New series explores the diverse Island communities of Scotland

Heather visits the Scalpay first in her new BBA ALBA island series
Heather visits the Scalpay first in her new BBA ALBA island series

Islay-born Heather Dewar has travelled the world but, like most islanders, the only island she really knows is her own.

In this new eight part BBC ALBA series ‘Eileanan Fraoich’, Heather leaves the comfort and familiarity of Islay to explore eight thriving and diverse island communities.

Heather, an accomplished artist, cook and gardener, meets fellow islanders on their own home turf to find out what makes each island so unique. 

Her travels take her to Scalpay, Rum, Tiree, Gigha, Eigg, Raasay, Rathlin and Lismore, meeting local artists and business people, crofters and boat builders, historians and cooks along the way.

 Learning about each island’s past as well as its present, Heather iencouraged to witness the creative and spirited ways in which island communities are fighting back against decades of population decline.

This charismatic and energetic presenter takes viewers on her very personal guide to each island. 

Programme one – which airs on Tuesday, April 8th, features Scalpay in the Western Isles.

It’s an exciting time in history of Scalpay as the community prepares to take over ownership of the island.

Heather chats with a few of the island’s fishermen about the heyday of the industry on the island – the 1970s, when ring-net fishing was producing large and lucrative catches of herring.

She also takes a walk out to the iconic Eilean Glas lighthouse, one of the original four lights commissioned by the Commissioners of the Northern Light; and visits the loom shed of weaver Sheila Roderick whose textiles have made it onto the sets of major blockbuster movies including.

In programme two Heather travels to the Isle of Rum, then onto Tiree, Gigha, Eigg, Raasay, Rathlin Island, and ending at the Isle of Lismore.

 Produced by Caledonia TV for BBC ALBA, Eileanan Fraoich is an eight part series that will commence on Tuesday April 8th from 8.30pm to 9pm and each consecutive Tuesday thereafter.