Remote island 'swamped' with applications for live-in caretaker role

The custodians of a remote, uninhabited Scottish island say they have been "inundated" with offers of help after issuing an appeal for someone to volunteer as its resident caretaker.

No one has lived on Isle Martin, near Ullapool, for three decades, although it is a draw for visitors thanks to a seasonal sea link which connects it to the mainland.

The community trust which owns the island - part of the Summer Isles - advertised last month for the unpaid caretaker role in order to look after two houses that are available for rent and welcome tourists.

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Now, it has been forced to turn away enquiries after being “swamped with applications and messages” from interested parties.

The Isle Martin Trust is currently combing through the “high quality” applications, and plans on responding to those people who had expressed an interest before the deadline of 1 June. Applicants were asked to provide a 500 word covering letter setting out their experience and skills.

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Whoever is successful will not be paid, but the position comes with expenses of up to £150 a week, and use of a power boat - the only way on and off the picturesque island, situated at the mouth of Loch Broom in Wester Ross.

Becky Thompson, one of the trust’s directors, explained: “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.

The community trust behind Isle Martin said it had been "swamped" with applications.

"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.

The island was gifted to the community by the RSPB and Isle Martin Trust became a charity in 1999.

There is no running hot water and only a small solar electrical charger that may power a phone or a laptop or even some lights.

The island hosts Scotland's first seaweed festival and has in the past hosted a pop-up cafe.

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