For ages, I have been promising various people locally that 'when the novel's finished' I'd get involved in one of the many community organisations in Assynt. And that moment has come. I have been co-opted as a director on the board of Assynt Foundation, which owns 44,000 acres of what Norman MacCaig called 'this most beautiful corner of the land'.
My top priority will be to help the Foundation to fulfil one of the key promises we made when we bought the land: that we would create crofts. The aim is to 'put lights back on in the glens' by allowing people to live and work on the land that was cleared back at the start of the nineteenth century to make way for sheep.
I'm pleased to be able to say that already we have formed a working group and are putting out a call for local people to express interest (see here) in becoming a crofter on Assynt Foundation land. It will be a long, slow process no doubt, but it has to happen!
By the way, the spectacular Glencanisp Lodge is available for hire. If a group of you are looking for the perfect holiday/adventure/retreat venue, you will find nowhere better. See here for details.