Causes of depopulation

Well, there could be many reasons why a small island off Scotland doesn’t have a viable population. Weather, jobs, just the sheer misery of tiny, tiny, communities.

But this would also be a problem:

critics say Canna’s difficulties are exacerbated by strict property ownership rules on the island.

Although a few crofts are owned by its original inhabitants, incomers are not allowed to own land or build houses on Canna, and tenancy agreements are capped at 20 years.

The National Trust is the absentee landlord, you see?

15 thoughts on “Causes of depopulation”

  1. Nah, Julia, for that to happen you would need to implant guardianista social workers and outreach personnel on the benighted spot with all the necessary support services and tofu bars. This is not a genus to thrive beyond the confines of the M25!

  2. Amazing article in the Grauniad that demonstrates the apalling mismanagement of a self-important bureaucracy in the country’s capital 200 miles away from the island. Only after some local involvement does the causeway get upgraded so that it is usable at high tide! Off-grid so one of the places where solar panels make economic sense but NTS Scotland didn’t allow them.
    Of course, the Grauniad will now advocate delegating authority over planning to local comunities throughout the country won’t they?

  3. Wonder why the residents need to be funded to the tune of over £6K each. Either it works as a place to live or it doesn’t. This is the very definition of the market finding a value for the land.

  4. Area of 4.4 sq miles. You could draw a shape that size in parts of Cambridgeshire and there would be fewer people living inside it. Where’s their hand out?

  5. There’s not the remotest chance that the National Trust owns the land. Damn near zero probability.

    “Although a few crofts are owned by its original inhabitants …” presumably means ‘owned by descendants of people who happened to be living there when a previous round of land reform happened’. Because the mesolithic hunter-gatherers have not survived to own the crofts, nor is it at all likely that the present owners are their descendants.

  6. It seems possible, perhaps likely, that free property rights on the island would also lead to depopulation. The whole place could be bought by a billionaire for his/her/ze’s personal retreat.

  7. So a high chance that the NT owns the land then. A certainty in that they have not sold it on to someone else.

    NT is not great as a landlord. Perhaps it should leave the landlord business.

  8. The Isle of Canna Community Development Trust’s vision is for an Island suitable for demographic growth, supported by good employment opportunities, good services and facilities and affordable housing.


  9. I guess all they need now is a knocking shop. I really cannot think of a better place to live

    The Islanders are all keen gardeners and now becoming self sufficient in the production of fresh vegetables and fruit. The hen run has been transformed into a pleasant place to sit and enjoy nature in a tranquil setting

  10. @ Diogenes
    There is no way that they could get fresh vegetables and eggs from the mainland while still fresh, so what the hell do you expect?

  11. “Indeed. But the National Trust for Scotland”: well, yes – that was my point. Still, Martin was even slower of understanding.

  12. @Diogenes, December 29, 2017 at 5:54 pm


    Indeed, they’ve copied and pasted left green BS from some council with ~100,000 residents.

    Fifteen, yes 15, peeps live on Canna

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