Running from November 2013 to March 2015, Greener ColGlen was a 17 month project funded by the Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund (CCF). The key aims of the project were to establish a community food growing group with two polytunnels (one in Glendaruel and one in Colintraive) and a community composting facility for growers. We also aimed to start up a local wood fuel enterprise through the eradication of invasive Rhododendron ponticum, and households within the ColGlen community would also have the opportunity to receive free Green Deal Assessments with the support of Home Energy Scotland.
Scroll down for the gallery and click on the links below to find out how we got on ….
Greener ColGlen has met most of its objectives and has engaged more people than ever before in Glendaruel and Colintraive. 2 community growing sites have been delivered, complete with composting facilities, outdoor growing areas, tools and storage and these have provided vital new focus for community activity.
We have started to increase road safety by clearing Rhododendron from sight lines, improved community spaces by landscaping and drainage, and improved bio-diversity by removing invasive species.
6 people have been directly employed by the project, 18 people have received training, qualifications or learned one or more new skills, enabling some to benefit from paid employment in a new area. 40 people have formed and joined a new community group – The Colglen Growers. Over 30 people have given voluntary time to the project, and we have re-used and recycled local materials and employed local contractors whose knowledge, experience and flexibility greatly benefitted the project. We have created new social networks, made friends and links with other community groups, and formed partnerships with other organisations.
Over 200 people have attended our informative and educational events or taken part in the project in some way.
We have grown over 189Kg of vegetables, composted over 100 Kg of food waste, dealt with over 1.2 tonnes of garden waste, and through the production of 25 tonnes of wood fuel, we have eradicated over 1 hectare of Rhododendron ponticum using low carbon methods, whilst also investigating biomass district heating and the Green Deal.
Over the course of the project we have saved 161 tonnes CO2e, and over the lifetimes of the different elements we could save a further 181 tonnes CO2e.
Project Development Officer “We’ve definitely had a lot of fun over the last 17 months, and this has been mostly due to the amazing community spirit and the cooperation and support of the ColGlen Community; the farms, friends, neighbours, contractors, suppliers, land owners, village halls, ColGlen Shinty Club, Community Council, Argyll and Bute Council, volunteers, ColGlen Growers and Project Staff. Thank you All”
Local Councillor Bruce Marshall stated, “Colintraive and Glendaruel Development Trust are leading the way in Cowal in setting an example of what can be done in a comparatively small rural community.”
From a Volunteer – “I believe the community is better prepared for the future in that we have received high quality training in relevant areas, job opportunities have been created and that you have opened people’s eyes to new possibilities. Oh yes, and I’ve developed a passion I didn’t even know I had – it’s just great eating what you’ve grown!”
Recycling Facilities in ColGlen …
Recycling is easy, and small efforts go a long way. You can recycle..
GLASS @ Glendaruel Caravan Park and Colintraive Hotel
PLASTIC, PAPER, CANS @ Colintraive Hall and Glendaruel Caravan Park
CLOTHES, TEXTILES @ Kilmodan Primary School and Colintraive Hall
See also Argyll & Bute Council collections calendar for local uplifts.
“From Invader to Woodfuel!” – by Greener ColGlen’s Project Officer, Sara Maclean.
Rhododendron Ponticum is the most damaging and widespread non-native terrestrial plant in Britain, and has been recognised as a particular problem in Cowal. The threat of Phytophthora, to which Rhododendron P. plays host, has made Rhododendron control a national priority, and Greener ColGlen is keeping up to date on the emerging National Strategy to control the plant.
Phytophthora (Greek for ‘plant destroyer’) is one of the world’s most destructive genera of plant pathogens. Probably the most famous species of the genus is Phytophthora Infestans, which attacks the leaves and stems of potato plants and causes the disease that contributed to the potato famine in Ireland in the mid 1800’s.
Greener ColGlen, in partnership with Forestry Commission Scotland and Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust, will hold workshops in conventional and alternative control techniques and a charcoal-making demonstration, helping to show that the timber from cleared Rhododendron Ponticum can be used in a variety of ways, and not wasted.
We are going to trial different techniques to eradicate some local colonies of rhododendron. Stem Injection, Lever and Mulch, and Cut and Chip. These will all help to interrupt the spread for one season, begin a programme of eradication, and also provide slow burning hardwood logs, kindling and charcoal. This is a vital land-management activity that will help to prepare us for responsible Community Woodland ownership in the long-term whilst raising awareness and leaving a legacy of skills in the Community.
Follow this link to our press coverage: http://cgdt.org/cgdt-in-the-press/
If you’re interested in joining the ColGlen Growers pop in or call on 01700 841358, or email firstname.lastname@example.org