light of the significantly reduced demand. This will initially involve doubling up the Campbeltown and Tiree service using the existing Twin Otters. I think there may have been a misunderstanding that the Saabs were getting brought in to increase capacity but, in fact, the opposite is the case. I’m sure you’ll agree that it makes little sense to fly empty or near empty planes so a capacity cut in the short term is inevitable. Things are moving pretty quickly so it may be the case that capacity is cut further if demand continues to remain at these very low levels. I am of course conscious of the need for connectivity to be maintained so that residents and supplies can get on and off the island where necessary.

One issue to note is that the Twin Otter aircraft may be needed by the Scottish Ambulance Service (SAS) to augment the existing air ambulance capacity. The Twin Otters can be fitted out to carry stretchers and are capable of landing at airstrips that other aircraft are not. If a Twin Otter aircraft is not available then a Saab may operate but please note that this would only be because the Twin Otter was not available and not due to any capacity requirement. It is anticipated that passenger levels will remain very low for some time to come.

Covid-19 CalMac prioritisation of goods for transport-statement

Information is from Elizabeth Ferguson, CalMac Community Board Member

As the situation around the Covid:19 outbreak develops, it is critical that essential goods are transported to where they are required.  At CalMac, we have a key part to play in this supply chain.  To assist everyone during these challenging times, a list of goods which are deemed priority has been created.  Any vehicle – be that an articulated vehicle, van, car with or without a trailer, involved in the transportation of these goods will be given priority on all routes and on all sailings.  They include: 

·         Vehicles carrying food and other goods for supermarkets and shops

·         Vehicles carrying drugs and other medical supplies

·         Vehicles carrying medical oxygen

·         Vehicles carrying items required by the emergency services, in particular medical items related to the current Covid-19 outbreak

·         Vehicles carrying fuel

·         Vehicles carrying livestock.

As you will understand, this may result in vehicles with non-urgent goods that may or may not have a booking being moved to a later sailing. In the current situation, this is unavoidable, and  we will do our best to clearly communicate the reason for any booking being moved to a later sailing.

If there are any issues or problems relating to this, please speak to the relevant Port Manager.

 END

Shop Safely on Tiree

As you know, coronavirus is circulating on Tiree. Keeping away from other people is an effective way to reduce the chance of you catching the disease and the chance of you passing it around our community.

We are really lucky to have the shops we have on Tiree. But with most meetings and gatherings cancelled, they are one of the few places left on the island where you might bump into someone else. Shopping safely has therefore become very important.

Here are some basic rules to follow:

· If you are at risk of getting a more severe illness from the virus – if you are over 70 or if you don’t keep in the best of health – consider asking someone else to shop for you (phone Rona Campbell on 01631 572975)

· Shop once week rather than every few days

· Shop on your own rather than in a group

· Stay at least 2 metres away from other shoppers from the moment you enter to the moment you leave. If the shop is crowded, wait in your car until there is more space. It is usually quiet early and late in the day

· Do not stop to chat. This goes against our very nature, but it’s important for the next few weeks!

· When you get home, wash your hands thoroughly, leave your shopping in the porch overnight and wipe down hard containers like milk bottles with hot, soapy water

The Coop on Tiree is now offering the time between 8 and 9 am that is dedicated to those over 60 and the carers of vulnerable people.

Dr John Holliday

HEALTH MATTERS

Number C.1

It has been a while since I put this series to bed, but I thought I would resuscitate it since we are officially in The Thick of It.

It is so important not to touch our faces at the moment. And so difficult! A study from New South Wales in 2015 filmed 26 medical students who had been told that they were under observation and that they should try to keep their hands under control. Despite this pressure, they touched their faces 23 times an hour on average. That is once every three minutes. Half the time this involved their eyes, nose and mouth, those little bits of us that are lined with sensitive membranes that viruses home in on.

So if you are stuck at home, wondering what family game to play, sit around the table for three minutes and try not to touch your face. Let me know how you get on!

Dr John Holliday 24/03/2020

THINK OF OUR POSTIES!

