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The Dream Of The Free Island of Scotland

The rain and the sun share the skies of Scotland the four seasons which spread normally over a year seem compacted in one day. In front of us a small ferry rises to cross the few hundred meters that separate the small island of Ulva from his big sister, the Isle of Mull. It is quite a road for the traveler to come there, He has to take a train from Glasgow, a ferry from the city of Oban to Mull, a bus and finally this small boat that approaches to reach its destination.

In the middle of a striking nature, on the island described by its owner as "one of the most beautiful in the world", is played the future of its inhabitants who decided to buy it back. In Scotland, incredible as it may seem, 500 people hold all the land. The "Laird", in Scottish, manage as much hectare of land as if it were a private apartment.

Roury, Rebecca and their children decided to buy the island on which they live and grew up.They will be the first to take the benefit of the 2016 Scottish government law which provides for giving priority to the inhabitants on the purchase of land in case of resale by the "Lord". A takeover that takes on the appearance of a historical revenge when we know that a centuries ago, during the “Highland Clearances” the "Lord" preferred to replace the peasant families by sheeps, considered more profitable. Then, followed an exodus of the populations to the United States and Canada and the Scotland patatoes famine.

Roury, a fisherman, did not expect to buy the island of his childhood, the one where he took Rebecca for their first date. He accepted to take this responsability, supported by the "Community Land" of the Isle of Mull. If the challenges are many: repopulation of the island, openness to tourism, construction or restoration of infrastructure etc ... he hopes to offer a better future for his children follozing the exemple of the island of Eigg, which was a pioneer.

Bought in 1973 for £ 1.8 million, it was the first island in Scotland to be fully managed by its inhabitants. To travel in the Eigg’s lands, to meet its inhabitants, is to make a leap forward twenty years in the future of the island of Ulva.

The Free Islands of Scotland tell us the story of these inhabitants who dream of a free community and take us in the footsteps of these Scots who have decided to take their destiny into their own hands.

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