always something new to discover.
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Midgefest - Saturday 4th August


Midgefest 2012 was a great success - read the full story over the Midgefest blog


We’re well into the midge season here on Rum and when the wind drops and the sun goes in or there’s been a bit of rain, out they come to get us. So we could moan about it and curse them ’till we’re covered in itchy lumps and blue in the face, or we could could look at the upside and celebrate the little blood suckers for the good things they do.

About the mighty midge: There are 37 different types of midge in the UK and 5 in Scotland that bite people, although most of the damage is done by the Highland Midge Culicoides Ipmunctatus (

Reasons to celebrate them (that I can think of and I’m trying quite hard!): They provide a food source (even if only a small one) for some birds, bats and insectivorous plants. They also put some people off of coming to Highland Scotland altogether, which one could see as a positive as beautiful but midgie places might otherwise become overrun with the trappings of mass tourism…and I can’t think of any more positives just at the moment.

So, if not for these reasons, we will just celebrate in adversity and mostly look forward to the chance to welcome people to the Isle of Rum to celebrate with us. The event is a family orientated fun day with crafts and games for the children, BBQ, disco and more so if anyone is interested it’s a ‘the more the merrier’ type affair, the details are on the poster and spread the word!…

Midge Fest
























Feasibility Study for Village Regeneration - July 2012


leader logo (c) Vikki TrelferEarlier this year the Isle of Rum Community Trust received funding from LEADER to carry out a feasibility study looking at redeveloping an agricultural steading in the village centre, and building a community-owned bunkhouse.  Neil Sutherland Architects have worked with the community & partners over the past six months to come up with designs for a simple bunkhouse and for the steading redevelopment, which would incorporate a new cafe, visitor centre, teaching space, shop, and self-contained holiday accommodation. 

The feasibility study is now complete, and designs will be on display in the Village Hall until the autumn.  Capital funding is being sought for a community owned bunkhouse near the campsite, and the hard work to secure the capital required to take forward the ambitious plans for the steading redevelopment has just begun!

Click here to see the Bunkhouse elevation drawings.


Elsa Jean McTaggart - The 2012 Hat Tour - July 2012


Elsa Jean McTaggart (c) Nic Goddard

Last night (Friday 20th July) we were treated to a performance by the lovely Elsa Jean McTaggart - fiddle player, guitarist, accordion player and singer: is there nothing she can't do?  She is full of stories both thoughful and funny, and her happy folksy tunes had toes tapping across the hall.  The evening culminated in a bit of ceilidh dancing which we just can't get enough of, and we hope she'll return next year.

With a bit of paraphrasing some of her songs could have been about our own wee island:
Where the marram grass grows
And time goes slow,
And the mountain shelters me...
Elsa Jean McTaggart - please buy a bit of Rum and build a shed here.  We promise that no-one will steal your wheelbarrow.  We know, we know, you're the one for us!
If you get the chance to see her perform in a village hall near you this summer, we strongly recommend that you go along.


Rum Woodcock Russian Recovery - July 2012


Another Rum ringed woodcock has been recovered in Russia.  The bird was ringed in Kinloch on the Isle of Rum two days after Christmas in 2011 and was shot in Derevik in the Russian Federation on 20 April 2012.  This was a straight line distance of 2219km.

View Woodcock EW27941 in a larger map Zoom out to see full distance

This follows the first report of a bird ringed on Rum in March 2010 and shot in the Voznesenskiy District of Russia the following month, a distance of 3046km.

View Woodcock Recovery EW27778 in a larger map Zoom out to see the full distance

Both birds were probably on migration through Rum when they were ringed but could have been on their breeding grounds when shot in Russia.  While the woodcock is a species that breeds in Britain and on Rum, the winter population is swelled by many thousands of birds escaping frozen conditions in the east of Europe.  These birds usually start arriving in Britain in November and those that pass through Rum often carry on further south and west to Ireland, as another bird caught on Rum demonstrates.  This individual was ringed in Kinloch on 17 December 2011 and was shot just 23 days later in Ballymote, Ireland.

View Woodcock recovery EW27913 in a larger map Zoom out to see full distance

Woodcock ringed, weighed and measured on Rum (c) Sean MorrisRinging studies of winter woodcock on Rum have also shown that a small number of birds spend the whole winter from November to March on the island and also return in subsequent winters.

