always something new to discover.
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Deer Observation Hide at Kilmory - May 2012


The start of May saw the completion of the long talked about deer observation hide at Kilmory.  The hide was built by Sandy Fraser for the Edinburgh University Red Deer Project, funded in part by The Guinness Trust.

Kilmory Deer Hide (c) Ali MorrisThe hide has two sides, one reserved for researchers with the other always open to the general public. There are great views of the Hide from Kilmory Graveyard (c) Ali Morrisbeach and the river all the way up to the mountains in the south and it is a commanding location for getting up close and personal with wildlife.


The researchers have put up a selection of informative posters and would like to encourage everyone to leave their nature observations on the sheet provided as otters, eagles, basking sharks and, of course, deer can regularly be seen from this location.


Deer Study Area sign with hide in distance (c) Ali Morris
There is also a new sign at the start of the Glen Shellesder path , informing people that as they carry on to Kilmory, they are entering the deer research area.
For more on the deer project visit their website here

New Tenants for Croft 3 - Rum welcomes the Goddard Family - May 2012


The Goddard Family (c) Nic GoddardGoddard's new home arriving to Rum (c) Nic Goddard

Rum welcomes its newest residents - the Goddards from Sussex - who were successful with their croft application earlier in the year. They've already been out exploring the island, experienced their first Rum ceilidh and taken part whole heartedly in community events.They've also been getting used to the 'Rum factor' and finding their feet and from the looks on their faces, they're definately enjoying themselves. The 'Goodards' are certainly Good value! - welcome to Rum  – we wish you all the best with your new life on your Rum croft.

To follow the Goddard's blog, click here


Egg Thief caught out on Rum - May 2012


On 28 May 2011, a local Rum resident observed a man acting suspiciously in a remote common gull colony on the Isle of Rum.  Alison Morris, a long-term resident of the island and a field researcher for the Red Deer Project based at Kilmory was out in the study area conducting individual deer checks during the calving season. 

‘I was sitting out on the hill, tucked in tight as the weather was pretty poor for the time of year when I spotted a man entering Shamhnan Insir from the east.  This is in no way unusual, other than causing some disturbance to the deer that I was observing and I waited for him to pass through the area.  I thought nothing more of it until he started walking into the middle of the gull colony.  I began watching him more intently, wishing he would move on quickly so the gulls would be off their eggs for the shortest possible time.  However, he began acting very strangely, dashing about in the colony, picking up eggs for some minutes before disappearing into a black-house.’ 

Being out of radio contact with the rest of her team and with a very patchy mobile phone signal, Ali continued with her deer checks despite being very nervous and spending the rest of the day looking over her shoulder.  On her return home late that night after a long calving season day, Ali told her husband, Sean, of the bizarre scene that she had witnessed earlier in the day and he immediately told her to phone the police.   

The following morning, Ali and Sean Morris met with Richard Kilpatrick, the Scottish Natural Heritage National Nature Reserve Manager to inform him of the situation.  After several conversations with the police and keeping an eye on the suspect man, the police decided to come over to have a chat with him.  On arrival at the Rum Ferry Terminal, and asking the man for his details the Wildlife Crimes Officer immediately placed Matthew Gonshaw under arrest.

Matthew Gonshaw has served three previous terms in prison for egg theft and a raid on his house in London, as a direct consequence of his arrest on Rum, revealed almost 700 clutches of eggs, some from highly protected and vulnerable species. This resulted in his fourth jail term of 6 months imposed by Thames Magistrates Court on 13 December 2011.  On 24 February 2012 Gonshaw was issued with an ASBO at Stratford Magistrates Court banning him from visiting Scotland during the bird breeding season for the next 10 years.  He was also banned from visiting any RSPB or Wildlife Trust land for the same time period.

Gonshaw appeared at Inverness Sheriff Court on 11 May 2012 charged with the offences committed on Rum.  The court heard how Gonshaw had gone to the Isle of Rum, a National Nature Reserve in May 2011.  Later police searched him and found 20 eggs and an egg blowing kit in his rucksack.

Gonshaw admitted illegally taking and destroying seven meadow pipit eggs, and five others that could have been reed bunting or blackcap as well as eight Manx shearwater eggs.

Sheriff Margaret Neilson told Gonshaw “You have been unable to provide any explanation for your twisted behaviour and have shown no remorse whatsoever. You may call yourself a wildlife collector. You are in fact a wildlife destroyer.”  Sheriff Neilson jailed Gonshaw for the maximum 6 months allowed by law, his 5th jail term for wildlife crime offences and banned him from visiting Scotland during the bird breeding season for life.

If it had not been for the vigilance of local residents and in particular, the attention to detail from Ali Morris who was only in the location due to her job with the Edinburgh University Red Deer Research Project, Gonshaw would have got away with his mission.  It is a credit to the community of Rum to have caught such a prolific egg thief.


