Island creativity is once again very much in evidence this Christmas, with a small forest of inventive and unusual Christmas trees springing up around the Western Isles.

Ullapool may have its own creel tree, but hospital nurse Shona MacPhail’s version ‘Merry Creel-mas’ tree (pictured above) at Cameron Terrace in Leurbost has its own distinctively Lewis and Harris flavour.

Shona’s tree is dedicated to the fishermen and divers of the islands – her own partner is a lobster and prawn creel fisherman working out of Leverburgh on the Valhalla, skipper Donald McLennan (Donnie Booly).

Shona said “The creels were in storage at the back of the house and I felt it would brighten up the garden, as well as being a tribute to fishermen, divers and the lifeboat crew. The lights were donated by K J Macdonalds, who are celebrating their centenary next year, so it is a real marker for the islands.”

Meanwhile in Castlebay, Barra, yesterday (Sunday December 22nd) saw the lighting up of the Barra bunting tree, a worldwide effort pulled together by the Barra bunting project.

With knitted and crocheted squares contributed from as far afield as Australia, Georgia USA and Germany, the trees also marked tremendous local teamwork. It’s been placed in a prominent location overlooking Kisimul Castle (pictured).

Co-ordinator Sarah Maclean said yesterday. “Massive thanks to everyone who made a square, to all the ladies for sewing it together, to Michael MacKinnon for doing a wonderful job of making the frame, to Tony Flanagan for making the sheep, Hec for the important electrical work and to Western Isles Lifestyle Lottery for supporting this project.”

Meanwhile in Marybank, our favourite way-out tree creators at Lewis Tyres have been hard at work over the weekend, creating this year’s ‘tyred and exhausted’ tree. The team are pictured here this morning (Monday) with their latest masterpiece.