Isle Martin: Fancy spending summer on an uninhabited Scottish island in the Summer Isles? Powerboat included

It sits among a scattering of islands in the mouth of Loch Broom and on a summer’s night there may be nowhere more perfect to be.

Isle Martin in the Summer Isles is looking for a volunteer caretaker for the summer with hopes to permanently repopulate the place with permanent residents once again. PIC: Geograph.org/Chris and Meg Mellish.

Isle Martin, one of the Summer Isles, is now looking for a volunteer live-in caretaker for the season.

Accommodation will be provided, but there is no running hot water – an outdoor shower is heated by a wood stove – and limited electricity.

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No-one has permanently lived on the island for 30 years and it is hoped the caretaker, a role which could be split between two people, could give an insight into whether residents could settle there once again.

The community-owned island is a draw for visitors with a seasonal ferry service connecting it to Ullapool and two houses rented out to guests.

The caretaker will be tasked with welcoming people onto the island and making sure accommodation is clean, ready and sanitised for new arrivals.

It is a volunteer role, but expenses of up to £150 a week are available, as is use of a powerboat.

Becky Thomson, director of the Isle Martin Trust, said: “The boat will soon start running over at weekends and people generally head over for the day to wander around and enjoy the place for a couple of hours.

"The caretaker’s role is very much about welcoming guests to Isle Martin and doing the turnovers for the houses. We haven’t started taking bookings yet because of Covid, but once we do we think people will want to come.”

There are three houses needing upgraded on the island with much gardening to be done.

Ms Thomson added: “It would be great if someone had lots of skills in DIY or gardening and woodland management, but equally if there were artists interested, we could look at creating an artist’s retreat.

"The main thing is though we need someone who can drive a powerboat. It’s not the easiest bit of water, so people really need to know what they are doing.”

Bringing a caretaker onto Isle Martin fits into a longer-term plan by the trust to re-populate the island with permanent residents.

It was last lived on by in the 1980s when it was owned by the RSPB, with the charity gifting the island to the communities of Loch Broom and Coigach in 1999, with the Isle Martin Trust formed.

Ms Thomson said: “The island was last inhabited around 30 years ago. There is a general feeling in the trust that we don’t want to leave it uninhabited.

"We would like to see people living there. That is what led us to this decision to bring on a caretaker.

"Whoever does the job for four or five months would be able to give us invaluable feedback on what the reality is of living there, of trying to live on an off-grid island with a boat. It will really help to inform us for the future.”

Applicants are asked to send a maximum 500-word covering letter setting out suitability, skills and experience to [email protected] with CARETAKER in the subject line.

Attach a CV if desired and please remember full contact details. The deadline for applicants is June 1.

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