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Puddles and Potholes on Islay Roads

These are dangerous times on Islay for your car, motorbike or even bicycle. The condition of most of Islay's roads is not great and some single track roads are almost too bad to drive on. The roads from Loch Gruinart to Ardnave and Killinallan have degraded to a state that the word road is no longer applicable. The last few hundred metres to the Gruinart RSPB reserve from Bridgend is very bad as well. And only a few days ago when I was heading for Kilchoman Beach I noticed that this road is now in a terrible state as well. I've seen hardly any signs of structural maintenance on the roads this year, apart from the low road, other than filling potholes. And with the council budget under severe pressure it will get even worse!

In a letter in the Ileach the community council wrote: “Islay’s roads and passing places are deteriorating at an alarming rate, and comes as a result of having so many lorries and commercial vehicles travelling on the island,” explained Community Council Chairman, Islay McEachern. And yet, rather than spending the funds necessary to bring them back to an functioning standard, the roads’ budget is now half of what it was three years ago“. Argyll and Bute Council has shared figures with the community council which show that from 2014-15 until this year, their spending on our roads has been reduced by 50% - from £988,498 to £494,904 - due to budget cuts”. Continue reading....

Kilchoman Distillery Youtube Videos

It's been a while since I posted a video here, in fact, it's been a while since I've posted anything at all. What seemed to be quiet island life before we moved here, turned out to become a very busy life with both web design and photography keeping me very occupied. Time to make up for that today as Kilchoman Distillery have recently started a Youtube channel and posted a few very nice videos with shots of the distillery and the surrounding area including Kilchoman beach, the barley field and harvest and a lot more. 

The first video is about the distillery: "From the birth of Kilchoman our 100% Islay philosophy was our reason for being; it represents the revival of farm distilled single malt produced at a single location from barley to bottle, where the responsibility for quality and consistency at each stage is not outsourced but completed on site with skill, care and attention to detail.  We are proud to be the only distillery crafting single malt from barley both grown and malted on Islay, not to mention distilling, maturing and bottling here at Kilchoman as well." 


 

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Migrating Whooper Swans on Islay

With the changing of the seasons the thousands of Barnacle Geese return from Greenland to winter on the Isle of Islay. Together with the Geese there are also around four thousand Whooper Swans migrating south from Iceland. The Whooper Swans don't stay on Islay but continue further east and south to the Scottish Mainland and (Northern) Ireland where Islay is merely a stop to rest, feed and recover from the first, sometimes tiring, leg of their journey. This year a rather large group of Whooper Swans are occupying a stubble-field near Rockside Farm which is a great opportunity to observe them from a relatively short distance.


Whooper Swans near Sunderland Farm

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Port Ellen Distillery Islay Back into Production in 2020

Port Ellen Distillery on Islay and Brora Distillery in Sutherland, which have both been silent since its closure in 1983, will be brought back into production through a £35 million investment. The news was published today by Diageo who also own Lagavulin and Caol Ila distilleries on Islay as well as Port Ellen Maltings. Subject to planning permission and regulatory consents, detailed design, construction and commissioning work, it is expected both distilleries will be in production by 2020.


Warehouses and kilns of Port Ellen Distillery

In the 34 years since Port Ellen was closed, the whisky had become some of the most highly prized and sought after liquids in Scotch whisky, renowned for exceptional quality and character; elevating the ghost distillery to cult status amongst whisky enthusiasts and collectors.

For many years whisky fans around the world have called on Diageo to reopen the Port Ellen Distillery and Brora. The decision is partly a response to those demands from existing enthusiasts but it also reflects the strong growth in the single malt Scotch market and the opportunity to create new generations of whisky consumers. continue reading...

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