The Cormonachan Woodlands, situated on the west shore of Loch Goil half way between Lochgoilhead and Carrick Castle is in the Argyll Forest Park part of the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park.
The woodlands are Atlantic oak woodlands with areas of old coppiced hazel probably from 70 years ago. Much of the area had been under planted with Sitka Spruce by Forest Enterprise. Many of those areas were felled in the late nineties and later in 2006, new planting of oaks, rowan, hazel and Scots pine has taken place.
Rhododendrons and bracken had increased in quantity especially in the northern felled section of the woodlands, however a programme of clearance has reduced much of this in recent years.
Bluebells abound throughout the woods 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 joint woodlands project started in 1997, with co-operation between Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre, Lochgoilhead Primary School, Lochgoil Community Trust and Forest Enterprise, who own the 20-hectare section of the Atlantic Oak Woodlands. Formal agreement was reached with Forest Enterprise for the partnership to be responsible for managing the woodlands to improve their bio-diversity and also to develop them as an education resource.
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 provided with information points, a resource centre has been 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. Please observe the Scottish Outdoor Access Code…
The Cormonachan Woodlands Association is currently in negotiation with Forestry Commission Scotland for a new lease for the woodlands that will be between the Association as managers and AOEC Trust Ltd. (Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre) as supporters and main users of the woodlands for educational purposes.
Partners in the Cormonachan Woodlands Association
• Forestry Commission Scotland (Land Owners)
• Cormonachan Woodlands Association (Managers)
• AOEC Trust Ltd.
• Lochgoilhead Primary School
• Lochgoil Community Trust Ltd (future car park lease holders)