always something new to discover.
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Community Beach Clean - April 2013


Harris Beach Clean (c) Nic GoddardOn Saturday 20th April, the Rum Community got together for a beach clean over at Harris. This is the first year that we have tackled this beach as we usually conduct our clean up at Kilmory and we knew we had set ourselves a challenge. However, with our thoughts tuned into the task and the lure of a lunchtime barbeque we set to it.

Despite it being a blustery day, everyone quickly piled up huge mounds of plastic rubbish.  Unfortunately, no treasures were found, just more and more plastic bottles and rope, broken fish boxes and oddly enough, many toothbrushes.

With black bags and bulk bags overflowing, the task began of getting everything up to the trailer waiting at Harris Lodge and our thoughts turned to a grand lunch of sausages, venison burgers and freshly caught fish. Yum-oh.

In the end we collected 10 bulk bags of rubbish in a few hours from just one small section of Harris beach.  There is a lot more to go, but we can at least enjoy one rubbish free area - until the next storm.

A really big thank you to everyone who participated, the Council for contributing bags and gloves and SNH for providing the barbeques.


Photo Competition Winners - April 2013


Well done to all of our photo competition winners and many thanks to our judge John Aitchison, who said “there are some really lovely pictures which truly reflect the many Bringing home the stag (c) Jurgen Bornhauptmoods of Rum, and congratulations to all the photographers - especially the winners.”  The best 4 pictures from each category including our overall winner will be featured in our Isle of Rum calendar for 2014, with proceeds being ploughed back in to good causes in our community.

We love to see Rum through the eyes (or lens!) of others, and to know that so many people share our enthusiasm for this wonderful island.  The quality of the entries was excellent, with a good mix of striking landscapes and wildlife.  Our very photogenic ponies featured in many of the pictures!  Here are the results:


Overall winner

Bringing Home the Stag Jurgen Bornhaupt  
(Wildlife, Flora & Fauna category)

Natural LandscapesBlack Cuillin from Rum (c) D&E BairdLoch Papadil (c) Sarah MoffatAncient Volcanoes (c) Sarah MoffatMountains (c) Phil Lyon

1st: Sarah Moffat, Ancient Volcanoes
2nd Phil Lyon, Mountains
3rd: Loch Papadil, Sarah Moffat
4th: David & Evelyn Baird, Black Cuillin in Skye

Historic Landscapes

1st: Graham Bullough, Mausoleum & RainbowRum Ponies and Castle (c) Vanessa BlowerFlower and Castle (c) J&A WhalleyMausoleum (c) Gaie BrownMausoleum and rainbow (c) Graham Bullough
2nd: Gaie Brown, Mausoleum 
3rd: John & Alison Whalley, Flower & Castle
4th: Vanessa Blower: Ponies in front of castle 

Wildlife, Flora & Fauna

1st: Vanessa Blower, Pony Eye
2nd: Gerald Lincoln, George McNaughton’s Favourite Pony 
3rd: Gerald Lincoln, Nature’s Rock GardenGeorge McNaughton's favourite pony 1968 (c) Gerald LincolnRock Garden (c) Gerald LincolnRum Pony Eye (c) Vanessa Blower




Many thanks to all who took part, and we’re sorry that not all of you could win a prize.


Rum Community Celebrates Lottery Win! - April 2013


This month we are in celebration mode, having received confirmation of funding from Big Lottery Fund to realise our vision of building a community-owned bunkhouse on the BIG Lottery Fund Logoisland.

The funding package comes to just under £700,000 and includes revenue funding for a Project Manager, training, staffing and set-up costs, as well as capital building costs.  We have been looking at ways to provide more visitor accommodation since Scottish Natural Heritage announced the closure of Kinloch Castle Hostel, which is being replaced with temporary accommodation units beside the castle this year (though you’ll still be able to take a tour of the museum). 

The bunkhouse will be able to sleep 20 people, and will be built near the campsite, on the site of Ferry Cottage which burned down in 2004.    A number of small businesses operate on the island, including Rum Shop, a B&B, craft shop, bike hire, and a summer tearoom in the village hall; all support this new development.

