European Small Islands Federation

Archive for Orkney

Snapshots from Orkney

As ESIN held its annual general meeting on Orkney Monday 11th to Wednesday 13th of September this week, Anetté Larm Johansson from Sweden and Pia Prost from Finland took som snapshots of people and proceedings.


Islanders from all over Europe met on Orkney

Micaela Denis Daniel Masson

Micaela Jansson (Korpo, Finland), Denis Bredin and Daniel Masson (Molène, France)Mairtin

Mairtin O’Mealoid, Cape Clear Island, sings (?)


Windy, but after rain comes sunshineLandscape

John Wrede

John Wrede, Mayor of Brändö (Åland Islands), representing Finland and ÅlandCamille & John

Chairman Camille Dressler discussing with John Walsh (Bere island, Ireland)

ESIN annual general meeting in Orkney


Frontiers Magazine, editor Howie Firth, has blessed us with a beautiful article crammed with facts on ESIN and the upcoming AGM, see , with stories from Öland, (Sweden), Tilos (Greece) and Sein (France).

Scottish Nightmare

The main concern for the Scottish islands is how to manage the move away from the EU Cohesion Policy and its associated structural funds and how to safeguard the islands’ fragile economy and avoid the threat of depopulation. 
Island agriculture and infrastructure are particularly at risk. Most of the agricultural activity in the Scottish Islands centres around the production of sheep and cattle. The UK sheep industry is totally dependent on export, with something like 60% of UK lamb exported predominately to Europe. The nightmare situation for Scottish beef and lamb producers is that they have to compete with no support against subsidised European producers, with diminished access to the common market (possible imposed tariff of 20% depending on options). If this is the result of Brexit, it will decimate Scottish agriculture, let alone people trying to farm on the islands.
Without EU funding to support improvements, what will happen? Without pressure and funding from the EU, the outer isles of Orkney and elsewhere in Scotland will be left to decline, with the rate of depopulation increasing on all but the largest isles.

Islands of the future


This is a link to five documentary films on five exceptional islands, beautiful and fascinating, but above all exemplary. Farmers, business people, engineers and scientists on these islands have taken on the challenge or revolutionising energy provision – without oil, coal, gas or nuclear power.

The people who live on these islands have been battling against the forces of nature for centuries. Now they intend to use the power of water, the waves, the tides, the wind, geothermal energy and the sun for a better future. These islands are laboratories of hope that are showing the rest of the world how climate protection can be achieved and, above all, that it works.

The Danish island of Samsø, the Canary island of El Hierro, Madeira, Iceland and Orkney in Scotland have discovered pathways to the future without destroying their breathtaking landscapes.

‘I’m not doing as much as I used to’: meet the man with 20 jobs


He’s the lighthouse keeper, the sheep farmer, the firefighter, the air-traffic controller… The Guardian tries to keep up with Billy Muir, the pensioner who almost single-handedly keeps the tiny island economy of North Ronaldsay afloat.

PS North Ronaldsay is the most northerly of the Orkney islands, 6,9 km2 with 72 all-year inhabitants.