The Cormonachan Woodlands, situated on the west shore of Loch Goil half way between Lochgoilhead and Carrick Castle and is in the Argyll Forest Park and the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park.
The Cormonachan Woodlands are 50 ha plus of ancient Atlantic oak & hazel woodlands and have the status of being Ancient Semi Natural Woodlands (ASNW) being preserved for Education, Conservation and Recreation, with oaks of 300 years old or more and with areas of old coppiced hazel probably from around 100 years ago. Much of the area had been under planted with Sitka Spruce by Forest Enterprise in the past. Many of those areas were felled in the late nineties and later in 2006 and will continue to be in 2017. New planting of oaks, rowan, hazel and Scots pine has taken place.
Rhododendron ponticum and bracken (invasive species) have increased in quantity especially in the northern felled section of the woodlands, however a programme of clearance is reducing much of this now with much still to be done.
Bluebells abound throughout the woodlands along with other woodland plants including; primroses, wild garlic, wood sorrel, lesser celandine, honeysuckle and ferns.
The most important wildlife to reside in these woodlands are red squirrels that are high on the agenda for protection.
This is a joint community woodlands project started in 1997, with co-operation between Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre (then owned by Fife Council), Lochgoil Community Development Trust, Lochgoil Primary School and Forestry Commission Scotland (The Scottish Ministers), who owned the 20 hectare section of the Atlantic Oak Woodlands at that time. Formal agreement was originally reached in May 2006 for the partnership to be responsible for managing the woodlands to improve their bio-diversity and also to develop them as an education resource.
A new agreement between Cormonachan Woodlands Association founded in 2015, AOEC Trust Ltd. (Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre, now a social enterprise trust) and Forest Enterprise Scotland was signed in December 2016 for an initial ten year period to 31st December 2026. The new management area of the woodlands has now been extended to 50 hectares plus a PAWS area of 8.9 ha; a distance of 1.5 miles from Cormonachan Burn to Lochwood on the west side of the road. See the Location page.
Over the last decade the woodlands area has been transformed with long walking paths established for recreation with view points over Loch Goil, a red squirrel trail was provided with information points, a resource centre was also built for educational purposes and many volunteers have cleared much of the area of old tree debris, Sitka spruce and rhododendrons.
Visitors who wish to visit the Cormonachan Woodlands should park their cars sensibly in the restricted parking area by the television aerial compound to allow others access as well. Planning permission has been received to expand the car park to hold up to eight vehicles and the extended area has been cleared ready for work to commence on the new car park area once funds have been received - see Latest News. Please observe the Scottish Outdoor Access Code…
Partners in the Cormonachan Woodlands Association
• Forestry Commission Scotland (Land Owners)
• Cormonachan Woodlands Association (Managers)
• AOEC Trust Ltd. (Education Providers)
Lochgoilhead Primary School uses Cormonachan Woodlands for Forest School Activities.
If you would like to join the Association please complete the Membership Application Form.
Membership runs from 1st June to 31st May annually - Membership Renewal Form.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Secretary, Douglas Locke on 01301 703098.