This is a really exciting project for us; it will enable us to secure jobs, provide continued accommodation for visitors, and will ensure that more tourism revenue remains within the community, supporting future development projects. 

Our Development Officer, Vikki Trelfer, is especially pleased!


Charity Bake Sale - April 2013


Charity Bake Sale (c) Cara KilpatrickOn the afternoon of Saturday 6th April, Cara Kilpatrick took over part of the Village Hall for a Charity Bake Sale.  Her chosen charities were Red Wings Horse Sanctuary and the British Heart  Foundation.  Business was brisk and by 4pm very few cakes remained.  

After a quick tot up, Cara raised £100 in sales and donations, which she split between both of her charities.

Cara would like to thank everyone for coming along and lending their support.  She also hopes that no-one loses any teeth after all that sugar!

Well done Cara.


Shearwater Colony guided walk 13th April 2013


Manx Shearwater (c) Mike WerndlyIf you wish to learn more about the amazing ecology and behaviour of this nocturnal species and the current research that’s being carried out on Rum, then you’re welcome to IRCT Ranger LogoIRCT Logojoin island staff from SNH and the local community from 1900 for a short lecture followed directly by a guided night time walk up to our nearest mountain colony on Hallival.

Shearwaters return to their high top burrows to breed, and here you will sense the awakening of the shearwater city as the rushing wingbeats of the first arrivals are heard in the darkness. Soon the air is filled with birds, many calling eerily. The cacophony crescendos as birds call on the wing and from the ground, some on the surface, others from within burrows. This will certainly leave you with a lasting impression!

Please note: This guided walk is hard, as terrain is uneven and difficult in places, but not impossible. And it will be dark of course! If you’re SNH Logoaccustomed to mountain walking, then this walk should not pose any significant problems.
Participants of the night-time guided walk up to Hallival (c.600-675m) are asked to be at the Castle Lab by 1900 for an introductory lecture about the species and briefing. We will aim to leave at 2000.The outward walk up will take between 1 –2 hours. We aim to be back down in Kinloch at approximately 0200-0230. As you’ll be out in mountainous terrain for many hours in the dark, it is imperative that you bring a reliable head torch (and spare batteries), appropriate footwear and warm/waterproof clothing (a chocolate bar and a flask is a good bet too!).
Places for guided walk are limited so booking is absolutely essential. Please email Mike Werndly  for further information or to book a place on Free event. Please meet at the Castle Lab at 1900 (with all necessary personal equipment required for walk)


It's all happening! - April 2013


Spring has well and truly sprung here on Rum. Back to the Summer ferry timetable with an additional Sunday boat, the Teashop open again for the season, the brand new Bluebell Cafe also open, Rum Crafts stocked full of crafts, gifts and treats and the Ranger launching his programme of events with an Otter Walk and Introduction to Rum talk all happening this last week. Rum is open for business! We're still enjoying the glorious sunshine, if rather colder than usual for April temperture and none of the late snow that the mainland has suffered.

Our events programme for the year is filling up fast with visiting bands, the Screen Machine mobile cinema, local food festival, a spoof Zombie invasion lecture (always a very real concern when you live on a remote island!!), photography course and of course our usual very full list of Ranger led wildlife walks, talks and events. We've stared holding occassional bar nights in the Village Hall

Our resident numbers have swelled yet more with Kate and Ian back for the summer, new crofters Gav and Laura arriving and the new Visitor Services Manager due to arrive later this month at Kinloch Castle.

Rum Ranger New Contact Details - March 2013


Isle of Rum Community Ranger Mike now has a new e-mail address:

If you have tried to contact him to book any events or for any queries from the start of March, please could you write to him at this new e-mail address as he will not have received your mail.

He apologises for any inconvenience caused and looks forward to hearing from you.

You can see Ranger Mike's Events Programme for the 2013 Year of Natural Scotland HERE


WestWheels Car Club Vacancy - March 2013


WestWheels Car Club is recruiting for a new Local Coordinator post to support the car club in the Mallaig, Arisaig, Knoydart & Small Isles area. 

WestWheels Car Club owns two cars parked in Mallaig, and one in Arisaig.  These cars are used by members based across the area.  Members book the cars online, pick up keys from an unmanned secure key safe and complete a ‘trip sheet’ to show the time they’ve used the car for and the miles they’ve done.  This information is then converted into a monthly invoice, sent out to members by car club administration.

