Earlier this month, we hosted a visit to the Bunavoneader Hydro-electric scheme. The Science Club at Sir E Scott primary school has been working on a hydro-electric project and wanted to see a full-sized scheme in operation. The pupils hiked up to the intake and then back down to look around the turbine house. The visit took place in an unusually dry spell, so the turbine was not working on the day, however everyone did go home clean and dry!
The Trust is part owner of a windfarm and a hydro-electric scheme. These are proving to be great educational resources for the local school.
The building that provided relief to so many, is no more. Huisinis public toilets were leveled today to make way for the new Huisinis Gateway development.
Excavators will be hard at work over the next four weeks preparing the site for foundations and a new carpark. They will then move up the road to the quarry that will be turned into a licenced camping area for campervans.
The construction project will run until August, so the Trust has installed temporary toilet facilities opposite the development for the duration. The existing carpark has been taken out of use as it now forms part of the construction site. Temporary parking space is available over at the Scarp jetty.
The recent decision by Scottish Water to suspend the new water main to Huisinis will hopefully only have a minor impact upon the project. We had planned to install a water supply at the campervan site. This will no longer be possible. The existing supplies down at the Huisinis Gateway will be made available for campers, alongside the new chemical disposal point. A decision on how we will operate the showers will be made once we know the outcome of the Scottish Water review.
The funding search is still on for the finishing details. Our application to the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund was successful. £4500 has been received to provide waste recycling bins. This will cut the volume of waste heading to the landfill site from Huisinis. Bord na Gaidhlig has also awarded us £1500 towards the cost of bilingual signage.
For more details of the project, click HERE
I have just finished writing the 2017 guided walks program. There are a few new routes and a weekly whale and dolphin watching walk this year and some weekend walks Please visit www.north-harris.org.
Please click here for the 2017 guided walks program.
10725 North Harris Trust 2017 Guided Walks Programme Booklet PROOF 4
We are pleased to announce that the new Isle of Harris Mountain Festival website has just been launched. Please visit http://www.iohmf.co.uk to view the complete 2017 programme, book events and keep up to date with the latest news.
We have been contacted recently by a student carrying out some research on the economic impacts of buyouts on residents. As part of his research he is carrying out a short online survey so if you have a spare 5 mins follow the link below and give yourself a chance to win a £20 voucher.
“I am a final year student studying Rural Land Management at University. As part of my degree I am required to complete a dissertation for which I am studying the impact of community buyouts and conducting a survey of buyout residents. This survey is focusing on the social and economic impacts of buyouts on the local residents and should take approximately five minutes to complete. Respondents can (if they wish) be entered into a competition for a £20 Amazon voucher. All survey data will of course be anonymised and then destroyed once I have completed my dissertation.”
We have finally secured all the funding required to get the construction project under way. With Highlands and Islands Enterprise confirming their award alongside CnES and LEADER, we can now start looking for someone to build the new facilities. The opportunity is now live on the Public Contracts Scotland web portal so we have a month of waiting to see who’s interested in building in one of the remotest corners of the remotest corner of the country!
We hope to be awarding a contract in January and breaking ground in the spring. See plans of the proposed development HERE.
The Dates for the 2017 Isle Of Harris Mountain Festival have just been confirmed as 9th – 16th of September. We already have some events and guest speakers booked. We will publish the programme when it is complete.
If you would like to get involved in anyway please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 01859 502222
Bunavoneader hydro-electric scheme is finally operational!
Back in July, Ross-shire Engineering handed the scheme over to River Generation Limited (RGL). RGL is the developer and the joint venture company formed by the Trust and Sustainable Technology Investors Limited. The main works were complete and the scheme entered a phase of close monitoring. Despite three weeks in October with no rain, we have now emerged from this phase, and all systems are go, as we enter the rainy season.
Nestling amongst the houses in Bunavoneader, you’ll see a new building , the size of a double garage, with a red roof. This is the turbine house located at the bottom of 250m of 630mm pipe. The pipe brings water form a new intake up the river behind the old dam. The turbine is located inside, along with the electricity grid connection point. Water is returned to the river at the side of the building.
Inside the building is a 100kW Francis turbine. You’ll just see in the picture above, the intake pipe entering the buiding, under all the dials on the wall. The pipe or penstock feeds water around the outside of the turbine, through the blades and out from the middle of the casing, down into the ground. The big blue box with the black wires is the generator which is attached to the spinning blades to make electricity.
The scheme is now exporting electricity to the Harris grid. It is forecast to generate 371,000 units of electricity each year -enough to power over 100 homes. The crofter and the Bunavoneader-Meavaig North grazings committee will benefit directly from a share of the rent paid by RGL. The wider North Harris & Scalpay residents will benefit indirectly through the Trust’s share. The scheme is a good example of how the Trust aims to make best use of the 25,000ha North Harris estate for the benefit of the whole community.
It’s always a sure sign that Autumn is here when you start to see winter migrants coming back. There are flocks of Redwings and a few Fieldfare’s flying about Tarbert at the moment. Their numbers will increase as the months progress as will the amount of species returning.