I think that because we were a very defined community, that makes community ... and because we’re a relatively small amount of folk it makes it easier to communicate with one and other. So in that respect, yes, it is very defined so that makes it easier probably. But I mean folk are doing it in lots of other places already, Knoydart being the closest neighbour. We have quite a lot of contact with them as well. They’re doing lots of similar things so we have our comings and goings. Before we ever bought Eigg we met the folk from Assynt who’d bought the croft land before us, and, although that were a different situation, there was a lot they could teach us and help us with which was fantastic at the time. And then ... there are buy-outs going on all the time. A lot of woodlands are now community owned, that’s quite a big one. And buy-outs like West Harris is one and Barra ... Uist I mean, more recently. So yes, I do think it can be replicated. It’s not for everybody, without a doubt, and it’s an awful lot of hard work, without a doubt. I think if we calculated the amount of volunteer hours that go into actually keeping Eigg afloat we’d ... it’s pretty significant. But it’s just so much more worthwhile. It’s just like the electricity system, everybody’s incredibly proud of it and wants to make it work. You know, so you don’t have that same feeling for things if you’re doing it for somebody else. The fact that we’re doing it for ourselves ... more or less everything that happens here is our responsibility. It’s a bit weighty at times but, in the main, it’s a fantastic thing to be part of, I would say.

  • Maggie Fyffe
Thursday 4th February 2010