Criomagan: work restarts at Skye hotspots, Applecross boost, and a song for shinty

Work on the pathway project at the Old Man of Storr is set to restart on Monday 22nd June.

Works at two of Skye’s most iconic tourist sites to restart

Following Scottish Government guidance on returning to construction sites in Scotland, works are getting underway on two separate projects managed by the Outdoor Access Trust for Scotland on the Isle of Skye.

The Highland Council’s pathworks project at Old Man of Storr, managed in association with OATS, is due to restart on Monday 22nd June.

The works on the construction of toilet facilities at the Fairy Pools car park, near Glenbrittle, a project independently run and managed by OATS in partnership with the Minginish Community Hall Association has already resumed.

At the Fairy Pools local contractor James McQueen is working to install an off-grid sewage system and processing tank with sufficient capacity for 200,000 annual visitors.

OATS expect that the toilets will be fully operational, alongside the recently completed 140 spaces car park by mid-August 2020.

Applecross community receives £20,000 boost to support residents

The community in Applecross, Wester Ross has been working together to deliver essential services to residents during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The small rural village has benefited from the Scottish Government’s Supporting Communities Fund which is distributed in the region by Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Applecross Community Company has secured £20,000 from the fund to support the co-ordination of emergency assistance for residents during the crisis.

Volunteers have been busy delivering groceries and a telephone support line is being provided for people who feel isolated.

David Davidson from the Applecross Shop has been part of the community effort.

A special Facebook page has been set-up for the 225 people who live in Applecross, as a support hub for those who might need help and for volunteers to offer their services.

The area is heavily dependent on the tourism industry, but businesses have temporarily closed and many residents remain in isolation.

Roslyn Clarke, local development officer at Applecross Community Company, said: “Applecross is a very popular destination but at this time we are following the government’s advice to protect our community.

“We have an elderly population here, so we have many people at risk and we don’t want to put them in danger. Our volunteers have been brilliant, and we are very fortunate that we are all working together as a community.

“It’s important now to come together and do our best to protect our residents. When this is over, we will come back as Applecross is always going to attract tourists and we will support our local businesses so that they can flourish again.”

Music competition launched to mark Shinty shutdown

Three of Scotland’s oldest sporting and cultural bodies are coming together to offer a major set of prizes for an original musical competition, marking the absence of shinty from this summer’s sporting calendar.

Led by the Royal Celtic Society, which is this year celebrating its 200th anniversary, and in partnership with the Glasgow Celtic Society and shinty’s governing body the Camanachd Association, supported by Tulloch Homes, the competition is offering three prizes totalling £1,500 for an individual to compose an original composition.

The RCS had originally intended that the winner of the competition could have performed at this year’s Camanachd Cup Final.

That game has recently been postponed until next year, but the intention now is to have a musical shoot-out on that very date in September 2020, between the three best entrants, who will then share the prizes.

The winner will get £750, second place £500 and third place £250.

Individual musicians are being asked to submit their compositions, by recording them on their phones or cameras, to a selection panel led by Gary Innes of Mànran, the BBC Scotland Take the Floor presenter and former shinty captain of Scotland.

The competition will be for a solo artist to compose an original piece of music which marks the current situation of no shinty being played for this season; the fact this has happened only twice before, during World War I and World War II; and reflects a sense of optimism for renewal of the game in coming years.

The composition should be between 5 and 10 minutes long and entrants should offer a description of the piece of no more than 100 words.

The three best tunes will be chosen by the judging panel, and the composers invited to a live play-off (on-line unless circumstances change) to decide the winner.

For further information about the competition, or images, please contact Hugh Dan MacLennan, at or on 07515287040.

Meanwhile, shinty’s governing body has said it will strive to help the sport return in organised form though local league competitions later in the year.

In a recent note to clubs, Camanachd Association chief executive Derek Keir said: “The Camanachd Association is fully committed to working with clubs to organise mini-leagues of up to five or six teams when we reach an appropriate phase of the Scottish Government Route map.”