Despite the name it’s neither a island nor is it black. The peninsula is situated within Ross and Cromarty, in the Scottish Highlands.
The Black Isle is called in Scottish Gaelic: an t-Eilean Dubh and boasts over its particular fertile black soil. That might be the reason for it’s name but nobody knows for sure.
Not on the tourist map Udale Bay Nature Reserve is an endangered part of the Black Isle. Thousands of wildfowl and wading birds breed spending the winter at the shallow waters of Cromarty Firth from late summer to April.
An application has been made to pump crude oil from tanker to tanker in the sea near the nature reserve.
Nearly 2 million tonnes of ballast water will be discharged directly on them bringing the threat of non native species and pathogens.
Fumes from crude oil transfers will be released. These fumes contain carcinogens. Chronic exposure can damage their central nervous system.
In 2015 the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Ltd. reported eight oil spills from tankers totaling over 7000 tonnes of oil spilled into the sea around the world.
Just a puddle jump from Udale Bay Nature Reserve you find the best preserved 18th century village of the Scottish Highlands. The puddles were numerous as we visited Cromarty while the rain tried to stop us from exploring the narrow roads in vain.
Many old buildings like the Hugh Miller’s thatched cottages from 1711 give this quaint fisherman’s village its unique niche.