MBE for weaver Robert

Islander Robert Ryan, aged 79, has been honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to weaving and the economy on the Isle of Mull.

Mr Ryan has shared his skills and expertise to build a viable weaving operation at Ardalanish organic farm, near Bunessan in the south west of  the island, which has local breeds including Kyloe cattle and Hebridean sheep.

As well as keeping traditional skills alive, he has encouraged more British textile companies to process certified organic wool products and trained and inspired new weavers to set up their own businesses.

Robert and his wife Kathy set up Isle of Mull Weavers in  1987 and, when they retired, helped move their 1920s and 1950s vintage looms to Ardalanish.

Today, the weaving business at Ardalanish produces a range of beautiful organic tweeds, throws, rugs, scarves and knitwear. And is feted by Savile Row tailors and fashion designers.

Ardalanish weavers

New whale and dolphin centre

The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust has opened a new visitor centre in Tobermory.

Funded through a £220K grand from the UK government’s Coastal Communities Fund (CCF), the centre boasts interactive exhibitions, displays and a gift shop.

Scotland’s western seas are among Europe’s most important habitats for cetaceans – whales, dolphins and porpoises.  so far, 24 of the world’s estimated 92 cetacean species have been recorded in the region.

The CCF has also funded a revamp of the trust’s research yacht, Silurian, which is used by marine scientists and volunteers to survey cetaceans.

Mull is a magnet for wildlife fans and the new centre aims to underline the island as a destination to enjoy and discover world-class marine biodiversity.

The visitor centre will be open seven days a week during the season, from 10.30am to 4.30pm.  Entry is free although a small charge may be needed for specific events. Donations are welcome.

Visit the Trust’s website

Recent sightings page