North Uist & Berneray

Tir an Eòrna's Beàrnaraidh

North Uist, or Uibhist a Tuath as it is in Gaelic, lies at the centre of the chain of islands called the Outer Hebrides or Western Isles. Approximately 1500 people live within the Pilot Area.

People feel they belong here because there is such a strong community spirit, with friendly, helpful people who are welcoming to others. However one of the challenges we face is loss of population, especially young people and women. This threatens the viability of local businesses and services. To have a viable community in North Uist we need to ensure that we have a mix of people of all ages.

It would be impossible to live here and not recognise the strong local culture and sense of history that is such an important thread in the way of life. Although we are always looking for ways to go forward and to develop the island, we must not forget that these aspects are an important part of life here and should be protected for the future.

A lot of work goes into preserving and improving the facilities of the island. The amount of voluntary time that is dedicated to these community projects is critical to the local economy but limits what we can do without paid help.

Traditionally, crofting and fishing have been the main industries on the island. However many people in the community feel that tourism and fish farming are just as important nowadays. Diversification of these traditional industries is important for the future.

  • North Uist has over 1,000 freshwater lochs, miles of white shell sand beaches, heather moor, hills and machair, and is surrounded by rich, untainted inshore waters. Both agencies and members of the community consider that our many environmentally protected areas could be used to market North Uist nationally and internationally for tourism and local produce.