The sea between the island of Stroma and the Mainland has very strong
tidal currents, where the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea
meet. This has made it an ideal site for the first commercial tidal
power generation project in Scotland, and currently the largest in the
World. The turbines are in the form of large propellers, similar to wind
turbines. It's good to see a World-leading project based here in
Scotland, and the Country is well on the way to having most of its
energy from renewable sources.
I am concerned about the effect on marine
life, particularly the whales and dolphins which are often seen in
these waters, but I hope the environmental impact is being monitored and
taken into account.
The ship in the painting was in the process of servicing one of the turbines.
"Moine House, Tongue"
Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico 300gsm Rough paper
25 x 36 cm
West of Tongue, in Sutherland, there is a large peat bog called The Moine, which stretches all the way over to the next valley. At more-or-less the highest point there is a ruined building, called Moine House, which I have always found very striking. It is a wild and lonely spot and it has a background of dramatic mountains. I assumed that it was an old drovers' inn, but a plaque* on the wall tells the story of how it was erected as a refuge for travellers.
Throughout the Highlands in the Nineteenth Century, tenant farmers were
evicted from their homes, or 'crofts', during the notorious Highland Clearances.
Landowners, in a drive for efficiency and more profitable land use,
wanted to replace the old system of small-holdings with large sheep
ranches. The crofters were forced out of their scattered homes, often in
a brutal manner, and re-housed in new communities. The land that they
were given was often of poor quality and they had to work hard to
maintain even a subsistence level of life. During this period many
people took up the offer of a new life overseas, emigrating to Canada,
New Zealand and Australia, where their descendants still have strong
links with Scotland.
In 1839 tenants from the estates of Broubster and Shurrery, in Caithness,
were resettled in a new village. Land was provided for them, but they
probably had to build their own houses. The dwellings were in the form
of long-houses, which consisted of a …