Eilean Ban

(Eilean Bàn)

Eilean Ban is a small island located in Kyle Akin, a narrow channel between Kyleakin on Skye and Kyle of Lochalsh on the mainland. Since 1995 it has been a staging point for the controversial Skye Bridge. Meaning 'the white island', Eilean Ban is owned by the Scottish Ministers, but since 1998 has been managed by the Eilean Ban Trust. This trust was set up by the local community councils in collaboration with actress Virginia McKenna's Born Free Foundation to preserve local wildlife, particularly a thriving otter population which were the inspiration for author Gavin Maxwell (1914-69) who lived here. There is a small museum honouring Maxwell on the island, while an interpretation centre has been opened in Kyleakin. A lighthouse on the west of the island was built in 1857 by Thomas Stevenson (1818-87), the father of author Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-94). Eilean Ban extends to 2.4 ha (6 acres) and its population is recorded as 0 (1961), 0 (1971), 2 (1981), 0 (1991), 2 (2001) and 0 (2011).

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