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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 November 2006, 12:00 GMT
Hundreds bid to adopt island life
House on Canna (Pic: National Trust for Scotland)
One of the two houses available for rent on Canna
About 350 people have applied to live on the island of Canna, to the south west of Skye, it has emerged.

Its owners, the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), said the phone had been "red hot" with calls from people who want to move to the island.

Interest had been shown by people from the UK and from Dubai, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Australia and the US.

Islanders will help whittle down the applications before a shortlist of six is chosen for the two available places.

Those on the shortlist will be invited to visit the farming and crofting community, which currently has just 15 inhabitants.

The trust is hoping that the new families, with the right kind of skills, will be able to secure the long-term survival of Canna.

Plumbing skills

NTS said about 350 firm bids had been received by the time the deadline closed on Friday.

Peter McHugh, the NTS area manager who is co-ordinating the relocation offer, said he had been amazed by the response.

There is archaeological evidence that people have lived on the island, which is part of the Small Isles just south of Skye, since the fifth millennium BC.

NTS, which has owned the island for the last 25 years, said there were potential employment opportunities for people with building, gardening, electrical or plumbing skills.

Employment on Canna is mainly associated with agriculture in the traditional farming of sheep and cattle, together with crofting.

Tourism also plays a role, with about 30,000 people visiting every year.

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