The Declaration appeared this week, on the Islands Revival blog. The joint statement issued by research institutes, community groups and public sector organisations begins: “We affirm that there is credible evidence of ‘green shoots’ of population turnaround in the Scottish islands, which as yet does not show up in official statistics.“
The population of West Harris has increased by 27% since 2012, that of Eigg by well over 50% since the buy-out in 1997. The population of Colonsay has been growing since 1991, while Westray in Orkney registered growth for the first time in 2011. Kerera has doubled its population in the last 8 years. Iona, Ulva Ferry on Mull have dramatically increased their primary school rolls, while primary school rolls in the Outer Hebrides have been maintained since 2011 suggesting that a key younger demographic group (parents with young children) is being sustained across this large island group.
CoDeL is delighted to have been working with the James Hutton Institute, the Scottish Rural College (SRUC) and Community Land Scotland on this project, which first emerged from our research on young people returning, staying or settling on Uist. Turnaround is not just happening on Uist, but also on many islands both in Scotland and abroad.
Only a few weeks to go before the Island Gathering on Grimsay. It will bring together participants from islands across Scotland and Ireland. Have a look at the PROGRAMMEhere. If you are interested in participating in the event, please get in touch with Theona Morrison (email@example.com).
With the focus of the Smart Islands project on YOUNGER PEOPLE who are returning, settling or staying on islands, we are particularly keen to involve younger participants (the Scottish definition of a young crofter, and the European definition of a young farmer is below 40).
For those coming from outside Uist there is some hostel accommodation available — please ask us for details.
We launch CoDeL’s new website today. Thank you to Liam Crouse for revamping the website.
Our Islands Revival blog is coming to a close, and has brought together some great posts from islands across Scotland, as well as from Arranmore in Ireland, Prince Edward Island in Canada and from the Caribbean. The project’s concluding workshop will be held at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Skye at the end of August 2019. Continue reading “Latest news and website from CoDeL”
We are excited to be launching the Smart Islands project with funding from Leader Action Groups in the Outer Hebrides and the four counties of Ireland with islands. Our first big event will be the gathering of island representatives from across Scotland and Ireland on Grimsay in Uist during the week September 30th to October 4th. In addition to sessions to share knowledge and experience on a wide range of island topics, the week will also include the AGM and annual gathering of the Scottish Islands Federation, and a video link to the presentation of the draft Islands Plan to the Scottish Parliament. Continue reading “Launch of the Smart Islands project”
The common perception is that island populations are in decline and that lack of jobs is the key driver behind such decline. On the other hand, surveys reveal that the Highlands and Islands are the best place in Scotland to live and more young people want to stay or settle there, while many island jobs remain unfilled. So what do we make of these apparent contradictions?Continue reading “Conundrums on Population Trends: Happiness, young people, children, jobs”