r2vyln3rdioj14u-rld0ska where mountains meet the sea: June 2019

The MV Sheerwater

The MV Sheerwater is a boat that takes passengers from Arisaig over to the Small Isles. It takes in some of Scotland's most breathtaking scenery and wildlife along it's journey. I wrote the tune 'MV Sheerwater' for the boat after spending an unforgettable day travelling over and around the Isle of Eigg with my Dad last year and while on the MV Sheerwater, this melody kept going around my head, so when I went home I wrote it down which was the inspiration to the tune. Hope you like it :)

diving the St Kilda archipelago

St Kilda

Nan Shepherd's Cairngorms

Sniffing around the Cairngorm Plateau in circles, like a dog. - Cameron McNeish

The Living Mountain: Pioneering Scottish Mountaineer and Poet Nan Shepherd’s Forgotten Masterpiece About Our Relationship with Nature

Red Sky on the Black Isle

In 2014, 22 birds of prey including 16 red kites were found dead in one small area of the Black Isle in Scotland. One year on, the locals are making sure this tragedy is not forgotten. - Lisa Marley

Red Sky on the Black Isle
Raptor Persecution UK

Discover The Black Isle

Video exploring slow tourism for the Black Isle, part of the Highlands of Scotland. The strap-line of the Black Isle Tourism Team is Savour the Unexpected. The video introduces walking, cycling and exploring the trails and features of this quiet part of Scotland. The video was shown at the Autumn networking event of the Black Isle Tourism Team, November 2018. - Julian Paren

Orkney and Skye addressing overtourism

In the past twelve months, the challenge of managing increasing volumes of visitors on Scottish islands have come to the fore. In Orkney tourism stakeholders at their annual conference in March discussed how to cope with success. The “discovery” of Orkney by the cruise lines has led to some strains within the tourism community and concerns about overtourism. The islands have a relatively high level of repeat visitors and when the cruise ships are in the honeypot sites are crowded. Arran too faces the challenge and Skye has been in the news this year with stories on the BBC Skye Visitors Toiletting outdoors, a Skye Tourism Tax and in August Police Scotland were asking people not to visit without a reservation. What can be done?

Speakers include:
Caroline Warburton (moderator),  The Scottish Tourism Alliance
Cameron Taylor, Orkney Tourism Group
Shirley Spear, SkyeConnect (Founder of Skye's  Three Chimneys Restaurant)

Rural Issues: Orkney

A group of teenagers have made a film to show adults the reality of life growing up in in their rural community.  -   Mac, Lara, and Tam, Fixers
Fixers will close in August.
Since its inception in 2008, Fixers has helped over 23,000 16 to 25-year-olds campaign on issues affecting them. Many of these young people credit the charity with giving them the first opportunity to realise the power their experience and voice has in bringing about lasting change.

Glendale, Isle of Skye

The Glendale Trust

Dolina: An Island Girl’s Journey

Born and brought up the youngest of seven children in the fishing community of Marvig on the east coast of Lewis, Dolina MacLennan became, within a few years of moving to Edinburgh in 1957, a mainstay of the Scottish folk revival of the 60s and 70s. Her Gaelic singing was a revelation and an inspiration to many while her writing for radio and her acting - perhaps particularly as the only Gael in 7:84's  The Cheviot, the Stag and the Black Black Oil - contributed greatly to the developing culture of the Gàidhealtachd [Gaelic speaking areas]. In this archive-rich celebration of her career, Doli converses with Domhnall Uilleam Stiubhart and reminisces with family, friends, and associates in locations as different from one another as Marvig and Edinburgh's Waverley Bar but all of them integral to her many-faceted career. - Faclan

Fly the Flag

Arts organisations and human rights charities invite you to Fly the Flag for human rights on 24 - 30 June 2019. From the Highlands of Scotland to the coast of Cornwall via cities, towns and villages across the UK, in galleries and theatres, shopping centres and offices, schools and libraries, both physically and online, people will come together to celebrate that human rights are for everyone, every day. - Fly the Flag 70

Fly The Flag is an ambitious collaboration between arts organisations and human rights charities, marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We invited artist and activist Ai Weiwei to design a flag as a symbol for universal human rights, which was unveiled at our launch on the anniversary date, 10 December 2018. We would love you to join us and be part of this.

The project was born out of the realisation that today many people don’t know what their human rights are, and we risk forgetting them at our peril. So far, more than 100 organisations have signed up to support the project. As arts and cultural organisations our work is an embodiment of Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, ‘Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts…’

We really hope you’ll join us to make this a powerful UK-wide moment of hope, togetherness and creativity. - Fuel Theatre

Dyslexia Scotland - a named advocate of Human Rights week 2019
One Scotland


Thank You for saying No to hate, Yes to change!

