For many years the Islay Natural History Trust (INHT) rented the space for their Visitor Centre from the Scottish Youth Hostels Association (SYHA). The visitor centre was housed in Port Charlotte in a part of the building owned by the Islay Youth Hostel. It was a place where people could learn about Islay's Natural History, meet the people behind the trust and it was also a place where the young could actively learn about nature through the touch-tanks, various displays and activities held in the centre.
The visitor centre was also the location for many interesting talks and for people to research the natural history of Islay in their extensive library. For some years now the INHT knew that the lease they had in the building was going to end and several attempts were made to relocate the visitor centre to another building but unfortunately no suitable and affordable space has been found. Continue reading....
Carl Reavey, Chairman of the INHT Management Committee, said: â€œThe INHT Trustees have for several years been on a search for alternative premises. Although a number of possibilities have been explored in some depth, nothing suitable has yet been identified. The Trustees and management committee are continuing to assess potential sites. While we will miss the benefits of displays and information conveyed at the Centre, a significant majority of the Trustâ€™s activities are not dependent on having our own premises and it is anticipated that these will continue. In the past, these have included walks, rambles, family activity sessions, talks (which could be held in different halls around the island), the INHT blog, the website, the Biological Records Database, the Visitor Welcome Evenings and attendance at various island functions such as Festival of the Sea, the Kilchoman Gala and the Islay Show. As you can see from the above, the Trust continues to be very active and we appreciate the support you provide which allows us to continue with this work.â€
The INHT will have to vacate the building before 28th March 2014. This shows that it's vital to support the Islay Natural History Trust through donations, memberships etc. It would be a shame if the trust wouldn't have their own visitor centre on the island anymore and it would be a big loss for visitors and locals alike. Make sure to visit the INHT Website and find out what you can do.
IMPORTANT UPDATE 2nd March:
I've just been told by Malcolm Ogilvie the following: The Islay Natural History Trust learnt just last week that Bruichladdich Distillery will be providing some financial support to the Trust to enable us to stay in the Centre for the next two years. More info will follow soon!