Most of us are all getting used to a new life tucked up at home, and a lot of us are spending more time in front of our screens. It is very tempting, when we can’t get out to the shops, to order stuff online. Please remember, though, that every order we make needs the attention of staff in some warehouse or other and a whole network of couriers including our own Tiree posties and delivery drivers. Every time a packet or box is handled and delivered to your door, there is a chance that it picks up the virus. We know that the virus can survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours. In the present circumstances, we depend more than ever on online shopping, but please think of all the people working in the supply chain. Don’t click unless you really need to!

Dr John Holliday, 24/03/2020

TIREE AND CORONAVIRUS

For a hundred years Tiree has welcomed visitors and won worldwide fame for its sunshine, its beaches and its welcome. The season to visit the island is upon us and we would normally expect to see over 20,000 people before the end of the year.

However, the current coronavirus epidemic is a once-in-a-century event. The virus is already circulating on the island. We know from past experience that epidemics have a particularly intense effect on our small, isolated community, which in winter numbers just 650 and contains a high number of elderly people. We need your help to get through the next few months as safely as we can.

The doctors and emergency services on Tiree are now at full stretch and working in very difficult circumstances. An increased workload from a large number of visitors is going to increase the strain.

We are trying to keep contact between people down to a bare minimum. Almost all meetings, church services and group activities have been cancelled. We are encouraging people to shop responsibly: that means a single person shopping just once a week with as little social contact inside the shop as possible. Many vulnerable and elderly islanders have retreated into their homes, and, often, would like to keep visitors to a minimum.

We would ask you to think carefully about your visit to Tiree at the moment. It is not that we are worried about you bringing coronavirus to the island. There is plenty here already. But we need to be able to work without distraction on the challenges we face: treating people and reducing the penetration of the disease into the community.

When coronavirus is all over and we are able to party again, normal service will be resumed!

We are grateful for your help and support.

Drs Mike McIver, Lindsay Kerr, Ali Ambrose and Andrew Clark, supported by Dr John Holliday and the members of Tiree Community Council

Council leader welcomes ferry funding for Argyll and Bute

The Leader of Argyll and Bute Council has welcomed an additional £954,000 from the Scottish Government for island ferry services.

Councillor Aileen Morton said: “Argyll and Bute Council delivers a number of services other councils don’t have to, for example ferry services. We have been doing a lot of work therefore to raise awareness of Argyll and Bute’s unique challenges with decision-makers. I am pleased that the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands listened to what we had to say and is providing an additional £954,000 for Argyll and Bute Council ferry services. £500,000 of this funding will be used to provide a new ferry for Lismore; the rest will support the continuation of ferry services to a number of our islands.”

The Leader and Chief Executive of Argyll and Bute Council met with Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands in January this year.

The announcement comes in advance of the Council setting next year’s budget this Thursday 27 February. Councillor Morton said: “We’re glad to see our island ferry services receive fair funding. While we will continue to discuss the potential transfer to Transport Scotland this funding removes one element of the financial pressures we face this year.”

Rural Centre Public Access Defibrillator Launched

Following the Cattle Sale held on Tuesday 25th February, Tiree Rural Development’s public access Automated external defibrillator (AED) was launched. Due to an issue with the supply of an outdoor cabinet to house the unit, which would withstand Tiree’s weather – the project launch date was delayed.

Archie John MacLean (TRD Director) made a speech after the sale to provide information regarding this project. Funds were raised, through various donations and a grant provided by the British Heart Foundation.

Thanks were given to the project donors – United Auctions, I A MacKinnon Haulage, Hamilton Brothers, NFU Mutual Oban (Warnock, MacDougall, Husthwaite & MacLean), AJ MacLean, Coll & Tiree Vets, AA MacIntosh, John Kennedy Transport, T Barbour, Alan & Janette Reid, Kerr Family, Heanish, Tarff Valley Ltd, SAC Consulting and an anonymous donor.