More information on woodcock can be found at the Woodcock Network

Sean Morris, Isle of Rum





Crofters finally arrive on croft - June 2012



Getting to the track (c) Nic GoddardAfter two months of actually living on the island,the new crofters Nic, Ady, Davies and Scarlett have finally made it onto the croft The final hurdle - crossing Kinloch River (c) Nic Goddardlsnd with their mobile home.

Thanks to a crew of helpers from Eigg headed up by Alisdair Kirk and a team of fellow Rum islanders the static made the final mile from the nature trail to croft 3.

It was an epic journey with many dark moments as we lost wheels, scrambled down banks and paused for 6 nights in a particularly midgey spot on the nature trail, but with much blood, sweat, tears, beers and swearing, we finally got there and are thrilled to be 'home'.  

The full story can be found here



Bike Hire now here - June 2012


Cycle hire (c) Fliss FraserBike hire is now available on the Isle of Rum. 

Fliss and Sandy have now have bikes for hire. Whether for a half day trip around the village or a whole day of adventures in the NNR, they have a range of mountain bikes to suit, although no children's bikes at the moment.

For more information call into the Craft Shop, e-mail or follow this link to their website.

We wish them every success.




Conservation Volunteers Wanted for 13th-16th July - June 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), and wildlife Rhododendron (c) Mike Werndlygardening in our Community Garden.

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 (and not too bothered by midges; midge jackets will be’s not always bad on here anyway!?).
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, manx shearwaters, 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 Friday June 22nd.  Successful applicants will hear back by June 29th at the latest.

Rum Jubilee 'Street' Party - June 2012


Rum Jubilee celebrations (c) Georgina McMillanThe Village Hall deck played host to the Rum community's Jubilee celebrations. Pimms, jelly and sponge cake were all enjoyed on the warm Tuesday evening to celebrate the Diamond Jubliee of Elizabeth I. A big thank you to Vikki and co. for organising the event.






Isle of Rum Croft to Let - June 2012


The Isle of Rum Community Trust has one bare land croft available.

Croft No.2 is a bare land croft extending to 5.36ha on semi-improved sloping ground overgrown with rushes, and will require a significant amount of work to improve it to anything beyond rough grazing.  However, the croft enjoys an open, south facing aspect with fine views across to the peaks of Hallival and Askival, up Kinloch Glen, and out to Loch Scresort.

Crofting offers the potential for both new housing and new economic opportunities, and two of the three crofts on Rum are now let.  Nic Goddard, the island’s newest crofter, is very excited to be part of the latest chapter in Rum's journey.  She says; “This is an amazing place to raise our children, make our home and create a living for ourselves. Within a very short time we already feel part of the community and very much at home."  Their vision for a low impact, self sufficient, sustainable lifestyle in an unspoilt corner of the UK was perfectly answered with the opportunity of becoming crofters on Rum.  “The island provides the perfect backdrop to make our dreams come true".

Interested parties are encouraged to visit the island before making an application for the croft, and community members will show people around and answer questions.

Rum Croft 2 (c) Georgina McMillan

This is an exciting time to be part of the small but growing community on Rum, with several development projects underway and a number of new residents settling here over the past year.  We are looking for people with enthusiasm and vision to join us on our adventure!

Please contact for an application pack.  Deadline for applications to be submitted: Friday 31st August.  Applicants may be invited to an interview in September.


Climate Challenge Fund wins - May 2012


In April IRCT was awarded a grant of £19,475 from the Climate Challenge Fund for the Greening Rum project. This will enable us to continue heading towards a more eco-friendly existence here on Rum. The money will help with the following projects:

We will be able to invest in a Community Polytunnel, giving everyone the opportunity to have a small plot to grow their own fruit and veg in, thus helping to reduce some of our food miles.

OWL monitors will be issued to all households. These will show us the amount of electricity we are using at any one time and will help us to be more aware of our consumption rates and hopefully make us more efficient.

Our Wildlife Garden is going to have a rotor composting bin. As the garden is a central area to a number of households and close to the shop, we hope a communal composting area will help us reduce our food waste to the benefit of the wildlife garden.

Finally, and most excitingly, the grant will allow us to not only double glaze our Village Hall, but top up the insulation to make it much cosier and more fun to use in the winter.

We look forward to seeing these changes take place and will report on their progress.

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