Torosay gardens open

Torosay Castle gardens are opening to the public on the first Sunday of the month, until October.

Admission is by free donation to local charities.

Dogs on leads are welcome.

2017 Mull Rally cancelled

Insurance difficulties have forced cancellation of this year’s Mull Rally, planned for October 13-15.

Organisers said  “insurmountable insurance issues” for the closed road event were to blame.

The rally – said to bring a £1 million business benefit to the island – attracted 150 crews last year and has run under a private Act of Parliament since 1990.

However, the private closed road legislation raises very significant insurance challenges and the huge excess payable on any claim under the policy are just unaffordable.

Event organisers are trying to put on an alternative motorsport event for the same weekend.

Community buy-out for Ulva?

Ulva sale update: a community buyout by the North West Mull Community Woodland Company (NWMCWC) has been proposed to the Scottish government.

According to Scottish newspaper The National, the application for the buy-out states that the overall aim is to manage the estate “to provide sustainable benefits for the community in the short to medium term and in the long term for future generations including the repopulation of the island”.

It adds: “This sale marks a crossroads in the history of Ulva and North West Mull and provides a golden opportunity to ensure the survival and bolster the development of a fragile and remote community, enabling a vibrant and sustainable future for generations to come.”

Ulva: up for sale at £4.25m

The beautiful Isle of Ulva, off Mull’s west coast, is up for sale.

Its name comes from the Norse word for Wolf Island – Ullfur – and the first settlement dates back to 5,600 BC.

Now, it’s on the market for the first time in 70 years – with a price tag of £4.25million.  Included are 4,583 acres, a Grade B listed house built in 1950 to replace a house destroyed in a fire, and  a Thomas Telford church. The estate includes  a restaurant and tea room that are let out, as well as eight other properties including small cottages and a sporting lodge.

Estate agents Frank Knight describe it as “one of the finest private islands in northern Europe” with  “unique heritage and conservation value with incredible wildlife, birdlife and sea life”.

Full story in the Daily Telegraph

Knight Frank brochure on Ulva


Road safety for Mull’s otters

Car light reflectors have been installed on Mull to protect the island’s otters.

The reflectors angle light from car headlights onto the verge and into the otters’ eyes – hopefully persuading them to wait to cross the road until it is safe.

The idea has been successfully used on Skye and is being trialled on Mull by the Mull Otter Group (MOG), which says around 25 otters are killed on the island’s roads in a year.

One reflector set was installed in February and the second set in December near Pennygowan between Salen and Fishnish.

More on the MOG website

Getting to Mull via an underwater tunnel?

Could an underwater tunnel be the solution to Mull’s transport problems?

The idea has been put forward as a way to help visitors get easier acsess to Mull and islanders who commute to the mainland for work. At present, they all depend on the ferry service, which has restricted timetables and can be badly disrupted by bad weather.

Skye has a bridge allowing people to come and go as they please.  But Alistair MacDougall, who heads up head of Argyll and Bute Council’s transportation committee, thinks a tunnel, perhaps linking Lochaline on the Movern peninsula and Fishnish, north of Craignure, could be a better option.

Full story in The Herald


Mull recreated in London’s east end

Supermarket Lidl, which buys its mussels from Mull, is creating an pop-up interactive event bringing a taste of Mull  in east London next week-end  – September 15-18.

It’s paying homage to the sustainable, Scottish rope-grown mussels it buys from Mull, currently in season until March.  The event – Mussel Beach – is set to recreate Mull’s stunning scenery, bringing Loch Spelve to Brick Lane’s Old Trewman Brewery.

Experimental chefs will be creating recipes for visitors to the free event. And guests will be able to gaze at Mull’s starry night skies, thanks to Kinect technology, while suspended on swings made from mussel ropes.  Visitors can also walk across a jetty to view Lidl’s lake, with water sourced directly from the Loch itself.


Earthquake on Mull

A small earthquake was recorded on Mull last month – recorded by the British Geological Survey.

The 1.9-magnitude tremor was felt at Lochbuie, Kinlochspelve and Gruline.

Apparently there are usually up to 300 recorded earthquakes in Britain every year but most are so small that they are not noticed

Mull shines in Silent Storm

Mull has a starring role in Corinna McFarlane’s The Silent Storm – released in cinemas last month, although it premiered at the London Film Festival nearly two years ago

The writer/director and a crew of 70, made use of Carsaig Bay’s old jetty and the Nun’s Cave as well as artists’ retreat, Inniemore Lodge for the film.

Islanders had starring roles as well as the congregation in the postwar tale of authoritarian minister Balor McNeil, played by Damian Lewis, his nature loving wife Aislin (Andrea Riseborough) and young offender  Fionn (Ross Anderson) who comes to live with them in their island home.

“The landscape is intrinsic to the story,” McFarlane told the Radio Times, “because it’s about the isolation of the characters and the idea of God in nature versus the puritanical, fundamentalist version of God as rules and structure. For me, it had to be on an island because islands have their own rules and a distinct atmosphere. Mull is very lush and otherworldly.”

“Some days it [the weather] would be torrential and then it would clear up and the sun would be so hot and we’d all swim after work. The sea is crystal clear. It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth.”

View the official trailer on YouTube

silent storm poster