The 'Tattie Housers' have arrived! - May 2012


Rum welcomes our long awaited Tattie Housers - welsh couple Ian and Kate who have moved to Rum to rennovate the 'Tattie House' here in Kinloch Village. They have started a new blog to record their ongoing progress with the rennovation. Read their blog here.

Kilmory Beach Clean - April 2012


The community beach clean at Kilmory went very well on Saturday the 21st of April - check out the ranger blog link here for more about the day.

Nursery Assistant Post at Rum Primary - May 2012


The post of Nursery Assistant at Rum Primary is still vacant.  If you are interested please contact Headmaster Stuart Poole on 01687 462034.

It is an opportunity to become a member of the Rum community and experience island life first hand.

New signs, Waiting Room and Loo - May 2012


Visitors gratefully waiting in the new Pier waiting room (c) Ali MorrisThis month sees the opening of the long awaited waiting room at the Ferry Terminal - no pun intended! The work, carried out by SNH, means that we can say goodbye to cowering behind the rubbish and recycling skips while waiting for the ferry in poor weather.

Also, Isle of Rum Community Trust have been busy at the Ferry Terminal, installing a composting toilet.  This project, funded by IRCT, Vikki showing off the new loo (c) Ali MorrisLEADER and HIE, consigns mad dashes into the bushes to use the 'loo with a view' are now a thing of the past.   This new toilet is to be found on the south (far-away) side of the boat sheds.

Finally,  new signs have been popping up throughout Kinloch Village and the NNR providing useful information for Visitors.  There are also markers for different trails around the Village.


New Signs at Ferry Terminal (c) Ali MorrisTrail markers (c) Ali Morris











New Rum and Small Isles Walking book - May 2012


Walking on Rum and the Small Isles - by Peter Edwards 2012

A new guidebook to Walking on Rum and the Small Isles, which also covers near neighbours Coll and Tiree, is published by the UK's leading outdoor pursuits specialists, Cicerone Press, on June 15th 2012. The author, Peter Edwards, spent much of the first half of 2011 carrying out his field 'research' walking the length and breadth of the isles in his attempt to produce the definitive walking guide to a region that he believes offers some of the finest walking to be had anywhere in the UK. However, compared with many areas of the Highlands and Islands, the Small Isles remain off the beaten track; as Peter puts it:

It is customary to refer to the Small Isles as the 'hidden gems' of the Western Isles – and with good cause. Though blessed with great natural beauty, an abundance of wildlife and remarkable geological features, the islands tend to be overlooked, literally and metaphorically, by the many visitors drawn to the famously scenic grandeur of Skye, their renowned and imposing neighbour.

The relative dearth of visitors is partly due to the Small Isles having few roads  and visitors only being allowed to bring vehicles by special arrangement. Furthermore, though the islands' amenities are generally of a good standard, they are far from extensive. Therefore, planning a walking trip to the Small Isles requires a degree of logistical forethought – just getting here can be an undertaking in itself.

The upside is the real sense of remoteness that is found among the hills, along the rugged coastlines and beach-garlanded shores of these wonderful islands;  they are a haven for those who like to get away from the madding crowd and enjoy the peace and freedom of walking through landscapes unaffected by large-scale tourism.

Rum, the largest of the group, is just 14km north to south by 13.5km east to west. Yet in this relatively small area the island provides remarkable scope for the adventurous and experienced walker. The distinctive chain of volcanic hills comprising the Rum Cuillin is the obvious and immediate draw for outdoor enthusiasts, whether for hill-walking, scrambling or rock climbing. A round of the Rum Cuillin makes for a challenging day in the hills and usually features somewhere on the 'to-do' list of Scottish mountain afficianados. This is the first guidebook to provide a detailed route description of this remarkable mountain walk using Ordnance Survey mapping.

However, for the adventurous walker there is much more to Rum than the Cuillin. This guidebook includes detailed route descriptions for seven walks on the island, with variants, including the Cuillin traverse; the Dibdil horseshoe; a challenging and sublime two to three-day walk around the coast, and circular routes around the remote western hills – as well as several shorter routes.

The guidebook also covers the other islands of the Small Isles archipelago – Eigg, Canna and Muck – as well as their near neighbours, Coll and Tiree – the Hebridean Twins. Unsurprisingly, many of the routes included are coastal walks traversing extremely varied terrain from rugged, rocky shores and vertiginous cliffs to vast expanses of flower-carpeted machair and white sandy beaches. These coastal landscapes teem with wildlife and remarkable geological features, including raised beaches, caves, natural arches, sea stacks and basalt dikes. Many traces of the islands' histories, both ancient and more recent, are found around these coastlines; from Bronze Age duns (fortifications) perched on rocky promontories to the abandoned settlements, bearing mute testament to the Highland Clearances.

IRCT Administrator Job Vacancy - April 2012


Isle of Rum Community Trust are looking to recruit a new Administrator.  

Details of the job description can be found here.

Applicants are asked to submit their CV and covering letter to by May 11th.


Job Vacancy at Kinloch Castle - April 2012


Job Vacancy at Kinloch Castle - Catering / General Assistant job - please see for details on how to apply

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