Without the very generous donations received this project would not have been possible. A fantastic sum of £2,700 was received from the sponsors – this allowed TRD to purchase the AED and an outdoor cabinet. A balance remains in this fund, and this will be ring-fenced within TRD’s accounts which will be used towards the cost of maintaining the AED (replacement batteries/pads) over its lifetime and will help towards the cost of replacing the unit at the end of the 10 year lifetime.

AEDs are compact, easy to use, safe and very effective. They can be used by anyone, whether or not they have had formal training. An AED gives the person using it voice instructions. An AED will not allow a shock to be given unless the collapsed person needs one. The AED is housed in an unlocked cabinet, that can be accessed 24/7.

RSPB Information

January was very wet and windy, thanks to a succession of Atlantic storms, although it remained unusually mild.

The rare birds from December remained as they were, including the Todd’s Canada Goose in with the Barnacle Geese at Kirkapol/Vaul and the pair of Ring-necked Ducks, which commuted between Loch Bhasapol and Loch a’ Phuill.

The Atlantic storms brought in a few “white-winged” gulls from the Arctic including a young Iceland Gull at Loch a’ Phuill (19th) and an adult Glaucous Gull at Loch a’ Phuill (4th) followed by juvenile birds at Gott Bay (14th) and Loch a’ Phuill (19th).

Other good birds included 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese at Heylipol (17th-22nd), a Black-throated Diver off Traigh Bhi (24th), Short-eared Owls at Ruaig (20th) and Balinoe (20th), 9 Common Scoters including a flock of 7 in Gott Bay (22nd-28th), a Jack Snipe at Balephuil (27th) and a Snow Bunting at Gott Bay (30th).

The Big Garden Birdwatch weekend on 25th-26th January found moderate numbers of birds visiting garden feeders in the mild conditions, including a few Greenfinches and odd Dunnock. The January goose count (22nd-23rd) found a total of 5,612 Barnacle Geese, as well as 741 Greenland White-fronts and 2,243 Greylags, plus 143 Whooper Swans on the lochs, 20 Pinkfooted Geese, 2,290 Golden Plover and 2,500 Lapwing.

A dead Common Dolphin came ashore at Gott Bay (14th) but mostly the bays were alive with mixed feeding flocks of waders. Many garden plants began flowering much earlier than normal in the mild conditions, including banks of primroses in sheltered spots.

John Bowler

Tiree community enterprise boosts island’s fishing industry

The timely delivery of a major project by a community enterprise on the island of Tiree in Argyll has provided a longterm boost to the island’s fishing industry.

Tiree Community Maritime Assets Ltd has completed the much-needed refurbishment of Milton Harbour and the creation of covered landing and sorting facilities. The project cost £1,164,955 in total, including just under £350,000 from Highlands and Island Enterprise (HIE). It has improved the harbour by raising the height of the quays, extending the pier and providing a new quayside facility.

Tiree’s five shellfish boats can now tie up and unload safely, and sort their catch efficiently in the new shed, resulting in increased capacity and improved catch quality.

Local fisherman Neil MacPhail said: “Since we have moved back into Milton the pier improvements have proved to be everything we had hoped for and more. Loading the catch is taking half the time with so much less manual input and more space. “The buyer is extremely happy with packaging and grading under cover in the shed and the resulting catch quality. “For the first winter in 25 years I am looking forward to sleeping peacefully when there are southerly gales and spring tides.”

Morag Goodfellow, HIE’s area manager for Argyll and the Islands, said: “We were keen to support this project as improved pier facilities mean a secure future for the Tiree fleet. This is a huge benefit allowing safe berthing in all weathers and increased capacity and quality of the catch. “In practical terms, this investment means up to 20 good jobs are secured on the island, with all fishermen and most of their crews local to Tiree. This contributes to the local economy and community resilience, including supporting the schools on Tiree and Islay. “We congratulate the Tiree Community Maritime Assets Ltd on completing this project, which will benefit the fishing industry in Tiree for years to come.”

Tiree Ranger Update

Hi folks, Well that’s January out the way and it’s certainly becoming more noticeably light in the mornings.

