6 The Western IslesThe Western Isles are a chain of islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the Northwest coast of Scotland. The Islands are also known as the Outer Hebrides or officially called by the Gaelic name, Na h-Eileanan Siar.The Western Isles are accessed from mainland Scotland by ferries and airplanes. With both being dependent on good weather the Islands are often cut of in winter.The population of the Western Isles is approximately 26,502, of these an estimated 11,824 adults have home Internet access.thewesternisles.co.uk has the aim of using of the internet to interconnect the island communities with each other and the world.
7 Western IslesOuter Hebrides: The main islands form an archipelago of which the major islands include Lewis and Harris, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, and Barra. Inner Hebrides – not part of the Western Isles but part of the Hebrides The largest of these islands are, from south to north, Islay, Jura, Mull, Rùm and Skye. Skye is the largest and most populous of all with an area of 1,656 km2 (639 sq mi) and a population of just over 10,000.
8 Depopulation in Western Isle case study Push factors:Pull factors:Consequences:
13 Explain the consequences of rural depopulation from remote rural areas (6)
14 Model answerThe population of the Western Isles, Scotland has declined by 50% over the last century. This situation has brought a range of consequences for the area. For instance the council are planning to close 11 schools due to low enrollment; one school was due to have just 7 pupils next academic year. The school closures could lead to positives and negatives for the islands. On the negative side pupils will have to travel further for school, will not be unable to attend after school clubs and some may even have to live away from home for parts of the week. However, 75 million is being invested in new schools that aim to give students a better school experience with more up to date facilities.The Western Isles have a unique environment and provide a habitat for many rare and endangered birds e.g. the white tailed eagle. Depopulation may lead fewer negative influences of humans into their natural habitat and so species may be more likely to flourish. However, there is also concern that without people the areas will be neglected and important conservation will not take place.