Some background to Barra and Vatersay Barra and Vatersay are the most southerly inhabited islands in the Outer Hebrides with a population of around 1250 people. The islands are famed for the warmth of their welcome and for their outstanding natural beauty. Both, islands have long white shell sand beaches and areas of machair land, uniquely rich in flowers, insects and birds. While Barra and Vatersay have large crofting communities, the main industries are fisheries and tourism. That said, there is significant employment in service provision (Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, NHS etc), and in the construction trades. There are also a significant proportion of the population working offshore and in the Merchant Navy. The Isle of Barra Barra is 8 miles long by up to 5 miles across. Much of the island can be circumnavigated by road, which, for the most part, follows the coast line. Hence the distance from North to South when travelled by road is considerably longer than the length of the island. While the main village on Barra is Castlebay there are several outlying villages around the island, the largest of which is Northbay. Barra’s main means of access are via ferries at Castlebay and Ardmhor, and via the beach airport at Traigh Mhor. Caledonian MacBrayne operate the ferry services, and Loganair the air service. The Island of Vatersay Vatersay is approximately 3 miles long and 3 miles wide. The island is often described as being shaped like a letter H lying on its side, narrowest part being only a few hundred meters of land which separate the two beaches of Bagh Bhatarsaidh and Bagh Iar, the East and West bay. The island was connected to Barra by a causeway in 1991. Since the causeway was completed Vatersay’s population, which had been in serious decline, has now recovered to approximately 110 people.
The islands of Barra & Vatersay
Coimhearsnachd Bharraidh agus Bhatarsaidh
Coimhearsnachd Bharraidh agus Bhatarsaidh (Barra and Vatersay Community) Limited is a company incorporated as private limited by guarantee SC285873 and a Scottish Charity SC041923