Job description

In the main, the car club operates on a self-service basis by members, but there is a need for someone to check and maintain the cars on a regular basis.  The Local Coordinator’s main responsibilities will be to check the cars, perform basic car maintenance, report use and any problems to the car club administration, be the main telephone contact for member in the event of a problem and to show new members where the cars are parked and how to access them.  The Coordinator will also need to arrange for repairs/ servicing/ MOTs etc as required.

On submission of a monthly timesheet, the post holder will be paid a guaranteed retainer for 20 hours per month at £8.50 per hour (PAYE).  In a busier month, any hours worked over the core 20 hours will be paid at the same rate.  

Initially the post will be for a period up until the 1st June.  Thereafter, subject to funding, the post may be extended to the end of March 2014.

Based in Mallaig or Arisaig, the Car Club Coordinator will:

As necessary:

Check and clean and the three WestWheels cars after use by car club members

Be the first point of contact for car club members on a mobile phone supplied by WestWheels car club and assist or direct callers as appropriate.

Brief new members – showing them the cars, where they’re kept, operation, location of keys, PIN number, and general car club information and rules

Once a month:

Collect ‘trip sheets’, send them to the car club administration and put a new trip sheet into each car

Check tyre pressure, screen wash, water, oil of each car at least once a month

There will also be additional opportunities to be involved in the marketing of West Wheels and how the car club develops in the future.   This will be on an as and when basis and subject to the post holder’s interest and availability and is not a requirement of taking on the post.

Person Specification

Reporting to a volunteer director of West Wheels Car Club, the post holder will have the following skills and attributes:


Live within easy access of Mallaig or Arisaig
Have a full, driving licence
Live or work in an area with reliable mobile phone access
Be flexible
Be confident working with members of the public
Have an understanding of the need for car maintenance
Entitled to work in the UK


Interest in learning about car clubs and transport
Be computer literate

Applications & Interview

For more information and an application form, please email or telephone 01687 482 480

Please return application forms to or by post to Sue Hollands, 13 Cleadale, Isle of Eigg, PH42 4RL by Wednesday 20th March.

Interviews will be held in Mallaig on afternoon / evening of Sunday 24th March. 


Conservation Volunteers wanted - March 2013


Rhododendron ponticum (c) Mike WerndlyConservation volunteers wanted on the beautiful Isle of Rum:

Friday 19th - Monday 22nd April 2013

The Isle of Rum Community Trust Ranger Service is looking for 6 volunteers to assist with Rhododendron clearance (using the Lever and Mulch technique).

We would prefer applicants to have some experience in this field already i.e., students and trainee land managers who would like more to add to their CV.However, other applications will be considered. You will need to be physically fit, have a good sense of humour and an interest in the environment.

Successful applicants will be provided with accommodation for the duration of their stay (in our new cabins) and ferry tickets to and from the island (you will have to make your own way to Mallaig our nearest port), and everyone will be rostered on for cooking  duties (1 in 3 not bad).

The evenings will be free, so plenty of time to explore. The island has red-throated divers, golden eagles, otters and many other interesting species.

If this is for you please send a CV and short covering letter/e-mail to Mike Werndly or IRCT Office Kinloch Castle, Isle of Rum, Inverness-shire PH43 4RR by April 5th 2013.Successful applicants w ill hear back a few days later.



Burns Night - January 2013


Burns Supper (c) Ali MorrisA fabulous Rum Burns Supper for 2013 was held on Friday 25th January. Splendid food, poetic contributions from various members of the community, plenty of drams and dancing and a great time had by all. We found plenty to toast to and celebrate, a very English Selkirk Grace was given by Ady, the addressing of the haggis came from Dave in his full tartan kilted glory and we had toasts to the lassies and laddies from James and Abby.

Fliss and Sylvia toasting absent friends and life and we had poems from Rhys reading Burns and other islanders reading their own work or that of islanders past and present. Auld Lang Syne was accompanied by a visiting pianist who joined us for the evening.

Thanks for the splendid food, company and to all those who made it happen and came along to join in.



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