Dream day as islanders of Rum take over village

A TEN-YEAR dream was finally realised yesterday for the residents of Rum – the Hebridean "forbidden isle" – when they formally took over the ownership of the main settlement.

The village of Kinloch passed into the hands of a community trust 14 months after the 17 eligible voters among the island's 29-strong population had voted 15-2 for greater autonomy.

Rum has been owned by conservation agency Scottish Natural Heritage and its predecessor, the Nature Conservancy Council, since 1957 and run as a national nature reserve.

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Fliss Fraser, a spokeswoman for the trust, said: "This is a day the community of Rum has been hoping for and working towards for more than ten years. We are now building a new relationship with SNH, as a neighbour on the island, rather than our landlord."

Andrew Thin, the chairman of SNH, said: "SNH now looks forward to working in partnership with the islanders to help them develop a strong and successful community."

The transfer of ownership is expected to pave the way for crofting to resume on Rum.