Thank you for being part of the movement for a different kind of Europe! This European Election we said "No to hate, yes to change" all across the continent, and we built something amazing. -WE MOVE EUROPE


To celebrate #LoveontheLongestDay, enjoy a selection of images, depicting "Love" in its many forms, taken from the Margaret Fay Shaw Photographic Collections, owned by the National Trust for Scotland and housed in Canna House on the Isle of Canna. Accompanied by Gaelic love songs recorded by John Lorne Campbell in the 1930s, in the Outer Hebrides.

Simmer Dim

The importance of light to the residents of Fair Isle
The glory of 24-hour power finally reaches Fair Isle

Scapa 1919 + 100

A full account of the scuttling of the German Fleet in Scapa Flow narrated by Admiral Jellicoe’s grandson as part of the Scapa Flow Centenary Commemorations. The 25-minute animation gives the viewer context and impact of the scuttle: 3-D modelling, graphics, animation, animated maps and contemporary photography illustrate key points. - Scapaflow1919

If grouse moors were allowed to revive, what would they look like?

Across rural Scotland, large swathes of our natural scenic landscape are being damaged by landowners who bulldoze and scar the land to create tracks for deer stalking and grouse shooting. They are currently able to do this without planning permission. There is currently a Planning Bill going through the Scottish Parliament, and Green MSP Andy Wightman is trying to amend it to close this loophole. However, so far the SNP and Tories have blocked our efforts.
Please take action now and email your MSPs asking them to support Andy’s amendment. We must show that the Scottish public don’t want our hillsides scarred just to please the niche interests of a few individuals.

Sna Beanntan

'S e Farpais Fhilmichean Goirid Gàidhlig a th' ann am FilmG a bhios a' ruith gach bliadhna.
Tha sinn an-dràsta ag obair a dh'ionnsaigh cur air bhog FilmG 12...cumaibh cluais ri claisneachd airson na naidheachdan as ùire!
FilmG is a Gaelic Short Film Competition that runs annually. 
At the moment, we are preparing to launch FilmG 12...keep your ear to the ground for the lastest news! 

Our Communities - Northmavine

To reduce food miles, and address a long supply chain, the residents in the north of Shetland Mainland developed an innovative Polycrub.

As well as bringing the people of the community together, these now sell across the world, supporting them to deliver a range of community-led projects locally. - Highlands and Islands Enterprise

The ‘Arnold Schwarzenegger of polytunnels’
Northmavine Community Development Company

Project First Light - the Scottish Adventure

Fjord have partnered with Ensemble on the “First Light” project, intended to help Congolese people innovate with design-led strategy, training and technology.
Our challenges are to develop and implement sustainable prosperous businesses owned and run by local people, thus bringing tangible human value to hundreds of thousands of people in one of the poorest and most constrained countries in the world.
On the island of Idjwi, Ensemble Pour La Differénce supports small businesses that export coffee, and a women’s textiles manufacturing cooperative. Mike [Beeston, Fjord co-founder] was invited to meet the King (Mwami) of the island. The Mwami explained to Mike that the hard life, and isolation was causing most young people to leave. He asked Mike to try to bring the internet to the island, in the hope that the connectivity might boost the local economy, education and quality of life. Fjord London were tasked to research and develop how to do this.
Directing WiFi long distances required us to develop an understanding of the physics and logistical challenges of point-to-point communication. Making the minute adjustments to antenna position required to get the maximum throughput is a great challenge so we wanted to practice. In order to perform an adequate test, we needed a rural area with little or no interference from other signals, and height. The north of Scotland seemed a good option. Between the 8th and the 11th April [2016], we packaged up our prototype and flew north on a mission.
The Lord Lieutenant of Ross & Cromarty, Janet Bowen, kindly introduced us to her nephew Alex Matheison of Brahan Estates, near Dingwall [Scottish Highlands], who offered us his land to use, along with introducing us to neighbouring landowners, also keen to assist. Along with the generous assistance of Mike Hicks of Cromarty Firth Wireless Networks, we were able to perform a successful test at both 5km and 30km, reaching speeds of 100mb/s with our equipment.
Learn more about our First Light project in  this video

Solo Camping Trip...well, almost

One woman and her dog Fin go camping. No sign of Nessie. - BBC Scotland

Magic and Mystery on the Isle of Lewis

Its ancient standing stones are a big draw at midsummer but Lewis is rich in treasures of many other kinds – historic, religious … and gloriously outrageous - Magic and Mystery on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland (The Guardian)

Between Islands - Dead Inside

In 2014 Creative Scotland had the faith to seed fund a suggested collaboration between some of the Western and Northern Islands best contemporary song writers. The idea was to bring together the selected artists – Willie Campbell from Lewis, Kris Drever from Orkney and Arthur Nicolson from Shetland – in the creation of some new co-written material. The theme was simply Islands and Island life, and although this collaboration sounded straight forward on paper, there were some important considerations... - The 'Between Islands' Project

Fair Isle Knitting with Shetland's Hazel Tindall

There are a lot of places to get knitting lessons.
But very few opportunities to learn from the worlds fastest knitter, Hazel Tindall.
Not every video gives you clear shots of the knitters hands.
Hazel starts with the basics of casting on and working knit and purl stitches. You are shown, step by step. how to knit a seamless Fair Isle cardigan from start to finish, and discover that the overall construction isn't difficult.
Easily learn at your own pace with this instructional download made in Shetland.
Download your free pattern to accompany this video from Hazel's website.


