News & Events
By: Stuart Williams
Stretching out above the cotton grass and heather is a newly opened boardwalk on a quiet hillside on Rousay. At the end of this lovely pathway that is accessible to all, is a beautiful view across to St Magnus Church on Egilsay with the northern isles of Orkney beyond.
Situated on Kingarly Hill, near the community wind turbine, the boardwalk was formerly opened by local MSP Liam MacArthur. He was joined by Trust members, locals and volunteers who had been involved in the project. The boardwalk has been dedicated to the memory of Eleanor Barr, the Trust’s Ranger who passed away in 2022.
The opening ceremony. L-R Stuart Williams (REWDT Trust Manager), Liam MacArthur MSP, Kayleigh Tipper (REWDT Chair)
This project was conceived through consultation with the community, who wanted to ensure that people of all abilities could access and appreciate this wonderful environment. It aims to open-up part of the Trumland Estate that the Trust brought into community ownership in 2019. It was Eleanor who initiated and obtained funding for the Boardwalk, helping to secure almost £100,000 through the Scottish Government ‘Healthy Island Fund’.
REWDT Trust Manager, Stuart Williams, said “The Heart of Rousay Boardwalk is a significant new addition to the island of Rousay, and is the result of several years of hard work by the community and Trust staff. Our gratitude is extended to the construction team who had to work carefully in the fragile habitat of the site and endure the harsh weather conditions that the exposed site experiences.”
The design work was undertaken by Paul Green, landscape architect in Kirkwall, and it was built entirely in durable maintenance free recycled plastic. Along the boardwalk are two ‘living wall’ planters which have built in seating to allow the extensive views to be enjoyed. Groundworks were undertaken by Kenny Sinclair and Casey Construction built the main structure. The project build started in September 2022 after the nesting season and was completed by the end of the year.
Commenting on the opening, Liam MacArthur MSP said, ““I was delighted to be able to open the Boardwalk, which is an impressive addition to the island, both for residents and visitors alike. The design ensures the boardwalk is highly accessible and will allow people to enjoy amazing panoramic views as well as the chance to get to the heart of the amazing moorland with its wildlife. It is a fitting testament to Eleanor who had such a strong connection with the natural environment, it’s flora and fauna, and will be a legacy for many years to come”.
Future plans at the site involve interpretation signage explaining the progress of energy production through the ages, wildlife & nature and explaining the islands that can be seen from the Boardwalk.
By: Helen Castle
We are pleased to be able to share with you the consultant's report following the consultation sessions in December. You can read the full report, including our response, here.
In summary, our Board is committed to the following next steps:
• We will be announcing details about how to join a new Task Force shortly, to help us with Recommendation 2 in the consultant’s report (feasibility study and review of long-term options), as well as help us to investigate short-term measures for facilitating community events and activities which either make use of existing community venues not managed by the Trust, or, if necessary and possible, areas of The Pier site and building.
• We will be launching our new Community Kickstart Grant shortly, please look out for further announcements in due course.
• We are making progress on rectifying the oil leak with the insurer and contractor.
• We are progressing a new mains water connection at the site.
• We are committed to keeping the community up to date with progress on this project, as well as providing further opportunities for members of the community to share their ideas and views.
We look forward to continuing to work with the community on the long-term plans for the project. In the meantime, we have identified some short-term solutions which can be implemented and adapted relatively quickly. This does not mean that other ideas cannot be considered and put in place as part of the short-term measures; new suggestions will always be welcome. We also recognise that short-term solutions cannot solve all of the problems identified during the consultation exercise, but we will do our best with our limited resources and the short timescale.
By: Helen Castle
The Heart of Rousay project aims to open up this hilly heartland for residents and visitors to enjoy.
Part of this project is the creation of a viewpoint and walkway at Kingarly Hill, the site of the 900kW wind turbine. The views from here incorporate the interior moorland landscape of Rousay, across Sourin Burn and Kierfea, and sea views looking out across to the North Isles and Mainland.
With generous external funding from Healthy Islands Fund, work can begin with the design and construction of a boardwalk, seating area and car park at Kingarly Hill. The boardwalk and seating will be tailored to allow access for people with limited mobility and wheelchair users.
Healthy Islands Fund is an investment from the Scottish Government to support community-led initiatives that promote healthier lifestyles on the islands.
The viewpoint will be a place to:
- Celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of Rousay’s moorland
- Enjoy the outdoors and connect with nature
- Give access to those of all abilities and ages
Thanks to residents sharing their views in these surveys, we can show the community-need and enthusiasm for the project to funders! Your views and survey contributions make a real difference.
Community support for the creation of the viewpoint:
- ‘Creating viewpoints’ option was the highest scoring project option (+0.92) in the community ballot 2017 as part of the feasibility study for the community purchase of Trumland Estate.
- In 2012, in a questionnaire sent to REW residents, 80% supported or strongly supported a viewpoint at the community turbine. 158 residents (77% of total residents) took part in the survey.
Updates on the Heart of Rousay project and viewpoint will be shared online via the REWDT website and Facebook page.
If you have any other enquiries, please get in touch with Eleanor by calling 01856 821229 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Helen Castle
This report has been compiled by our project consultants, Alan Jones Associates, and is based on the responses to the survey issued to all adult residents on Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre in December/January.
This is the first step of our planned community consultation. Unfortunately, we have been unable to proceed with the next steps due to further Covid-19 restrictions announced just before Christmas. We are hopeful that the consultation will be able to continue as planned over the next couple of months, so please look out for further information in due course.
In the meantime, should anyone have any questions regarding The Pier Project, please do not hesitate to ask us.
To view the report (PDF), please click here.
By: Kayleigh Tipper
Following the ongoing interest in The Pier project, we have produced a timeline, to illustrate the work undertaken by the Development Trust, in relation to this project, over the last few years. This timeline breaks down into specific actions and dates. To assist you, we have created image maps, which means that you can click on each activity and you will be taken to the associated document. To access these timelines (split into 3 in total), you will need to use the following links:
The Pier Timeline 2019
The Pier Timeline 2020 (January-March)
The Pier Timeline 2020 (April-December)
We have also produced a timeline which summarises the main points - you can see these further below (these are not image maps, so there are no links to documents on these ones). If you are viewing this on a mobile device, you may only see a partial image - please click or tap on the images to see a larger version.
We hope you will find these timelines and documents useful, however, as ever, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.
By: Peter Roebuck
Pier Site Project Time LinesFollowing the ongoing interest in the Timelines associated with Our Pier Site Project expressed by many members please find the current timeline. Associated documents to support this will follow.
To see the timeline please click here
By: Helen Castle
TRUMLAND LAND PURCHASE
On 27th August 2020 we successfully purchased Trumland Estate land.
Thank you again to the Scottish Land Fund and The BIG Lottery fund for awarding the grant for the purchase of the land, and to Highlands and Islands Enterprise for funding the Project Officer post.
Please click here for initial information regarding the land. More information, along with a map of the land, will follow once the relevant documents have been returned from the land registry.
We are currently working alongside a local land consultant, from SAC in Kirkwall. This will enable us to gain a better understanding of our rights and responsibilities regarding the land.
The sub-projects that are currently being worked on are the ones that gained the greatest support in the Community Ballot of July 2018. These included creating a viewing point, creating a Ranger service provision and carrying out invasive species control.
We look forward to discussing further plans with you soon and hearing your thoughts.
Should anyone wish to discuss the land in more detail please do not hesitate to get in touch with the office on 01856 821229 or email email@example.com