Don't demolish Isle of Tiree's remote surf hut

September 19, 2016 | Surfing
Balevullin Beach, Tiree: this wooden surf hut provides shelter to dozens of local surfers | Photo: Blackhouse Watersports

The Argyll and Bute Council is planning to demolish a small beach hut used by a group of surfers in Balevullin Beach, in the Isle of Tiree, Scotland.

The "Hawaii of the North" might only have a population of 650, but it is also home to an enthusiastic community of surfers.

When the surf's up, they all gather around a small wooden beach hut (four meters by three) built by the local surf business Blackhouse Watersports. The tiny refuge provides shelter, storage, safety cover, and protects young surfers from the cold when they return from the waves.

However, there are a few people who think the surf hut has a significant visual impact on the area and have requested for it to be demolished.

Balevullin Beach, Tiree: a wooden surf hut keep surfing alive | Photo: Blackhouse Watersports

Karl Hughes is the father of Finn MacDonald, a local Balevullin Beach surfer, and Scottish Under 18s surfing champion. Hughes is doing everything he can to keep the beach hut open to all who love surfing.

"These Island children will be directly affected if the hut is removed. Finn was born at home in Balevullin Beach 15 years ago, in his mother's small black house cottage. He was the first child to be born in the village for over 40 years," explains Karl Hughes.

"For the last two years, he has inspired many Tiree children, and visitors to surf and enjoy the beauty and Nature of his home Isle. The beach hut has become an integral part of his life and the lives of 20 plus Tiree children."

Balevullin Beach, Tiree: let these Scottish surfers have their hut | Photo: Blackhouse Watersports

The wooden beach has already received the support of the Scottish Surfing Federation, and of Michael Russell, a member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP). But the last word belongs to the Argyll and Bute Council.

"The hut from a business sense offers a healthy experience, fun and laughter, and maybe more if the individuals have an aptitude to surfing. But, above all, it provides memories and self-belief. And these are the bricks of a child's persona. They are irreplaceable," concludes Karl Hughes.

Finn MacDonald and Ben Larg - two surfers from Isle of Tiree's Balevullin Beach - are representing Scotland in the 2016 ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, in the Azores Islands.

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