Erland Cooper, from his debut album Solan Goose

Stop Live Transport

An investigation documenting the live transport of calves from Scotland to the port of Ramsgate and onto Abbeville, France.

On the trail of the live calf export lorries

Stop Live Transport: International Awareness Day


Rock on Rockall

“Does the minister agree with me that we should reject complicity in Britain’s last act of colonialism, make it clear we’ll have nothing to do with such land grabs and instead renounce any Scottish claims over Rockall?” asked Andy Wightman MSP -  Scotland urged to reject ‘Britain’s last act of colonialism’ over Rockall  (Shropshire Star)

...the UN convention on the law of the sea (Unclos) in 1982, which states: "Rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf." - Who owns Rockall? A history of legal and diplomatic wrangles (The Guardian)


...The issue lies with Scotland’s claim that Irish vessels can’t fish in the alleged territorial waters around the island (that’s the 12 nautical miles), something which they have been doing for decades....
...The renewed interest in Rockall from the devolved Scottish government came following the UK’s Brexit referendum in 2017, when fisheries became a key issue in the lead up to polling day. Brexiteers used the fact that EU common fisheries policies allowed member states to fish in waters around the UK as a selling point in the bid to pull Britain out of Europe.... - Where is Rockall and why has it sparked tensions between the Irish and Scottish governments? (The Journal)

Greenpeace activists climb oil rig in Cromarty Firth to halt drilling in North Sea

In a statement released by Greenpeace, a [Scottish] activist on the rig called Jo said: “Warm words flow from BP on their commitment to tackling climate change. Yet this rig, and the 30m barrels it seeks to drill, are a sure a sign that BP are committed to business as usual, fuelling a climate emergency that threatens millions of lives and the future of the living world.” - Police begin dialogue with Greenpeace BP oil rig protesters (The Guardian)

Updates: Activists who re-occupied Cromarty Firth rig are arrested
Greenpeace vows to stop rig reaching oil field
BP rig at centre of protest 'makes u-turn' near oil field 
Greenpeace ends North Sea rig protest after 12 days

Fuel pump protest follows Cromarty Firth oil rig occupation as Ross activists maintain 'climate emergency' pressure

At their AGM this year, BP agreed with its investors to show how the company is "aligned" with the Paris Climate Agreement - the treaty tackling climate change. So drilling for oil, when we already have more than we can afford to burn, is a pretty odd thing to do....

97% of BP's spend is still on oil and gas - only 3% on renewable doesn't make a climate friendly company! To stay below 1.5C warming, BP and other oil companies would need to leave at least 9% of the oil and 6% of the gas from their current wells in the ground.

Tell BP you're not buying their clean, green story - it's time to tell the truth about the climate crisis. If you do not use social media but want to join in, why not check this directory and tell BP to switch to renewables or shut down. - Greenpeace UK

A GREEN NEW DEAL for Scotland cannot be delivered by an SNP government “that is unprepared to plan now for the end of oil and gas,” Green MSP Mark Ruskell has argued. - SNP MP's call for new oil & gas extraction to fund renewables 'stimulus' opposed by Greens (CommonSpace)

In recent months, the concept of a green new deal has gained more recognition and been subject to more debate, particularly because of the work of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the US, which has sparked wider discussion in and beyond the Democratic Party in that country. However, the concept of the green new deal did not begin there...  -Patrick Harvie MSPthe Green New Deal for Scotland debate in the Scottish Parliament

Rural Issues: Ullapool, Scottish Highlands

Many people’s idea of rural bliss would be living in the Highlands of Scotland.
The views are amazing, there’s all sorts of wildlife and everyone is really friendly.
However, for a young person like myself, there are a number of issues coming from such a remote part of the country. 
Transport links are often poor, school takes most people no less than an hour to reach and socialising with your friends is almost impossible because nobody can get around. 
With the help of Fixers, my team and I have put together a film looking at some of the challenges young people face.
We hope our campaign will make decision-makers understand that life can be tough here and a little support can go a long way. - Sandy Campbell, Fixers
Fixers will close in August.
Since its inception in 2008, Fixers has helped over 23,000 16 to 25-year-olds campaign on issues affecting them. Many of these young people credit the charity with giving them the first opportunity to realise the power their experience and voice has in bringing about lasting change.

