Afforestations of Delight

Colintraive and Glendaruel Development Trust (CGDT) have purchased Stronafian Forest and are now recruiting for a dynamic Community Forest Development Officer. 

CGDT are delighted to confirm that they have now purchased Stronafian Forest on the Cowal Peninsula, Argyll. The forest, purchased for £1.55M from the Forestry Commission under the National Forest Land Scheme, will provide the community of Colintraive and Glendaruel with opportunities to create sustainable housing, woodland crofts, renewable energy sources and wonderful amenity spaces.

The Trust has been working since early 2010 on the acquisition of the 600ha+ woodland, developing a thorough-going business plan, as well as working on the funding package which includes £1.3M from a commercial tenant for the rights to the commercial forestry over 99 years. Alongside this tranche of money, raised from the private sector, the trust has also raised over £300,000, both for the balance of the purchase price, but also the legal fees and a two year Community Forest Project Officer post. The trust believe this is the first purchase of its kind to combine private and public sectors in a community woodland acquisition.

Come Work With Us
The Trust are still recruiting for the post which offers an exciting blend of community engagement, project management and business development in a forest context. The Community Forest Project Officer will be tasked with taking forward a community wind turbine, developing 4-6ha woodland crofts and preparing building plots for self-build and affordable homes, as well as making the forest accessible to the local community and its visitors. This is an opportunity to work with one of the West Coast’s most innovative trusts, in an environment of outstanding natural beauty, with a community whose Hogmanays are reputed to be the best in Argyll. To apply download our application form here.

CGDT’s chair, Charles Dixon-Spain said, “We are thrilled with this acquisition which is confirmation of the momentum our community has been building over the last five years. Colintraive and Glendaruel is a community that has been in decline for many years, and the Trust feels this purchase signals the renewing of our community, of bringing people in and services back and of ensuring the future of those services that we have held onto. Thanks to everyone who has helped us get to this stage!”

CGDT wish to thank Forestry Commission Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Argyll and the Islands LEADER, the Scottish Land Fund, the Big Fund, Aitchesse Ltd. and our tenant for all their help, financial support and encouragement over the last three years.

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