Leading article: Highland Revival

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The Independent Online

This year, the 117 or so inhabitants of the remote Scottish peninsula of Knoydart celebrate the tenth anniversary of their buyout of the estate from their old landlord. As The Independent reports today, it's been a decade of growth.

Nothing can bring back the old Gaelic Highlands of the era before the Clearances, when communities were swept away to make room for sheep. Nor have the people of Knoydart sought to create a museum to the past. The new population is a diverse lot, swelled by incomers from as far as Poland and South Africa. The last remaining crofter is from the Home Counties.

But the fact that there are queues for every house that comes available on Knoydart suggests our image of remote rural communities as places destined to slow death by abandonment is a myth. Certainly, it shows this need not be the case. In miniature, Knoydart is a fine advert for the revivifying qualities of people power. So, three cheers, or rather, slainte.