Vol­un­teers tackle is­land im­prove­ments

Argyllshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

A SMALL is­land in the Sound of Jura is in safe hands as a group of vol­un­teers looks af­ter the iso­lated out­crop close to the mouth of Loch Sween.

The Eilean Mór MacCormick Trust ar- ranged a work week on the is­land at the end of July. The main con­tin­gent of vol­un­teers ar­rived on the Friday with a fur­ther boat­load ar­riv­ing on the fol­low­ing Tues­day.

Plenty of good work was car­ried out de­spite the in­clement weather, up­grad­ing the is­land vis­i­tor centre and im­prov­ing the in­fra­struc­ture.

Bet­ter weather on Satur­day greeted two boat-loads of vis­i­tors to the is­land.

Act­ing as tourist guides, trus­tees showed them round and ex­plained about the his­tor­i­cal arte­facts scat­tered around Eilean Mór MacCormick.

The is­land was a site of great sig­nif­i­cance for the early Celtic and me­di­ae­val church. The re­mains of build­ings are from around the sixth cen­tury can be found, with a cave that is be­lieved might have been used by a re­li­gious her­mit. In the cave are two in­cised carv­ings of early Chris­tian design.

The is­land’s chapel, which may have been built on the site of an ear­lier struc­ture, was con­structed about 1100 and was re­fur­bished in the mid­dle of the 14th cen­tury on the au­thor­ity of John, 5th Chief of Clan Don­ald and first Lord of the Isles.

But among all this his­tory and nat­u­ral beauty, of much more im­me­di­ate in­ter­est to the lat­est group of vis­it­ing chil­dren was pro­duc­ing s’mores. This in­volves cook­ing marsh­mal­lows over an open fire then mak­ing them into a sand­wich be­tween two choco­late di­ges­tive bis­cuits.

The vis­i­tor centre is open ev­ery day of the year for any­one who wants to make their own way to the is­land.

The next or­gan­ised trip for the vol­un­teer work group is in Septem­ber. Any­one want­ing to join this group can con­tact the guardian of the is­land at david.wolfe.emm@gmail.com.

Cook­ing marsh­mal­lows over an open fire ready for s’mores on an is­land – what an ad­ven­ture.

The chapel on Eilean Mór MacCormick.

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