Eilean Ban – the site of Scots author Gavin Maxwell’s home, below the soaring Skye Bridge – is to stay in public pwnership.
Ironically, the little island and Maxwell’s former house, now a heritage centre, were under threat of sale by the Scottish Government.
However, following a vigorous campaign by Dave Thompson, MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, the Scottish Government has arranged for that ownership of Eilean Ban to be transferred from Transport Scotland to Forestry Commission Scotland, another department of government.
Hugh Davies, Chair of the Eilean Ban Trust, says: ‘We are delighted at the news of the transfer of ownership of the island to Forestry Commission Scotland.
‘This secures the future of the island for the community and as a tourist attraction.
‘We are very grateful to Dave Thompson for his work in fighting to get the best outcome for Eilean Ban.
“MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, the SNP’s Dave Thompson has campaigned for the protection of the six-acre island which lies below the Sky Bridge.
He says: ‘This is fantastic news and I’m delighted the SNP Government has recognised the significance of Eilean Ban – not only its cultural impact but also its legacy on the surrounding environment.
‘The island provides an invaluable education experience for both the local community and visitors to Skye.
‘It is the site of the home of one of Scotland’s most popular wildlife authors and conservationists, Gavin Maxwell and is also the site of the lighthouse designed by Robert Louis Stevenson’s father, Thomas.
‘News that the lease of the land will be honoured will protect this rich cultural legacy and the wildlife on the island.
‘Eilean Ban inspired Mr Maxwell to write his much-loved book Ring of Bright Water. Now, thanks to this agreement, locals and visitors will continue to have access to this famous site and be inspired by its beauty.’