A windswept Scottish island with no shops, no pub and a limited ferry service has been overwhelmed by applications from around the globe after it advertised for settlers to join its isolated community. To reverse a steady population decline, Canna, one of the smaller Hebridean isles and home to just 15 people, is offering two cottages for rent to two families who will be vetted to determine their suitability to island life. More than 400 families have contacted the island's owner, the National Trust for Scotland, keen to swap the trappings of the 21st century for a simpler existence. The trust's John Hollingsworth yesterday said the charitable trust was astonished by the reaction to the website advertisement. 'It has certainly captured the imagination of people all over the world and we are delighted,' Mr Hollingsworth said. 'We have sent out application packs to Germany, France, Sweden, the US, Japan, India, Dubai and New Zealand.' He said Canna relied on farming and tourism and the trust was looking for applicants with practical skills related to those fields. 'We are keen to find someone who will work for the community and have a passion for the community - not just somebody who has a romantic idea of getting away from it all,' he said. Canna is reached by a 21/2-hour ferry crossing from Mallaig, 150km north of Glasgow. The island is 7km long and 1.5km wide, boasts spectacular scenery and is home to puffins and rare butterflies. Its nearby waters are home to dolphins and whales. The main settlement is made up of about 20 buildings, including a post office, tea room, houses and three churches. Groceries are brought in from the mainland on the ferry. The island is connected to the mainland phone and broadband network, and electricity is supplied by a diesel generator. There is, however, no mobile phone signal. Nobody locks their door and there is a zero crime rate, which is just as well as the mainland-based local policeman patrols only twice a year. The doctor is a more regular visitor, making house calls once a month in a dinghy. Applications close on November 10.