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The Visitor Gifting Scheme for Islay

Islay has to deal with some problems which need funding, but to put it simply, there is no money. When, as an example, the Islay Community Council wanted to provide facilities for motorhomes on the island they couldn't do much due to a lack of funds. Another issue at the moment is funding for Rangers who do the Beach Cleaning which is at risk. Each year many tons of plastic waste are collected on Islay's beaches, making sure that we can enjoy our beautiful beaches which are one of Islay's most important attractions. With the current financial situation of the Argyll and Bute Council there won't be coming any funds from them to deal with these and other issues. Therefore we need to find an alternative way to generate income. That's where you as a visitor come in.

We need your help

Already a few years ago I had an idea to ask visitors for a voluntary gift to help improve things on the island. See it as a sort of Visitor Tax, the thing you pay in many parts of the world in addition to your accommodation costs. It's usually something like 50 pence or a pound per person per night. I'm sure that many visitors to Islay wouldn't mind paying something extra to support our beautiful island. However, it's a difficult task to organise this, as it's quite an undertaking to collect, register, and account for all these extra monies. Continue reading....

Photos of the New Machrie Hotel Islay

Now that the weather is improving and the opening of The Machrie hotel is getting nearer it was time for me to have a closer look at the progress. You can see from a distance that is has become a larger building but you can only properly appreciate the size if you walk around it. The interesting bit is that I know the old Machrie Hotel and from what I recall the new Machrie looks at least 4 times bigger overall. The place is buzzing with workers. There are currently 85 people working on the interior and exterior to get everything ready for the opening, which is planned in the summer/autumn of 2018. The bungalows, which are used by the workers, will be demolished when they are no longer needed. It's a huge project and when finished The Machrie will have 47 rooms and will boast a superb bar/restaurant; a private 30 seater cinema; function room; two treatment rooms; a sauna and a small gym.

Machrie Golf Heaven....

When I walked around the construction site I also visited the Golf Course and was utterly impressed! I'm not a golfer, done it only once, but if I would play this would be golf heaven for me. The views over Laggan Bay, the fresh sea breeze, the dunes and the sound of the waves all compliment the immaculate and perfectly maintained 18 holes course. I'm sure many golfers will be very keen to play The Machrie! Below are some impressions of the Hotel and Golf Course. Continue reading..

Islay Nature Centre Open for the Season

Fiona MacGillvray writes: The Islay Natural History Trust’s Visitor Centre in Port Charlotte has opened on Easter Monday with a new, simpler name, the Islay Nature Centre. It is true we have changed the name of the centre a few times over the years, with some still calling it the Field Centre, and from there it has merged into a few formats in an effort to summarise in a title what we offer, as so many are often put off by our little door which unbeknown to them, leads into a vast area of wildlife exploration and information. So the centre is now open with tanks and creatures, tadpoles and bugs, and a plethora of information boards and displays. Please come and visit throughout the season for information, excitement and activities for all ages.

Let us know what wildlife you are seeing around the island and we will put it up on our boards and record it in our sightings. The skylarks are singing, the curlews are ‘cerlewing’ over the moor, and lapwings are combat dancing in the air and peewitting for a mate, scraping a nest in a damp corner of a field. We look forward to seeing you all at some point through the season, either in the centre or on the many activities over the summer which will be announced in due course.

The Islay Nature Centre is open weekdays from April to end of September 10 - 4pm and you get great value for your admission as tickets are valid for a whole week! Admission is free for INHT members and we have wheelchair access and toilet facilities. For more info phone 01496-850288 or email inht@islaynaturalhistory.org. For updates visit the INHT blog

Tag: inht port charlotte

Published with kind permission of the Ileach Newspaper

Video of the WW100 Commemoration on Islay

Today was Islay's big day due to the WW100 Commemoration Service and other events which took place in Port Ellen. This morning around 11.30am the Islay Pipe Band and pupils from Islay's schools with flags walked from the Co-Op to the war memorial where the Commemoration Service was held by Minister Valerie Watson in the presence of the Princess Royal and other dignitaries. The service lasted for almost an hour and I've created a video with some highlights. Enjoy!

Tag: ww100

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