Local News for Monday 23rd April 2018

Joint Warrior jamming starts tomorrow
The UK-led NATO exercise Joint Warrior begins today, with GPS signal jamming due from tomorrow as part of the operation. The inter-service ‘wargames’ exercise includes activity in the Minch and west of the Hebrides, and this year includes ships from Denmark, the Netherlands, Canada, Germany and the US as well as British minesweepers and other vessels. GPS signal jamming from Loch Ewe will happen for two periods of one hour per day, from tomorrow until Thursday, and will cover an area which touches on the Lochs coast and Point. Stornoway Coastguard will broadcast information about the activity to mariners as they are informed, and are able to stop the signal jamming if needed during any incident at sea.

Third time lucky for cruises?
There’s another try at getting the cruise season underway tomorrow, with the cruise ship Astoria due in at Stornoway from 8am. The Portugese-registered Astoria is a familiar sight in Stornoway, bringing up to 550 passengers on a Cruise and `Maritime voyage taking in Scottish lochs, glens, islands and parts of Ireland. She’s due to anchor in the outer anchorage and to bring passengers ashore by tender, but the first two vessels of the year were unable to land passengers due to choppy sea conditions.

Tick infestation reports
The presence of ticks and the link between them and Lyme disease in the Outer Hebrides is under intense scrutiny this summer. A survey now open to anyone looks at how ticks affect people, pets and livestock, after a meeting last week in Balivanich heard progress on the drive to raise awareness of the problem.The Western Isles Tick Awareness Programme was launched a year ago, and Uist-based vet Ealasaid Dick reported on what vets are seeing, while Johanne Ferguson from Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) provided an update on the Uist deer management plan. University of Glasgow researchers also reported on the early stages of research on the ticks found in Uist and the Lyme-disease causing bacteria they carry. Two questionnaires are available on-line or from Southern Isles Veterinary practice, Crofting Federation and SNH. You can follow the link on the Isles FM Facebook page. The Glasgow University project staff will be based in Uist for the next few weeks carrying out work across a range of habitats where ticks can occur.

Memory celebrated at symposium
The importance of memory is to be examined and celebrated at a two-day event beginning today at An Lanntair. Cuimhne/Memory will combine academic thought, archive footage, creative activities and live performances with a particular focus on memory, oral tradition and creativity. Cuimhne will also showcase An Lanntair's Arora project and Dementia Friendly Community initiative. Highlights of the programme include a waulking song performed by the Laxdale Choir at 12.30pm today, the film Land of Songs at 2pm and island food tasting with ceann cropaig, duff and carrageen tomorrow afternoon. Workshops on toy-making, spinning and Gaelic song are also planned, included in the ticket prices of £15 per day, £30 with lunch and refreshments or £50 for a two-day ticket with lunch and refreshments. Limited free tickets are available for people living with dementia and their care partners, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.