A 65-year-old man is about to retire as caretaker of three uninhabited Scottish islands.
Grandfather of three Jonathan Grant tends to the islands of Mingulay, Pabbay and Berneray, south of Barra, after taking up a job as a forest ranger over a decade ago.
The Glasgow native took the job from the National Trust of Scotland in 2010, having moved to the Outer Hebrides 20 years ago.
He now plans to retire in October and hopes that a younger person, who loves the islands as much as he does, will take up his forester’s job.
“A younger person living on the island could experience what I experienced,” said Grant.
Jonathan Grant, 65, (pictured) retires as a forest ranger after 13 years
The island of Mingulay (pictured) was abandoned in 1912 by the Gaelic-speaking inhabitants
The towering cliffs of Minguay (pictured) are known as a rich habitat for birds
Barra Head Lighthouse (pictured) on Berneray Island has been in operation since 1833
The uninhabited islands are known for their dramatic landscapes and rich natural ecosystems
The three islands are located in the Outer Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland
The three deserted islands are part of the Bishop’s Isles archipelago, which is located about 20 km south of Barra.
The islands that lie at the southern tip of the Outer Hebrides are known for their dramatic landscapes, beautiful beaches and rich ecosystems.
“There are seabirds nesting on the cliffs, the wildlife is incredible,” said Grant. ‘There are sandy beaches and seals and basking sharks.
All three islands were abandoned by their Gaelic speaking inhabitants, due to the harshness of everyday life they brought with them.
Mr Grant first moved to the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides to work as a builder.
‘I was born in Glasgow and went to school there. After leaving school, I didn’t want to live in a city,” he said.
‘I moved to Barra because I had family and friends there and got a job as a contractor.
The Glasgow-born ranger moved to the Outer Hebridean island of Barra 20 years ago
The ruins of an abandoned village (pictured) remain on Mingulay Island
The forester works six months a year on the uninhabited islands in the summer and earns money in the other winter months as an independent construction worker.
“That has always been my main occupation. I don’t get paid much, but I work for six months, in winter I generally do construction work as a self-employed person.
‘I started as a forest ranger about 20 years ago, before this job came up. Funding ran out, but then I got the NTS job.
Mr Grant said retirement is a gesture of commitment to the future of the islands. “I think it’s unfair to keep the job as I get older,” he said.
‘My first commitment is the welfare of the islands,’ Mr Grant added, saying he ‘will be sad to leave his job’.
Pabbay Island (pictured) was abandoned after the able-bodied men perished in a storm in 1897
The Mingulay school building (pictured) is now used by researchers after being restored in 201
Mingulay (pictured) is known for its rich seal and basking shark ecosystems
“I am a small cog in a large organization and have many colleagues that I unfortunately have to leave,” said the forester.
The grandfather said that his job never took care of family, despite the fact that he often spent more than a week there in a tent.
“Sometimes I’m alone on the island, that’s fine, it suits me,” he added.
‘I have a nice house and a wife on Barra. I only camp for a few weeks each summer,” Mr. Grant said. “I haven’t spent the last 13 years in a tent.”
He noted that he is “never far” from home and has access to “the Internet and satellite communications.”