Local News

Exploring Island Connections

A University of Aberdeen researcher, Kirsten Gow, who lives in Jura, wants to find out the strength of connections people retain with islands.

Kirsten explained:

“I know from personal experience that you don’t necessarily stop being part of an island community just because you move away.

“I believe that it’s important to pay attention to the strong connections people have with Scottish islands even when they are living elsewhere. It potentially tells us a great deal about island culture and identity, but it also might help us understand how we can make the most of these continued links to build sustainable futures for our islands.

“Research already tells us that, if we want to make sure our islands have a sustainable future, many of them will need to maintain or increase their populations by encouraging more people to move there.

“But it’s not just about numbers.

“Return migration – people with connections to an island moving ‘back’ to the island – can potentially help tackle depopulation while also helping us retain the cultural and local knowledge which is a key part of building resilient and sustainable communities.”

In the first stage of her research Kirsten’s survey is designed to help her understand the ongoing connection people have to islands, even while living elsewhere. In later stages she intends to speak to those who are actively interested in moving back to an island, and those who have already made the move, in order to understand the aspirations and realities of return.

Further information on Kirsten’s research and a link to the click here:  Islands Researcher

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