DECADES of declining population in some of Scotland’s most fragile rural areas is being reversed by community land ownership, MSPs have heard. Key findings of a survey by Community Land Scotland (CLS) were presented by its policy director Dr Calum MacLeod at Holyrood and the picture they painted was said to be more encouraging than the bleak population projections for many rural parts. Almost a third of survey respondents (31%) reported a rise in their resident populations in the last 10 years and around a quarter said their communities’ resident working-age population had risen in that time. THE Isle of Eigg is a prime example of a community turning geographic and resource challenges into advantages. It is a fragile settlement which is often cut off by bad weather. However, it is also a very vibrant and resourceful community which attracts attention from all over the world. Its population has increased from 65 to 110 since the community buyout in 1997 and an increasing number of young, working-age people are making their home on the island. The heart of Eigg’s continuing success and sustainability is its off-grid electricity system, which was developed, installed and is managed by the islanders themselves.
The National 13th March 2020 read more »