: Uibhist a' Deas
) is an island
of the Outer Hebrides
. In the 2001 census it had a usually resident population of 1,951. The population of the island is about 90% Roman Catholic
. The island, in common with the rest of the Hebrides, is one of the last remaining strongholds of the Gaelic
language in Scotland.
The west is machair
(fertile low-lying coastal plain) with a continuous sandy beach
whilst the east coast is mountainous with the peaks of Beinn Mhor 2033 ft (620 m) and Hecla 1988 ft (606 m). In the north west there is a missile testing range.
Attractions on the island include the Kildonan Museum
housing the sixteenth century Clanranald Stone
and the ruins of the house where Flora MacDonald
The island is also home to the Askernish Golf Course. The oldest course in the Outer Hebrides, it was designed by Old Tom Morris
, who also worked on the Old Course at St. Andrews.
The main village on the island is Lochboisdale
, from which ferries sail to Oban
on the mainland and to Castlebay
. The island is also linked to Eriskay
s. Smaller settlements include Daliburgh
The land is currently owned by South Uist Estates Ltd, however the island community of South Uist, Benbecula and Eriskay in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland can now purchase the land on which they live and thus determine its future.
The current landowners have agreed to sell the assets to the community and to achieve this a Community Company known as http://www.storasuibhist.com/index.php Stòras Uibhist
has been set up to purchase the land and to manage it in perpetuity.
The proposal for community ownership has received the overwhelming support of the people of the islands who look forward to participating in the opportunity to regenerate the local economy, to reverse decline and depopulation, to reduce dependency while remaining aware of the environmental needs, culture and history of the islands. The company name Stòras Uibhist symbolises hope for the future wealth and prosperity of the islands.
Nature ReserveLoch Druidibeg
in the north of the island is a National Nature Reserve
owned and managed by Scottish Natural Heritage
. The reserve covers 34.33 square kilometres of machair
, freshwater loch
s and estuary
. Over 200 species of flowering plants have been recorded on the reserve, some of which are nationally scarce. It is considered the best place in the UK for the aquatic plant Slender Naiad (Najas flexilis)
which is a European Protected Species
Nationally important populations of breeding waders are also present, including redshank
and ringed plover
. The reserve is also home to greylag geese
on the loch and in summer corncrake
s on the machair. Otter
s and hen harrier
s are also seen.
There has been considerable controversy over hedgehog
s on South Uist. The animals are not native to the islands, having been introdued in the 1970s to reduce garden pests. They now pose a threat to the eggs of ground nesting wading birds on the reserve. In 2003 Scottish Natural Heritage undertook a cull of hedgehogs in the area.
The SEARCH project (Sheffield Environmental and Archaeological Research Campaign in the Hebrides) on South Uist has been developing a long-term perspective on changes in settlement and house form from the Bronze Age
to the 19th century
. Organisation within Iron Age roundhouse
s appears to have been very different from 19th century blackhouses
in which the dwelling was shared with stock. Stock sharing living space with people is often regarded as a traditional Hebridean arrangement reflecting Norse
influence (Smith et al.
site of Cladh Hallan
, the only site in Great Britain
where prehistoric mummies
have been found, is on South Uist.
In the north west of the island at (coor ), a missile testing range was built in 1957-58 to launch the Corporal missile
, Britain and America's first guided nuclear weapon. This development went ahead despite significant protests, some locals expressing concern that the Scottish Gaelic language
would not survive the influx of English-speaking army personnel. The British Government claimed that there was an 'overriding national interest' in establishing a training range for their newly purchased Corporal, a weapon that was to be at the front line of Cold War
defence. The Corporal missile
was tested from 1959 to 1963, before giving way to Sergeant and Lance tactical nuclear missiles. The 'rocket range' as it is known locally has also been used to test high altitude research rockets, Skua
, which despite their purportedly scientific remit, were operated by the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment
The range is still owned by the MoD
operated by QinetiQ
as testing facility for missile systems such as the surface-to-air Rapier missile
and Unmanned Air Vehicles
Smith, H., Marshall, P. and Parker Pearson, M. 2001. Reconstructing house activity areas pp 249-270. In Albarella, U (ed) Environmental Archaeology: Meaning and Purpose. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
*http://www.iochdar.co.uk Iochdar.co.uk, a website about outdoor recreation in South Uist
*http://www.fotw.net/flags/gb-heb.html Flags of the world - Hebrides
*http://www.biggarden.co.uk An Gàrradh Mòr, Historic walled garden at Cille Bhrìghde
*http://www.astronautix.com/sites/souhuist.htm Rocket launches at South Uist
*http://www.guardian.co.uk/military/story/0,11816,1036617,00.html Corporal missile inaccuracy revealed, The Guardian Sept 6 2003
*http://www.askernishgolfclub.com Askernish Golf Club
*http://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/school/daliburgh/home.htm Daliburgh School
*http://maps.google.com/maps?q=&t=k&om=0&ll=57.342724,-7.359778&spn=0.004921,0.014634 Google Maps:Rocket launch site
*http://www.uistonline.com/index.htm Uist OnlineCategory:Islands of the Outer HebridesCategory:National Scenic Areas (Scotland)ca:South Uistde:South Uistfr:South Uistgd:Uibhist a Deasit:South Uistnl:Uibhist a Deasscn:South Uist