Back from long but fascinating & positive trip to Raasay. What a stunning place & journey was amazing! Loch Laggan & ferry =real highlights!
Paul Wheelhouse MSP

Paul Wheelhouse seems to have enjoyed his jaunt to Raasay. (Scottish Government press release here)

Meanwhile on BBC Radio Scotland Out of Doors this morning Chris Dalton of South Ayrshire Stalking and myself were interviewed. The questions, some of the comments from Chris Dalton and the chatter by the presenters after the interview seem to highlight a worrying failure to understand the challenges of land reform, rural development, the capacity of the crofters of Raasay, and the most appropriate means by which to develop the hunting economy on the island. Listen below.

Dave Ross Highland Line blog. Is it a u-turn or a three-point turn on Raasay?

UPDATE 8 March 2013 West Highland Free Press report on Wheelhouse visit to Raasay


  1. Hmmm. Chris Dalton said that he wanted to bring investment in to Raasay, which is nice, but presumably he also intended to take profits out?

    • Aye, every silver lining has a cloud. Do you not think that bringing investment to an area increases trade and commerce and thus tax revenues is that not a worthy cause? Or should we go back to the days when the Laird decided who does what? The Scottish Government were it seems damned if they did and damned if they did not.

      • I can’t see how they would have been damned had they had a long term strategic plan in place for Raasay that included the support and development of local enterprises.

      • Ideally profits from Raasay sporting rights should go back into to the community.

        If they think it’s in their interests to partner with other people in order to develop some kind of business on the island, that’s one thing but South Ayrshire Stalking was imposed upon them. Shouldn’t they have a choice?

  2. hebrideanfarmer

    Just listened to the radio interview. Why does Neil Dalton think he needs to give these islanders training and expertise ??? It is well proven that the locals are the experts, and since it was they who built the business up to what it is today, I hardly think they need the expertise from an Ayrshire company.

    • Yes.

      But let’s assume for argument’s sake that he really did have a plan which is in everyone’s best interests. It would still be possible to proceed with that – the only difference being that the RCA would enter into an arrangement as an equal partner. The idea that they have become “insulated from outside investment and expertise” is rather odd.

  3. I, kind of, understand that the Scottish Government owns the island. It would seem to me that the principle to be applied is to do the best for all the inhabitants. Looking at the Wikipedia entry for Raasay is a dismal experience. It is the history of the Scottish Highlands and Islands in microcosm.

    The people of Raasay need an oversight of whatever happens there. But that should not merely mean that the Crofters group are the sole representatives of that interest.

  4. Donald Gillies

    Chris Dalton’s comments don’t make sense. He claims his group “put a lot of work in” to the bid but was unaware that locals wanted to retain rights. The most elementary research would have told him this. What “work” went into the bid exactly, then, apart from strenuously pushing buttons on a calculator?

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