Impressions of Ardnave Islay

Today was one of those perfect days with wall to wall sunshine, blue skies and hardly any wind. It's as if these days occur independently of any season as we've had such days in almost any month of the year and somehow they all feel the same. This weekend was supposed to bring very cold weather with Arctic air and I must admit that it was cold yesterday, but today was a different story. We walked in our t-shirts on the Ardnave beaches and it was heavenly!

The Ardnave walk always has a surprise for us. Today it was the extremely low tide on our way back. Loch Gruinart seemed to have vanished as you can see in one of the eerie looking images below. Another nice surprise was a Seal pup on the rocks at Ardnave Point. This is something which happens more often, these pups seem to be deserted but are usually soon reunited with their mother so it's best to leave them alone. There was lots of wildlife about today varying from hares, a few buzzards, barnacle geese, whooper swans, chough, seals, oystercatchers and a lot of smaller birds. Below are some impressions of today's walk. Isn't it magic? Read more...

Bee Happy on Islay

One of the many interesting projects from the Islay Development Initiative is the Islay Pollinator Initiative. It started as a way to protect the pollinators, the biodiversity and the natural environment on Islay and they are currently employing 5 people on this fantastic initiative. The project co-ordinator is Fiona MacGillivray and I'd rather let her introduce this exciting project to you in her recent press release. Here goes:

The Islay Pollinator Initiative is an exciting project to be involved in, the first of its kind, an all-round approach to habitats, pollinators and honeybees on the island. It's a broadly focused project looking at all native pollinators, butterflies, bumblebees and other insects and improving habitats for them, the project also sets out to develop a social enterprise in honeybees and products that can be gained from wax and honey.

The basis of the project is employability to provide training and opportunity to the young people on the island to develop skills in beekeeping, the associated ecology of pollinators, habitat development and the products based around this, developing money generating pathways on the island. Read more.....

Wanted: New Owners for a Successful Restaurant on Islay

In the pretty conservation village of Port Charlotte, on the shores of Loch Indaal, is a great opportunity for someone who wants to take over and run an already successful restaurant. Yan's Kitchen, which has an excellent reputation, is for sale since a few months. The current owners have decided to sell this lovely place and are looking for a new owner.

With Islay getting busier each year there is a huge potential and it's an ideal start for someone to step in and follow up on the successes the previous owners had. The current restaurant has an average 4.5 rating on Tripadvisor and an average 4.4 rating on Google which is very good.

The beautiful views over Loch Indaal certainly help in providing a lovely lunch or dinner experience on Islay. Yan's Kitchen restaurant is located opposite the Islay Museum and has recently undergone a thorough exterior refurbishing. Their website https://www.yanskitchen.co.uk/ offers information and menus about the current restaurant. The key selling points are: Read more....

Outrage on Social Media about Trophy Hunt on Islay

In the last days two American Hunters operating under the name of Larysa Switlyk twitter.com/@LSwitlyk posted photos on Instagram and Twitter showing off the killing of a Feral Goat and Ram on Islay, see below. Many folk were appalled by the images. Although Feral Goats are roaming around the island in many places they are not part of some sort of culling scheme and as far as I know there is no regulated hunt on Goats as there is on the Red Deer population. And besides that, there is a big difference in hunting to regulate animal populations and trophy hunting which, in their case, was for the "fun of it". Apalling indeed!

As so many people included us in their tweets I feel obliged to respond. I myself was appalled by these images as well and I question the legality of this senseless killing of animals which is NOT what Islay is about. On the other hand however, stalking and hunting does take place on estates all over Scotland, also on Islay. That's the way how some estates work and it's a way for them to make money, it also brings millions to the Scottish economy. This type of hunting is taking place within the law. Read more...

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