News & Events

Caraidean Newsletter December 2019

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Tree Planting in North Harris

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Community Consultations 2019

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Volunteering along the Postmans Path

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Despite challenging weather conditions on Wednesday 4th September a great amount was acheived with the help of 22 hardy volunteers from the Harris Stalking Club, John Muir Trust & S3 Pupils from Sir Edward Scott School, Isle of Harris repairing sections of footpath along the Postmans Path.

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September’s Mountain of the Month – An Cliseam

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Ardvourlie Woodland Observatory Construction Begins…

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Busy morning at NHT today as we marked out the location of the Ardvourlie Woodland Obervatory with O’Mac Construction Limited with construction due to begin later this week. Once completed the Woodland Observatory will sit at an elevated position within the 100ha broadleaf plantation offering 270 degree views over Loch Seaforth and up Glen Vigidale. Thanks to our funders: Outer Hebrides LEADER, Muaitheabhal Community Windfarm Trust, CNES, Highlands and Islands Enterprise & John Muir Trust .

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Open all hours

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Our Chemical Disposal Point for campers’ toilets has now had its second anniversary and customer numbers are increasing. The biggest complaint we have had about the service is that it’s not open on a Monday, when the Recycling Depot is closed.

With assistance from CnES, the local authority, we have modified the fence/gates and installed a coin meter and latch to make the CDP accessible 24×7, just like our other one at Huisinis Gateway.

The new meter cupboard on the left

Like most of Harris, we operate with a private sewerage system – there is no mains sewerage. For this reason we ask customers not to use “blue” chemicals in their waste. We rely on the majority of customers using “green”, septic-tank friendly chemicals – or none at all.

The meter needs 3 x £1 coins to open the latch. This charge contributes to the annual septic tank emptying fee.

See other campervan information HERE

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No more water tankers to Huisinis ?

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Today saw the arrival of the new Water Treatment Works serving Govig, through to Huisinis. After years of lobbying and hours spent poring over croft maps with various Scottish Water consultants, the Trust  can now see the results of its efforts.

Preparing to lift the first unit

Last night two landing craft delivered a crane and two pre-fabricated plant buildings onto the beach at Huisinis. The crane lifted the two units up onto the road to be conveyed to the construction sites, back towards Govig. The pre-fab units were too large to pass under the arch at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle.

Evening arrival

Scottish Water is investing £4.5M in 3.7miles of new pipework, a water treatment plant and a storage tank. This will improve the reliability of the water supply to the villages at the far west of the estate. It will put an end to tankers delivering water from Stornoway to top up the reservoirs every other day in high season.

The last load on terra firma

The North Harris Trust will continue to lobby for upgrades in the remaining villages in the west of the estate where future developments are restricted by reliance upon local boreholes and streams.

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Not feasible?

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We have just received the final version of the feasibility study into new, affordable housing on a site at Ardvourlie. Porteous Architecture has worked with its partners to design an attractive scheme that makes the most of the landscape and views. The Engineer and Quantity Surveyor however have put a damper on things by costing the project at well over £1M.

We have tried a larger scheme of 8x 2 and 3-bed houses to get the price down per unit. We have tried a 4 unit scheme to reduce the roads and services, to get the price down. Whatever we’ve done, we are looking at c£250K per house according to the professionals. Despite positive first impressions, it’s proving an expensive site to develop. The Rural Housing Fund grants for affordable homes are about £100K  per unit– leaving a large gap to fill.

The plan now is to ask Highland Small Community Housing Trust to go over the figures and make sure there are no glaringly obvious mistakes. They have far more experience developing social housing than us. Finally, we somehow have to get the message over to the Scottish Government, that it’s more expensive to build here than their funding scheme will allow!

Have a look at the study HERE

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Need business space?

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SURVEY INTO PROVISION OF NEW BUSINESS PREMISES IN NORTH HARRIS

It was recently announced that Highlands & Islands Enterprise is supporting a Market Assessment and Feasibility Study for The North Harris Trust (NHT), into the provision of new business premises in North Harris. Following its completion of the Iomairt an Obain business development, NHT now wishes to build on this success, encouraging other businesses to create more local employment opportunities.

Iomairt an Obain

The contract was awarded to SKS Scotland, who are carrying out an initial survey to determine demand for any newly-constructed premises.

Calum MacKay, Chair of The North Harris Trust said; “This is an excellent opportunity for any businesses on Harris or nearby to give their opinion about what is needed and what they want to see in Harris.  The survey is also relevant for people who would be interested in starting up their own business but currently feel limited by lack of appropriate space or other factors.”

Calum continued; “We would encourage anyone who feels this might be relevant to them to complete the survey, which is available on line at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Harrispremises, and make sure their opinion is heard!”

Alternatively, hard copies are available from the NHT office: Tigh an Urrais, Tarbert, Isle of Harris, and via the NHT website https://www.north-harris.org/

The survey will be open until the 19th July at 5pm.

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