If you were down at the Colintraive village fete on Saturday, and if you had a chance between the duck racing, wellie wanging, rat splatting, cake buying, ice cream licking and Scottish dancing, you might have seen Sandra and Russell cajoling people into the CDGT tent. We were asking for people’s ideas, thoughts, comments and opinions on the various on-going projects on that the Trust is overseeing. Represented were; the plan to revive the old post-office, the planned circular walk in Colintraive, the Ship-to-Shore project and the Stronafian Forest Project.
We hope that everyone who came and saw us left a little more enlightened as to what the Trust is up to on their behalf and a little more involved having left an idea or comment for us to consider.
Regarding the forest people were generally interested to see exactly where the forest boundaries were and to hear how the nitty-gritty of the acquisition and purchase process are progressing. Several people commented about the great views over Loch Riddon that you can get from the top of the forest road that goes from the telephone exchange on the Dunoon road. There was some interest in the possibility of the creation of forest small holdings and also in establishing a commercial wood-fuel operation as they have done at Kilfinan. By far the most common topic of conversation about the forest was the possibility of developing mountain biking trails. Suggestions ranged from simple way-marked trails to the development of a full blown centre complete with graded trails, bike hire, guiding, bike repair shop and cafes. See these links to see what has been developed in other forests along these lines http://www.7stanesmountainbiking.com/Home and http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/INFD-79YFHN. Other ideas included creating nature trails, a sculpture trail, tree-top assault course a shooting ground and a concrete bobsleigh run through the forest!
The possibility of reviving the village shop was met with universal enthusiasm! Some people didn’t care what happened to it as long as it was given a lick of paint. A frequent comment was that a shop or café of some sort would do a roaring trade off people waiting for the ferry with one person even suggesting going onto coaches with a tray of snacks and drinks like they used to do at the cinema! Those who came straight from the home baking stand were naturally in favour of having somewhere to get cakes of such high quality all year round and wanted to see a tea room or coffee shop (with home baking). Younger folk thought an internet café would be great idea, anything to make contact with the outside world given how bad mobile reception is. The shop has a flat on the first floor and some people suggested converting this into ‘bunk house’ style accommodation for cyclists and people doing the Cowal Way looking to over-night somewhere cheap and cheerful. Rhona is busy as we speak trying to secure funding so that the building can be surveyed before any decision is made on whether to buy.
The ship-to-shore project displayed various options discussed at a meeting earlier in the week including the controversial pontoon proposal, reviving the concrete jetty and using the slipway on the CalMac road as a launch for dinghies and kayaks. This is going to be a difficult one to negotiate as many people thought that yachties would only come ashore if there was the option of coming alongside in their yachts whilst the topography of the bay makes this difficult without building a quite intrusive structure.
We encourage to leave your comments and ideas on the projects discussed above – this is an on-going process and your opinion counts at every stage!