RCA - Community Location and Geographical description
Raasay lies approximately 2 miles east of the island of Skye, within the Highland Council area. It lies approximately 10 miles west of the west coast of the Scottish mainland and is thus situated between Skye and the mainland.
Outline geographical description
Raasay is 16 miles long by 3 miles wide. There is just one, single-track road which runs for 10 miles north from the ferry pier situated at Suisnish near the south of the island.
The majority of the population lives in 4 small settlements at the southern end of the island. This part of the island is relatively green and fertile, in contrast to the north end which is mainly rocky and barren. The largest settlement is Inverarish where there are 72 cottages constructed in 1912 by Bairds, Ironmasters, as part of the development of short-lived ironstone mining on the island.
During the nineteenth century settlements extended northwards to the northern tip of the island at Caol Rona but, following a series of changes in the ownership of the island, these were successively cleared. Now, only isolated houses are occupied as far north as Arnish, 12 miles from Inverarish.
The majority of the land on the island belongs to the Scottish Executive Environment & Rural Affairs Department (SEERAD). The main land use is for agriculture, crofting and grazing. The Forestry Commission has a relatively small presence on the island.