Local News for Tuesday 19th September 2017

Bid to bring back forests
Climate change and hardy survivors of the islands could be the key to bringing back forests to the Western Isles. A new project headed by Horshader Community Development Trust is looking to save seed from surviving native trees and to plant them as part of a project called Hebridean Ark. David Mackay of the trust, who’s been planting trees himself for over 25 years, says deforestation started with the Vikings chopping down trees, and was also spread by the need of the population for space to grow crops. But now, he says: "We're trying to bring back trees that have always been here, they're part of the Hebrides. The genetics of these trees have a timeline going back 2,000 years on the islands - they're hardy, like the people here." Species which could re-establish include rowan, birch and juniper, all of which have surviving examples in isolated spots around the islands.

Gin launch celebrated
The second gin distillery in the Western Isles had its official launch on Friday, as Barra Gin invited islanders to enjoy a taste of their new product. Barra Gin is made using carrageen seaweed among other botanical notes, and the launch night on Friday featured cocktails made with the gin and other ingredients, including pink peppercorn and mint. Party-goers celebrated with the band Trail West and the launch was hailed as ‘a fantastic night’ by the company.

Shinty season ends on Saturday
Lewis Camanachd travelled to Spean Bridge on Saturday to take on title challengers Lochaber, who showed exactly why they are pushing for promotion as they took the win by a score of 12-0. Lewis had almost twenty players unavailable to them this week but were still able to field fifteen, including manager Duncan MacIntyre roling back the years to play wingback whilst five members of the under-fourteen squad were included in the squad. All five juniors enjoyed considerable game time. Lochaber had peppered their side with a handful of Premiership players and, although Lewis put up a valiant fight, Lochaber’s quality shone through and the home side were 4-0 up inside the opening seventeen minutes. Lewis’ best spell of the game came shortly thereafter and with goalkeeper Euan Gilmour in particularly good form, they held the hosts without another first half goal. Lochaber scored a further eight goals in the second half. Lewis will finish their season Saturday with a trip to take on Lochcarron.

The club is planning a special end to the shinty year on Saturday the 14th of October. As well as hosting the Craig Morrison sixes tournament, they’ll be marking their 10th anniversary by inviting all those who have previously played for the club to join them at an anniversary bash at Stornoway Golf Club. If you have ever pulled on the famous dubh is gorm and have somehow slipped through the net please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book your place.