From the Hebrides 80 degrees north

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AN invitation has been extended by the Islands Book Trust for anyone interested to join members on a journey of discovery to the Arctic Circle.

Islanders will only have to go as far as An Lanntair arts centre in Stornoway however as the talk will see Alasdair MacEachan guide everyone through the islands of St Kilda, the Faroes and Jan Mayen Island to reach the land of Svalbard.

While St Kilda and the Faroes are familiar, Jan Mayen Island and the Svalbard archipelago much less so.

Both Norwegian territories, Jan Mayen is a volcanic island in the north Atlantic with no permanent population or natural resources, and is now a base for military and meteorological operations.

Svalbard on the other hand, lying halfway between Norway and the North Pole, has a population of some 30,000 engaged in mining, tourism and research. It is rich in wildlife and flora, and much of the archipelago now has protected status.

This is a rare opportunity to hear from someone who has visited these remote islands, and Alasdair will illustrate some of his experiences in his talk ‘80 degrees north via St Kilda, the Faroes and Jan Mayen’.

The Island Book Trust event will take place on Tuesday, March 1, in An Lanntair at 7.30pm. Entry for Trust members is £3, and £5 for non-members.