The island took a bit of a battering from Storm Brendan with erosion obvious on most of the beaches. We lost about a foot and a half of sand at Ruaig and the materials from the old camp have become visible on Crossapol. The storm brought in a huge amount of litter as well. This was really noticeable along Gott Bay as it had been thrown onto the roadside rather than being caught up in the dunes. Three days and three van loads later the majority of it has been cleared up by myself. This has lead us here in the office to start to think about resurrecting The Big Tiree Tidy.

I know this went down well on the island two years ago and it would be great to get the community together again to spruce everything up and it gives us the opportunity to remove some of the bigger items that others haven’t been able to move previously. I’m thinking along the lines of having it towards the end of April and working on a team basis again. If you think you or your family would be up for the challenge please drop me a line on ranger@tireetrust.org.uk so I can gauge interest.

I’ve also got a few access tasks to complete like fixing some stiles and some ongoing repairs to a few of the car parks. If folk would be interested in volunteering and getting out for a few hours then please give me a shout. There will be cake!

The Weekend Wander walks have been going well with the next one on Sunday the 16th to avoid the cattle sale the day before. Meeting at The Lodge hotel at 11am. If these continue to go well I will look at running them on a weekly basis when the weather gets better. The Weekend Wanders are run as health walks with the idea that none of them will be too strenuous and it gives us all the chance to get out and about and to have a chat with folk. It’s certainly giving me as a newbie a chance to meet and learn. Again there is also the opportunity of eating cake. Can you see a theme here? I’ll also be adding a wee twist to them once an important delivery arrives so do come along.

Just to finish on a sad note, I lifted a young dog otter off the road at Balephetrish. I know otters aren’t universally popular here on Tiree for various reasons. (It was foxes and mink that caused issues in my old village). I’m trying to gauge what size of population we have on the island so if you see any, alive or dead or signs of them please let me know. Til next time.

Hayley Douglas

Land Below The Waves Meets Scottish Parliament

The Tiree community has been given a once-in-a generation opportunity to meet Scottish politicians at an event in March.

The organisers hope the event will celebrate the island, kick-starting a stronger relationship between Tiree and policymakers. And everyone’s invited!

The idea was the brainchild of Ian Gillies after a 2018 visit to the island from Leslie Evans, Scotland’s top civil servant. Receptions like this are a regular feature at the Holyrood home of the Scottish Parliament.

The idea is to take all the energy, all the good ideas spilling out of Tiree, and take them into the heart of government to showcase the island as it stands today. Side-by side with a celebration of all things Tiree will be a series of face-to-face talks with ministers, MSPs and top civil servants about the problems we are facing: our need for skilled jobs and affordable housing, the increasingly urgent problem of how to replace Tilley, even the threats to our land from a changing climate. Plenty to talk about!

The reception, hosted by our MSP Michael Russell, takes place from 6 to 8 pm on Wednesday 18 March in the Garden Lobby of the Scottish Parliament. The evening will feature music by the prize-winning Còisir Bun-Sgoil Thiriodh, some tunes from Tiree musicians, a refreshment from Tyree Gin, and three new short films made by Jack Lockhart.

Funding for the evening has come from the Tiree Trust, whose directors see this as a chance for Tiree to make a real impression where it matters, as well as the Tiree Association. Invitations will be going out this week to many active members of the Tiree community, on the island and beyond. But there is an open invitation for anyone with a connection to Tiree to come along. Numbers are limited to around 180, so please let us know if you would like to come by replying to admin@tireecommunitycouncil.c o.uk or by dropping a note to Tiree Community Council at the Crossapol Business Centre.

An extra flight to Glasgow has been set up to cope with the numbers travelling. Since we are not sure whether the linkspan will be operational by then, a special bus service from Oban has also been arranged to take islanders to parliament for the day.

Do join us in this celebration of an island!

Tiree Community Council

Talented filmmakers from Argyll made it into shortlist for FilmG competition

A fantastic array of films by talented filmmakers, schools and community groups from across Argyll have made it into the shortlists for this year’s Gaelic short film competition – FilmG.

