always something new to discover.
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Isle of Rum Christmas Fayre - December 2012


winning mince pie, Izzy (c) Nic Goddard

We welcomed December in classic Rum fashion with our Christmas Fayre on Saturday December 1st. The aroma of mulled wine, mince pies, cinnamon and cloves filled the crisp winter air as we had our first falling of snow in the village (we had a dusting on the peaks a few weeks ago). Inside the community hall was an array of Rum-made goodies - decorations, gifts, festive foodie treats, Christmas cards, crochet, knitted and felted delights. handmade chocolates and fudge, cosmetics, hats, scarfs and more. Christmas tunes rocked the hall and competition was stiff for the coveted title of Best Mince Pie.

Christmas Fayre (C) Nic Goddard

Independent judge Doug cogitated and contemplated long and hard taking into consideration appearance, texture, taste and  

traditional mince pie standards while judging the array of entries before him. We had classic mince pies dredged with icing sugar and adorned with holly, a maverick mincemeat muffin entry, mincemeat pasties and an enormous specimen clearly entered hoping the same judging criteria as the pumpkin competition would be played out with bigger being better! Doug's comments included: "quite nice", "hard, oatmeally pastry", "lovely buttery taste". "harder than I thought", "it's not a pie!" and "oh my goodness, thats enough!" before proclaiming Izzy the winner. Izzy said "I'd like to thank my pastry chef trainer, except I never had one!" before returning to work in the castle kitchen clutching her goodie bag of Christmas Fayre produce prize.



Castle Hostel winter closure dates - November 2012


Kinloch Castle Closed Over Winter

Kinloch Castle, including the Hostel, will be closed from 1st November 2012 to 1st April 2013.
Pre-booked guided tours of the castle’s Principle Wing will be available during this period, subject to the availability of staff. Tours must be booked at least 48 hours in advance. A minimum charge of £35.00 applies to bookings comprising less than 5 visitors.
For information about hostel accommodation and castle tours telephone 01687 462037, or have a look at the Castle Tours page here

Prizewinning pumpkin - October 2012


prizewinning pumpkin (C) Nic Goddard


The proud winner of the 2012 pumpkin growing competition is Fliss Fraser.  What the prizewinning specimen lacked in traditional pumpkin shape and bright orange colour it more than made up for in height, girth and weight.

Fliss, who has been nurturing her super squash for months said "As one of the island's Growing Gurus I am very proud to have achieved such success with my pumpkin this year. I am looking forward to carving it and making soup, pie and more soup!" Fliss declined to share the secret of her success but denied the use of any black magic or chemical assistance in growing her ginormous gourd.

Runner-up in the growing contest, Ali Morris, also a Growing Guru for the island was happy to have spread her green fingered genius across several specimens and brought a selection of carved and complete pumpkins to display.

Shopkeeper and judge of the contest Jinty Crocket said of the prizewinning pumpkin; "it's off the scale, man!" referring to the lack of scales on the island big enough to weigh it.

First prize was a cosy pair of socks, much needed in the light of the first snow of the season falling today here on Rum.

Elsewhere on the island Halloween was celebrated by the children with a party at the school, pumpkin carving and trick or treating around the village. A spooktastic time was had by all!

Rum Deer Diary on Autumnwatch - October 2012


Percy (c) Sean MorrisCaesar (c) Ali MorrisThis year, the BBC Autumnwatch film crew have returned to Kilmory to follow the highs and lows of the red deer rut.  Two cameramen faced the elements to work alongside the deer researchers from Edinburgh and Cambridge Universites in collecting this year's stories.

Autumnwtch first broadcast from Rum in 2006, introducing this special time of year safely into people's homes.  They returned to record a Deer Diary in 2007 and in 2009 alongside the film crew, live webcams were used to follow the action.


Autumnwatch will start it's four night run on October 30th and will be shown on at 2000hrs on BBC2.

More information on the Rum Red Deer Project can be found here.
Have a look at theBBC Autumnwatch website here.


Blasda - September 2012


On Saturday 15th September we celebrated Rum Blasda - our participation in a Scotland-wide celebration of local food. We had a full and delicious day living up to the name Blasda - which is gaelic for tasty. sweet and appetising.
Blasda table (c) Nic Goddard

All day in the community hall we had a table laden with produce from the island - it included foraged mushrooms, home grown salad, potatoes and veggies, freshly laid duck and chicken eggs from Croft 3, a huge selection of jams, jellies, syrups, pickles and preserves all made with Rum ingredients, home brewed drinks and more.





Vikki's garden (c) Nic Goddard

During the afternoon four Rum residents held Open Gardens where we got to have a good look round their growing spaces, ask questions and learn from each other. Vikki showed us round her small but highly productive garden, Jinty talked to us about her micro-holding - a back garden crammed with beekeeping, chicken rearing (including 12 adorable new chicks), a selection of raised beds and home built polytunnels - a real 'permaculture in action' example. Ali shared her extended garden space with us - fruit trees, raised beds, polytunnel, wild areas, fruit bushes, herb garden, cold frame and more. Nic, Ady, Davies & Scarlett showed us round Croft 3 which is still very much a work in progress just a few months in but already has plenty of livestock including ducks, geese, chickens and a lovely breeding pair of kune-kune cross Old Spot pigs. We got to see their plans for the croft next year and walked a little of their croft land seeing where things are destined to be started in the spring.






pot luck supper (c) Nic GoddardWe followed this with a fabulous Pot Luck supper in the community hall - attended by 18 people we dined in style on fantastic Rum fayre. A choice of three soups (all using home grown veggies from the island) acccomanied by home baked bread, followed by a choice of four main dishes - Rum venison stuffed marrow, veggie quiche, vegetable curry and marinated mackrel. All grown, caught, hunted, fished, laid and made on island. We enjoyed home grown salad along with home made mayonnaise and a selection of chutneys, pickles and other tasty morsels to go along with our meal. Dessert was a triple layer sponge cake, 'Brumble' (foraged bramble crumble) and Snhapple tart (apples from the SNH garden) served with home made custard using free range eggs from Croft 3.