Last of the Hunters

This song is called “Last of the Hunters” and is a tribute to the fishing industry.

The video is a mix of old and new footage and photos of well-known figures of fishing past and present and of the many fishing connections of the band. There are also photos of many of the ports referenced in the song.

Rory’s Uncle Alec Thorburn, age 81 can be heard on backing vocals and features the closing photos and his boat Green Pastures is seen in a photo at Fisherrow from 1964. Angus’s late father, Hector is seen on his boat Harbour Maid and his boats Alice Robert and Ros Nuala are seen. Angus’s uncle Iain “Skipinnish” MacDonald and his brother Neil also feature and 22-year-old Angus himself makes a couple of appearances at the wheel of the Harmony.
There are many other photos of good friends and those with connections to the band. Feel free to comment below on the fishermen and boats you recognise.

A huge thanks to all those who provided the content of the film and to Paul Riddell for bringing it all together.

We hope you enjoy “Last of the Hunters”. - Skipinnish, from Steer by the Stars


(official music video by Dòl Eoin MacKinnon can be viewed here)

Still I remember when I was told
Stories of evenings and days of old
Nothing to hide and nothing to lose
Down to the hall in their dancing shoes

Where a boy, with nothing but hope to declare
Saw a girl, who was tying a bow in her hair

Here’s to all the olden heroes
Everyone who’s gone before
Here’s to all your hopes and dreams
And everything worth fighting for

Hitting the earth on the day we’re born
We come from dust and to dust return
All of our moments while we are here
Last for a lifetime then disappear

And she smiled, as she heard the accordion play
And they laughed, as they waltzed the evening away

Here’s to all the olden heroes
Everyone who’s gone before
Here’s to all your hopes and dreams
And everything worth fighting for

And the boy, unconscious of everyone there
Held the girl, who danced with the bow in her hair

Ghosts of our ancestors watching on
Out in the fields where the world was won
Ghosts of the morning watch from above
Ghosts of the evening who lived and loved

And now, there’s a boy on a dancefloor somewhere
And a girl - still tying a bow in her hair

Here’s to all the olden heroes
Everyone who’s gone before
Here’s to all your hopes and dreams
And everything worth fighting for x2

And still, there’s a boy on a dancefloor somewhere
And a girl - and she’s tying the bow in her hair

Tide Lines

The Last Battle, the Threat to Culloden

This new half hour film produced for the Historians' Council on Culloden by award winning film maker and GSDC [Group to Stop Development at Culloden] member, Deborah Dennison, takes you through the facts of the battle and the struggle to stop development activities on the battlefield in recent years.
We cannot stress how vital it is that as many GSDC members [and supporters] as possible make their voices heard by writing objections to the live development applications on the battlefield. Anyone, anywhere in the world can do this, by sending an email to eplanning@highland.gov.uk  citing the planning application number [listed on our websites].

For more information on how you can help, please visit or contact the GDSC's website here and their facebook public group here.

Culloden won’t be protected by World Heritage status, say historians

D-Day Landings: Scottish Weatherman Was Key To Success

D-Day could have been one of the biggest disasters in military history were it not for the decisions of a Scottish weatherman and data from an RAF squadron based on a small island off Scotland's west coast. - from The RAF weathermen who helped save D-Day, BBC News

Lone piper marks D-Day commemorations
Then and now: Scottish veterans remember D-Day landings
Scottish soldiers' wills from D-Day 1944

Our Communities - Minginish

With 186,000 people visiting the beautiful Fairy Pools in Glenbrittle on Skye the community took on the challenge to solve the parking chaos.
A car park project has made life better for visitors and the community, and the income generated is re-invested into the local environment and community projects. -  Minginish Community Hall Association

Raised On A Low Tide

This is a song I wrote about the house and place I come from, the Isle of Scalpay, in the Outer Hebrides. - Dòl Eoin MacKinnon

First of the Tide

With the first of the tide
When the day breaks with light
And the sea gulls cry
I’m awake
I’m awake

With the first of the tide
When the day breaks with light
And the sea gulls cry
I’m awake
I’m awake

Morning breaks and brings us light
Morning makes the birds give flight
Morning mends a broken heart
Morning lifts us from the dark
Morning feels like children’s play
Morning is a dream away
Morning let’s you feel alive
Morning shows we can survive
Morning is a reset time
Morning is a real life
Morning is a lonely place
Morning is a gentle pace
Morning is the air we breath
Morning is a birth conceived
Morning is a life unfurled
Morning is the real world

Hailing from the archipelago of Orkney in Scotland, award-winning composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper explores the natural world of birds, the sea and landscape in his music. 
Sule Skerry is the second album in a triptych shaped by his homeland, Orkney, and in particular by the air, sea and land as it was celebrated by Orcadian poet George Mackay Brown.