Judges had a tough job whittling down the impressive field of a record 103 entries, who were all competing for the top prizes. Christine Morrison, a documentary producer with 25 years of experience was on this year’s Youth judging panel. She said: “It was a pleasure to watch the many original, inventive films made by talented young filmmakers as a member of the FilmG 12 – 17 youth category judging panel. Competition was tough as film-makers tackled a wide range of subject matter with verve and style.”

The shortlists showcase a wide variety of film styles, from time travelling comedy and classic who-dunnits to bicycle travelogues, historical documentaries and commentary on social media and the Gaelic language itself.

This year’s theme for entries was “Treòraich”, meaning ‘guide, or lead’, and was interpreted by the filmmakers in a variety of clever, funny, serious and inspiring ways. In the hotly-contested Youth category, which received a record 75 entries this year, Ardnamurchan High School in Acharacle received four separate nominations for their two highly entertaining films. ‘Reòite’, which involves time travelling using a whisk, has been nominated in both the Best Film and FilmG International Representative categories, while pupil Parker Dawes has received a Best Performance nomination. ‘An Cuach, Na h-Iuchraichean agus an Dròn’, which was produced by the Gaelic learners class, and also involves a bit of time travelling, this time with a quaich, has been nominated for the FilmG Award for Gaelic Learners.

Tobermory High School also picked up two nominations for their football film, ‘Alasdair Dionghmhalta’. Alongside a nomination in the FilmG Award for Learners category, pupil Cailean MacLean has also been nominated for Best Performance.

Ìle Bheò, a drama group formed of Gaelic learners from Islay High School, have also been nominated in the FilmG Award for Gaelic Learners category for their film ‘Bodach na Mòine’, where a young blogger uncovers another side to the booming tourist industry on the island.

Talented individual filmmakers have also been recognised in the Youth category. Annie Sìne NicNìll from Fort William has been nominated in the Most Creative Production and Best Young Filmmaker categories for her powerful animation, ‘Tarraing’, about a young boy going off to war, while Thomas Young of Dunoon, received a Best Documentary nomination for his film ‘Eachdraidh Dhòmhnaill MhicLeòid’, a film about the world famous piper Donald MacLeod, MBE.

In the Open category, eight filmmakers picked up at least two nominations each. Tiree’s Eoghan MacIllEathain has been nominated in both the Film Dùthchais as Fheàrr and Best Industry Director categories for his film Tìr an Eòrna, which looks at Tiree’s whisky making past, and how the industry is seeing a revival on the island.

Shannon NicIllEathainn of Tobermory has also received two nominations for her film, Seònaid, a documentary about the wonderful Janet MacDonald, who has done so much for Gaelic on Mull. Shannon has been nominated in the Film Dùthchais as Fheàrr category, and also for Best Film.

Oban’s Coinneach Lindsay has been nominated in the Best Script category for his film script, ‘Na Cnàmhan’.

FilmG Project Officer, Ross Christie, said: “It’s encouraging to see entrants from every part of the Gaelic community – from primary and secondary schools, to students, professionals in the industry and amateur filmmakers of all ages. It’s clear that every one of them has a story they want to tell, and FilmG provides the perfect medium for this, and brings the work of Gaelic creatives to the fore.”

Murdo MacSween, Communications Manager for MG ALBA, said: “FilmG is an integral part of the Gaelic media environment, sparking creativity and developing talent to the extent where the next step could be employment and a career working in the sector. The quality of the films has been outstanding this year and it will be an exciting awards ceremony.”

All the shortlists are available to view on the FilmG website, and voting for the People’s Choice Award is still open until the 31st of January. All the winners will be announced at the annual FilmG Awards Ceremony, to be held in the iconic Old Fruitmarket in Glasgow on 14th February.

FilmG is the Gaelic short film competition, funded by MG ALBA and delivered by Cànan Graphics Studio on the Isle of Skye. For more information visit, www.filmg.co.uk

Appeal To Islanders To Save Air Service

Argyll and Bute Council is appealing to residents on Coll to save the island’s air service by filling airport-safety jobs.

