• Education

    Using the woodlands as an outdoor classroom

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  • Conservation

    Protecting the biodiversity of the woodlands

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  • Recreation

    Open access for both locals and visitors

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The Cormonachan Community 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.

Welcome to Cormonachan Community Woodlands

The Cormonachan Community Woodlands are 63.9 ha of ancient Atlantic oak & hazel woodlands and part of Scotland’s Rainforest 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. 

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COVID-19 PANDEMIC NOTICE

The Cormonachan Community Woodlands paths are open to local walkers for exercise.
Please observe the 2-metre social distancing regulations and our ‘Leave No Trace’ policy – Thank you.

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”Upper Cormonachan Paths Project Fund”

The “Upper Cormonachan Paths Project Fund” has now reached £17,087.79 as at 30th November 2020 from members and other donations. Cormonachan Community Woodlands Ltd has now raised the 5% of the construction costs that is £16,175 . The paths construction cost of £323,484 inc. VAT requires the major funding. We will be applying to major funders for grants for the balance of £307,309 in early spring 2021.
 
”Upper Cormonachan Paths Project Fund”
 
For the Conservation of Upper Cormonachan, the 16th century Settlement (old village) and access to view the beautiful Cormonachan Waterfalls with 2 km of new access paths with four viewpoints from the Contemplation Shelter by the existing 2.5 km of paths and joining up with the forest road to the west of the woodlands and a new car park by Cormonachan Burn road bridge to commence from September 2020 onwards, providing we obtain the full funding.
 
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Much of the area of Cormonachan Community Woodlands 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 the future. 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 and pine martens that are high on the agenda for protection.

This is a joint community woodlands project started in 1998, with co-operation between Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre (then owned by Fife Council), Lochgoil Community Development Trust, Lochgoil Primary School and Forestry Enterprise Scotland (The Scottish Ministers), who owned the original 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 Forestry & Land Scotland (formally called 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 63.9 hectares including a PAWS area of 8.9 ha; a distance of 1.5 miles from Cormonachan Burn to Clach Bhadach by Lochwood on the west side of the road. See the Location page. Since 1st April 2020, the organisation has been converted to a not-for-profit limited company by guarantee – Cormonachan Community Woodlands Ltd. (Company No: SC697915) and is run by a Board of Directors, all voluntary. A 20-year Lease for the woodlands is about to be exchanged  in the autumn of 2020 for the Memorandum of Understanding  with Forestry and Land Scotland, the land owners.

Over the last decade the woodlands area has been transformed with 2.5 km of 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.

Since 2018, there is now a Red Squirrel Hide and Contemplation Shelter alongside the Squirrel Trail that are open all year round.

You can follow us on Facebook.com/cormonachan and Instagram #cormonachan.

Visitors who wish to visit the Cormonachan Woodlands can park their cars in the car park suitable for 8 cars by the television aerial compound – see Latest News.

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