Ferry travellers passing between Stornoway and Ullapool could have been sailing over a massive asteroid impact crater, left in the earth’s crust millennia ago, according to scientists from Oxford and Aberdeen universities.

A paper published yesterday (Sunday June 9th) in the Journal of the Geological Society explains how rock types from a large area of Scotland’s North West coast point to an impact, with the impact location gradually being narrowed down as geologists research further.

The paper’s authors, led by Oxford University’s Dr Ken Amor, say that none of the volcanic theory explanations for specific rocks around the west coast of Scotland and in Lewis itself adequately explain the exact composition of the rocks. The way in which the rock formations fold and fan out point to a process of movement in a “blanket surrounding an unidentified asteroid impact crater.”

Organisers of the Hebridean Celtic Festival ended Volunteers Week with a glowing tribute to the band of volunteers who help to run the biggest event of the island year.

Over 180 volunteers keep the HebCelt show on the road each year, many returning year after year and using their own annual holidays to make sure they can lend a hand.

HebCelt co-ordinator Caroline Maclennan told welovestornoway.com on Friday (June 7th): “More than half of our volunteer team travel home to help us and they do this every year. Volunteers underpin the running of the event and we couldn’t do it without them.”

Consultation on four new Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) opened on Friday (June 7th) – and two of the areas are in the Minch east of the Isle of Lewis.

Marine Scotland says that the protected features of the proposed sites include basking shark, minke whale and Risso's dolphin, together with seabed habitats and geological features.

Whales and dolphins, collectively known as cetaceans, as well as basking sharks are protected wherever they occur throughout Scottish waters. The four possible MPAs would offer additional levels of protection to locations important for the various life stages of these species.