The council advertised four posts each on Coll and Colonsay. These roles will enable flights to land and leave from the islands by ensuring that their airports meet CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) regulations. The council received a good level of response from Colonsay. More roles however need to be filled on Coll if the island’s air service is to continue.

Councillor Robin Currie, Policy Lead for Islands said: “As a council we are doing all we can to make an air service from Coll possible. Despite financial challenges, we have put funding in place to run a service. “We can’t make this happen on our own though and so are appealing for the help of islanders in delivering a service that works for them. “We will make training available, so that local people have the chance to develop additional skills and the expertise that is needed by the island is kept on the island. “We are asking islanders to get involved in a service delivered by the local community for the local community.”

Coll has had an air service for 12 years. The council currently operates flights between Coll and Tiree and Oban. The island is also served by a ferry service to and from the mainland. The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) previously provided fire safety cover through a Memorandum of Understanding set up by what was at the time, Strathclyde Fire & Rescue. This enabled SFRS Volunteer Firefighters to undertake the additional role of Airport Firefighters. Following a review of this arrangement, Argyll and Bute Council and the SFRS agreed that community safety and resilience would be improved with dedicated Airport Firefighter roles. The council has therefore created and funded posts that bring together fire safety and grounds operation duties, to make it possible for the airport service to continue.

All applicants to the new posts will have training provided, which is funded by the Council. Paul Devlin, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Local Senior Officer for Argyll and Bute, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire, said: “We have worked in close partnership with the local authority to identify and achieve the best outcomes for community safety. There is no doubt that the creation of an airport fire service further to a dedicated SFRS crew will enhance safety on Coll and Colonsay and is therefore good news for the community.”

Details of the roles can be found on www.myjobscotland.gov.uk. Applications are requested by 4 February 2020.

Tiree Ranger Update

Well folks, I’ve been here for a month now and I have had the chance to meet many of you out and about or at events. So much so I’m at the stage that I’m remembering faces but not from where so please give me a helping hand if I’m looking a bit puzzled.

I’ve spent my time at work getting to grips with some of the Ranger duties as well as exploring the island. I’ve been up to the school to meet the teachers and see what topics I can help with and had a lovely lunch with the Cùram lunch club ladies. I even took them Minnie the Mink to meet (a stuffed one not a real one) and she almost got rehomed (read pinched) by one of them.

One of my favourite activities is tracking so I spent a day looking for Otters and found one female with two cubs which we watched for 15 minutes and another family who I suspect are living under the decking of one of the holiday homes. I’ve started work on an events programme for next year with the first couple happening during the Christmas holidays so why not join me for a Mince Pie Beach Buster or Hangover Cure Walk (cannot guarantee it will clear your hangover but it will make you feel better). Look out for the posters and hope to see some of you there.

With all this wintery weather there has been a lot of seal reports coming in to the BDLMR team on the Island. The pups have been turning up in strange places. I found one sleeping on the grass verge near Baugh Church. I thought it had been hit by a car and it wasn’t happy when I prodded it and it woke up. It quickly headed back into the sea and hasn’t been caught napping since. Remember if you are concerned about one please call 01825765546.

On the theme of wildlife rescue some of you will have heard of the flying hedgehog. At this time of year Hedgehogs should be hibernating and if any are seen it can be a sign that there is a problem. I found one on the road and I knew straight away it was too wee to try and hibernate. It fitted in my hand and only weighed 290g. To survive they should be more like a football and weigh over 500g. I used to work for a wildlife hospital in North Ayrshire so took it home for a feed. It was a wee bit shoogly so I thought it would be best to get it to Hessilhead rather than overwinter it myself. The next day I packaged it up in a box and with the help of the folk at the airport and a willing passenger the wee hog, who has been named Annag, made a short trip to Glasgow where she is now in the care of Hessilhead and is putting weight on. In the Spring she will be released on the mainland as I didn’t book her a return flight.

That’s all for now except for me to say have a great Christmas and New year folks!

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