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Welcome to the Scottish Community Land Network

This site is for people interested in the management and ownership of land-based assets by communities in Scotland. A Scottish Community Land Network, you might say... As you know the internet is a big 'place' with everything about anything so we brought you relevant news and events, and provide opportunities to share ideas with other people interested in this subject. There are almost 1000 members, and more than 800 articles in our archive.


Scottish Community Land Network will not be kept up-to-date after March 2012. However, a new site is being produced by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and details will be published on this site as soon as they are available.

The most recent articles are available on the home page - previous articles are in their relevant topic areas (browse the 'Topics' menu on the left).

Not ready to hibernate just yet

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Things are quietly taking shape on our sleepy island.

Planning permissions are starting to come through and I’m on first name terms with our Planning Officer at the Cooncil, a friendly soul.  I have a sense of things gradually falling into place, and soon some of the frantic behind the scenes activity is going to materialise as actual things out in the real world.

For starters, we’ve entered a popularity contest.  You know - those things where an organisation has a limited amount of money and instead of selecting projects on their merits, they give it to projects which get the most votes.  Those in populated urban areas.  We’ve entered one even though only 40 people live here, so we’re going to need your help.  All the details are here and voting opens on 26th September.  The Byre is going to be an incredible achievement if we can pull it together, and we need a feasibility study to get it started.  £6,000 isn’t going to be enough, but it’s a great start.

Miss McGinty has won a grant of £25,000 to make improvements to our teeny tiny shop – including an awning so we no longer have to queue in the rain, and midgie protection so we can shop in comfort from the wee biting bug-ers!  Celebrations continued well into the small hours and it will be a whole new place by next spring.  Who says it takes ages for anything to happen here?

In other news, our super-slow broadband is back to running at its normal snail pace after a bout of barely running at all last month.   Seriously, the grass was cut twice in the time it took for a page to download.  Forget YouTube, anything with photos or moving pictures, and documents bigger than 500kb.  It causes me actual physical pain some days, when I just want to look up a website and have to watch the tortuous progress of the green bar at the bottom of the page.  “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage” is a daily companion.  I remember dial-up, and even that was faster than our satellite connection; those of you who clamour for a more glitzy SCotLaNd, spare a thought for those of us stuck with 0.5 megs.  Hebnet, a Small Isles company, are trialling superfast broadband on Rum and it’s going down well.  I’m given to understand that it works by some kind of jiggery pokery, beaming broadband from the mainland to a receiver on the island, which then bounces it out to nano stations on each house.  I am devastated to discover that my tree-surrounded home, with a beautiful view down the bay, can’t go on the trial as we don’t have a line of sight to anywhere except, well, boats in the bay.  Fortunately, I’m in charge of developing a Woodland Management Plan for the village.

My new housemates, Harry & Sally, have settled in and are working out well – if they continue to do my dishes and cook for me almost every day I forsee a long and happy co-habitation.   The bathroom ceiling has been mended and I’ve plastered up every crack I can find in the house, just in case.  It’s good to have company.

This month we were visited by The Scottish Salmon Company who are proposing to put a large fish farm off the coast of Rum.  They were given short shrift by the Eiggers last month, who have raised a petition to show how very opposed they are to the idea of having a fish farm there.  On Rum there are mixed feelings.  There have been vague allusions to jobs and houses, two of the things in desperate short supply on the island, but no guarantees and nothing concrete on which to make an informed decision.  I remain deeply sceptical regarding the intentions of a large company driven by profit, and unconvinced that what the pristine wildness of Rum needs is a factory farm for fish.  Perhaps the debate is a good one to have; how do we see our future here, and what does the island and its lovely clear waters mean to us?

However, I worry that it will divide us and leave our newly formed sense of purpose in tatters.

Dibidil Bothy and Eigg

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