THE ILEACH :: THE INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER FOR ISLAY + JURA

Excerpts from issue 48/26 9 October 2021

run the runway

Islay Airport's 'Run the Runway' on Saturday 2 october proved to be a runaway success, despite the day's less than accommodating weather. According to organiser, Lorna macInnes, about 250 took part, rasing £4332 for the Scottish Air Ambulance charity.

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Ardtalla Estate's international accreditation
malcolm younger

Islay's Ardtalla Estate is one of 15 Scottish farms and estates to have been awarded prestigious international accreditation in recognition of their ongoing work in wildlife management and conservation.
Ardtalla has recently undertaken specialist restoration of dry stone dykes across the estate. Conservation grazing is undertaken for enhancement of woodland habitat and habitat of marsh fritillary butterflies. The estate is also involved in peatland restoration to lock up carbon with 142 hectares restored so far. Ongoing projects include Atlantic woodland protection and enhancement through consultation with expert ecologists.
The estate received Wildlife Estates Scotland (WES) accreditation at the GWCT Scottish Game Fair, with HRH The Princess Royal and Dr Mike Cantlay OBE, chair of NatureScot, presenting the accolades.
Three new accreditations were made with a further twelve properties receiving reaccreditation, a process that takes place every five years. WES is a national version of the EU Wildlife Estates (WE) initiative and is endorsed by the European Commission's Directorate-General Environment, whose objective is to protect, preserve and improve the environment for present and future generations.
Estate manager, Malcolm Younger, told the Ileach, "The award collected at the Scone Game Fair was for Ardtalla Estate, which achieved level 2 accreditation of the Wildlife Estates Scotland Scheme, a European initiative promoting best practice in estate management.
"The key to this is principally having an awareness in all we do on Ardtalla, of the need to conserve its natural wealth and enrich it where we can. The estate is lucky to have an extensive belt of Atlantic Oakwood, the temperate rain forest, as well as a variety of protected species such as harbour seals, sea eagles, hen harriers, marsh fritillary butterflies, and the very rare Adelanthus liverwort. It is also a particularly good place to see red and fallow deer, often near the road. Recently we have discovered that Ardtalla has the deepest peat measured so far in Scotland - almost 14m - and this is another area where we are seeking to adopt best practice to restore it to good condition.
"The estate is a complex ecosystem and my task has been continually to learn more about it in order that wise decisions can be reached for its better stewardship over the long term. There is a wealth of experience in the estate's management team and it has been my pleasure and privilege to take part in this rewarding collaboration."

Dee Ward, chair of Wildlife Estates Scotland, said, "These farms and estates are undertaking exceptionally important work that benefits biodiversity and the environment and it is only right that their efforts are publicly recognised through Wildlife Estates Scotland."

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In this week's issue:

Run the Runway a runaway success, Progress at Farkin distillery, Manager John Campbell to leave Laphroaig, Proposed Whisky Isles investment, Boundary changes opposed, Islay's new Jukebox Gin, Lagavulin Islay Jazz Festival update, Jura's online muic festival, Climbing Beinn Solam, Out and about with Port Charlotte Primary, Maths week, Remembering Archie Gillespie, Perry Greeen stays at home, Ice-age Islay, Food shortages on Islay, Ardtalla Estate's Award, Port Ellen Primary thanks Covid heroes

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Whisky Isles investment proposed

Argyll and Bute Council have agreed to develop a series of ambitious infrastructure projects which could form part of bids for funding from the UK Government's Levelling Up Fund (UKLUF)
UKLUF will see local authorities across the UK compete for a share of £4.8 billion capital funding which will support investment projects with up to £20 million of funding, in addition to investment in larger high value transport projects up to £50m in exceptional circumstances.
Councillors agreed plans to further develop a range of projects across Argyll and Bute, with the main focus being placed on regeneration and transport initiatives.
UK Government criteria put each local authority into one of three categories, with Argyll and Bute placed in the second priority, relating to economic recovery and growth, improved transport connectivity and regeneration.
The projects under consideration in Argyll and Bute are split into Regeneration and Transport.
As part of the £50m Transport Bid, the council is proposing one which would build on the major growth which Islay and Jura have seen in the whisky industry.
The scheme would involve investment in the islands' infrastructure, primarily the local road network linking both the ferry terminals on Islay, including carriageway interventions, active travel investments and an electric bus service.
It would also entail replacement of the current Jura Ferry with a larger hybrid or electric ferry together with road improvements on Jura, further complementing CMAL's planned investment at Port Ellen.
Responding to these proposals, Council Leader, Robin Currie, told the Ileach, "It was agreed by the full council on 30 September that all the proposals will now be considered in detail, plans drawn up and costed and be ready to go if approved by the UK Government. I'm delighted that my years of campaigning have resulted in the project to have the road between the two ports on Islay upgraded. This funding can't be used for repairs and general upkeep and the work has to be transformational, so if this application is successful, we are talking about major improvements, which is really exciting."
We asked Cllr. Currie, if the proposal for an electric bus would be singular or a fleet. He replied, "It would have to be more than one, but there is a need for feasibility work on this issue."
The Ileach also asked whether this would build on any current council strategies, and if the funding application proved unsuccessful, were there plans to seek alternative funding?
He said, "The work done through this bid will help to make this project shovel ready and we will look to position ourselves if and when further capital funding becomes available. Transport connectivity improvements are a key priority of the council and this project will complement investments in established and new distilleries, Port Ellen port improvements by CMAL and works at Port Askaig.
Councillor Redman also pledged his support, saying, "These new infrastructure plans for the 'Whisky Islands' as part of the transport bid for money from the Levelling Up Fund, is a welcome move and one which I have been lobbying for some time.
"Our whisky islands have been huge tax contributors to central government's coffers for some time so it's only fair that we receive much needed and long overdue infrastructure investment."

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ISLAY & THE COVID-19 VIRUS: IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Last updated Monday 03 October 2021

Prepared for the benefit of Islay residents, this downloadable PDF file offers general information along with details of the Islay Volunteer Network and the state of play with regard to local businesses and services. Please check this page regularly.

DOWNLOAD HERE

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Thanks to Covid heroes
port ellen primary harvest bag

Jo Clark writes:
Primaries 5, 6 & 7 have been learning all about sustainable food choices this term, as well as developing their cooking skills. They have looked at food miles and created their own low food miles bramble jelly and rosehip jelly from foraged local produce and harvest chutney from locally grown vegetables. After learning some key chopping skills, how to make bread and how to scale, gut and fillet a fish, they chose and cooked healthy meals from around the world. During maths week Scotland they used measuring skills to create a range of cupcakes. Finally they chose to make a gift of the products to the people in the community who helped during Covid.
On Tuesday we delivered the six gift bags to say thank you to our local Covid heroes. Each contained jars of the jellies and chutney and a selection of the cupcakes. Primaries 2,3&4 made lovely harvest loaves of bread to share as well. As a community school we feel it is important to support and say thank you to our wonderful community for supporting us!

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This is Islay
this is islay podcast

A new monthly podcast featuring individuals, personalities and features of Islay and Jura. Listen now at https://anchor.fm/thisisislay

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Still here

The Ileach, now approaching its 49th year of publication, has weathered more than just a few economic downturns in its time, local, national and global. However, the current situation is unprecedented in our lifetimes.
We have every intention of continue to produce the newspaper for as long as is practical and possible. And just as in previous times of difficulty, we would appreciate your support in making this happen.
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Stay safe.

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NEXT ISSUE ON SALE, Saturday 23 October 2021

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