SNH's Involvement with the Isle of Rum
The Isle of Rum is situated off the north-west coast of Scotland to the south of Skye and is approximately 8 miles by 8 miles at its widest. Rum has one of the largest National Nature Reserves (NNR) in Scotland and is managed by Scottish Natural Heritage. Rum features some unique landscape and wildlife including a mountain top colony of Manx Shearwater.
Isle of Rum Community Trust (IRCT)
In 2007, the Isle of Rum Community Trust was established to acquire and manage land and buildings from SNH for the Island community. The first part of a two-phase transfer to the Community Trust was completed in February 2009 and on 6 April 2010 SNH transferred the remaining assets completing the final Phase. IRCT now have community ownership of approximately 65 hectares of mixed land, three crofts, 10 domestic properties and eight non-domestic properties in and around Kinloch village.
SNH will continue to have a significant presence as an employer and landowner of the NNR and the visitor attraction of Kinloch castle.
Kinloch Castle was built around 1900 for Sir George Bullough whose family owned the Isle of Rum. The castle was bought from the Bullough family by the Nature Conservancy (now Scottish Natural Heritage) in 1957. The castle still holds many original features including an Orchestrion.
Today, the castle operates as a hostel providing the largest accommodation for visitors to the island and also museum for visitors to view.
Owing to its porous sandstone structure the castle has seriously deteriorated over many years. SNH has worked with The Princes Regeneration Trust (PRT) and developed plans which would see the Castle restored with it continuing to be open to the public. Funding for the restoration project is not available at the present time but the Scottish Government, Historic Scotland and PRT will continue to look at alternative funding solutions in order to save the castle.