Bellies full, plates clean and palates truly treated Blasda was declared indeed  tasty, sweet and appetising! Many remarked on just how self sufficient the island is in our food production with all of the open garden participants sharing bigger and better plans for seasons to come. We are also lucky to have such great bakers, cooks, picklers and preservers here in our community able to turn our fantastic raw ingredients into such a delicious feast.









Plans for Slipway Refurbishment - September 2012


The Highland Council Logo



Marine Construction: Slipway Refurbishment


Notice is hereby given that The Highland council has applied to the Scottish Ministers of the Scottish Government, under Part 4 of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010, in respect of slipway refurbishment at:









Loch Scresort

57° 00.633’N

57° 00.629’N

57° 00.594’N

57° 00.598’N

06° 16.261’W

06° 16.249’W

06° 16.286’W

06° 16.299’W






Plans showing the position of the works may be inspected at the Shop

Objections relating to safety of navigation or environmental issues in respect of the application should be made in writing to:


Licensing Operations Team, Marine Scotland, Marine Laboratory, 375 Victoria Road, Aberdeen, AB11 9DB within 28 days of the date of this notice or by email:, quoting reference:


Highland Council Harbours

Harbours HQ

Lochinver Harbour


IV27 4LE

01571 844800

The plans can also be seen by following these links:
Location Plan and Extent of Works
Proposed Works Sheet 1
Proposed Works Sheet 2


Lights off for Manx Shearwaters on Rum - September 2012


Manx Shearwater chick (c) Sean MorrisManx Shearwater chick (c) Sean MorrisSeptember is the month when the majority of Manx shearwater chicks fledge (leave the nest) from the huge colony in the mountains of Rum.  This year looks like being a very good year as many of the burrows in the study areas are occupied by heavy very healthy chicks.  
Unfortunately every year a number of young birds are disorientated by outside lights left on in Kinloch and surrounding villages, particularly Mallaig.  These birds often crash land close to the light source and many are then killed by gulls, crows, cats or dogs.  Local people can help the birds by turning off any unnecessary outside lights and drawing curtains to reduce the amount of light escaping through windows.
Any birds that are found on the ground in Kinloch can be handed to Mike the ranger or to Sean (if you find the bird late at night it can be kept in a cardboard box overnight) who will ring them and release them safely away from predators.

Birds that are found in Mallaig can be handed to Martin Carty at the Moorings (tel 01687 462225).  Martin will be out throughout September searching for crashed birds all over Mallaig.  He sometimes rescues 200 birds in a season that would otherwise be killed by gulls and other predators in Mallaig.

Amazingly it will only take these young birds a couple of weeks to reach their wintering grounds off the coast of South America.


Ranger Spring and Summer Review - August 2012


It has been a busy summer of sightings and we are thrilled to have seen some basking sharks this season.  IRCT Ranger Mike Werndly gives a quick round up of Spring and Summer 2012.

A good late spring record of a long-eared owl at the Harris tree plot on May 22nd was a welcome change for some.  Two adult Orca were seen off Muck on the 25th June and five were seen again on July 4th.  Four bottle-nosed dolphins were also spotted off Eigg that same day.  Basking sharks have been a wee bit more numerous this season, but still only a handful of records for Rum, including singles in Loch Scresort on 13th and 14th July, and a whopping five seen in the waters off Kilmory on July 21st.

Our White-tailed (Sea) Eagles failed this breeding season, and two pairs of Golden Eagles bred, but only one was successful, fledging one chick.  Other breeding successes include one pair of Greenshank, Short-Eared Owl, Hen Harrier, Merlin, and at least ten pairs of Red-Throated Divers.  Arctic terns did well too, with over ten pairs nesting at Kilmory. 

Other notables include a possible breeding Spotted Flycatcher which was seen on numerous occasions around the Village during May, June and July.   Maybe it was tempted by our warmer, drier summer conditions and the subsequent abundance of insects.

Autumn migration is now underway with a flock of 50+ Twite at Harris on the 5th August and two juvenile Dotterel on Barkeval on the 18th August.

After a lovely warm and dry spring and early summer, Rum had a reprieve from the voracious Midge through most of July.  Rain later in the month, and a wetter August have meant they are now back with a vengeance.  However, we will all remember those beautiful July evenings where we could sit out and relax, rather than just watch out of the window.

For a more detailed report visit Mike’s blog here.


Conservation Volunteers Wanted - August 2012


Volunteer Weekend: Friday 19th-Monday 22nd October 2012

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

Rhododendron sp. (c) Mike WerndlyWe 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 1st Oct 2012.

Successful applicants will hear back by 7th Oct at the latest.


A Big Step Forward - August 2012


At long last Rum residents are now able to recycle some plastics.  This is a great step forward and we hope that with time we will be able to recycle more than just our plastic bottles, no lids though, as these are a different type of plastic.  Until now, our recycling facilities have only included glass and tins.  

Highland Council tell us that we can put our plastic bottles in with the tin cans.  Excellent.

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