A view on Fishing,Community and Life on the NW coast of Scotland

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Although continuing all the time through emails, paperwork, phone conferences and meeting and despite the lease not being signed, although now agreed and in place, the Hydro has waited for no man. Not quite true as it is around eight years since we commissioned a desk top survey which revealed that Applecross is rich in Green Renewable Hydro Energy. Little did we know what a long and difficult road we were going to travel and by no means have we reached the end. There are still big obstacles to overcome but Government should use our Scheme as a case study to help other communities on their way. Unfortunately the fact that the current Government further south is more concerned in giving nuclear and fracking a helping hand rather than investing in communities to invest in themselves by building low impact environmental schemes that will enable these communities see a way into the future. A lot of people complain about the green/carbon tax as though it is drain on their wallets. Destroying the environment they live in will make a far bigger dent in the future. Of course there is going to be a carbon cost on our build but that will be reclaimed once up and running.

Mixed feelings while walking up the track being built up to the Penstock, excited that it underway, grateful to play a small part in it, but feel a little sad that it may be too late to halt our slow decline. May surprise a few people to read this and those who visit the Inn think we live in a thriving and vibrant community. Parts of it are but when you hear a young couple are planning to leave because there is no land available to them to grow an established business and another two couples with children are looking elsewhere raising doubts for some of the remaining families about who their kids going to have as friends. We do go in cycles but the cycles seem to be in a recurring decline and some how we have to break the yoke holding us in check stopping people who care about this community doing something about it. One of the reasons I am putting so many hours in at the Inn is there are not enough people living here to service the numbers of visitors. That is why the Boss is slightly desperate, trolling the internet for any one who will come from anywhere to help out, another sign of a shrinking community. I do not think I am being pessimistic but realistic. If I was pessimistic in my outlook I would have walked away from the Hydro Scheme years ago. The belief that it was the right thing to do has held strong. Maybe it will be the turning point and possibly change people’s attitudes on what is best for the community.

House below us sold as a holiday house, house above us for sale way outside local purchase and the house beside us being sold for around 400% of what it was bought for a mere 15 years ago. Must keep trying but it going to be a big ask. On a personal note taking the morning off and hiking up to the top of the track

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with the dogs may not have been the most relaxing way to go about some time off

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especially following it up with a 9 hour shift at the Inn.

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Honestly I really am excited by our Hydro Scheme and now away to wash some more creels.

Comments on: "New Alongside Old (Applecross Hydro Has Started)" (5)

  1. I’ve been reading your fascinating blog for about six months now, but this is my first comment. Congratulations on the hydro scheme — you are so right about future energy needs in small communities. I’m involved with a local development trust in a village just outside the LL&T National Park boundaries. Our relationship with our local council curiously gets better as central funds are in shorter supply, and I suspect it is because we are willing and able to be proactive which saves their blushes from time to time! But we are in a similar situation vis a vis jobs and housing for our young people (few; too expensive). Luckily, our primary school roll is still very healthy, but housing changes hands for staggering sums.

    Here’s hoping the building goes smoothly and the scheme fulfils your expectations.

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Cheers Nancy. Since starting our community company we have come across many rural communities that have the same problems with different emphasis. Hard work but worth it.Thanks for your comment on the blog.

  2. Livingstone said:

    Always great reading Aly, thanks

  3. Hi Ali, Mick here, things going well, pipes on site, road to turbine house being formed, rain a pain, but midges well say no more! even the Scots are suffering, i hope the community will have a different attitude towards rain when we are finished in Dec! Gold from the sky!

    • applecrosslifeattheedge said:

      Great to hear, Mick. Going from work to work today. May see you later if in for a meal. Photos tomorrow or Friday. Huge advantage of fishing….no midges.

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