Autumn Fayre, Lochgoilhead on Saturday 6th October 2018

The Cormonachan Woodlands Association is having a stand again this year at the Autumn Fayre on Saturday 6th October 2018 between 11 am and 2 pm at the Village Hall in Lochgoilhead. The event is free to enter. Come and find out about the work the Association and what its members and volunteers do for the Cormonachan Community Woodlands, Loch Goil by Carrick Castle, Argyll.

We will have our new 36-page high quality A3 Photo Book available for visitors to browse through that covers 20 years about Cormonachan Woodlands from 1998 to 2018. We are looking to increase our membership currently standing at 95 members with more supporting members that help pay for the running of the Association and volunteer members who help maintain the community woodlands. Individual local membership is £10 pa and Associate membership is £5 pa. Life membership is also available at £250 (we have 4 life members) and Corporate membership is £50 pa (we have 4 corporate members), Membership forms will be available at the event.

Cormonachan Woodlands 36 Page A3 Photo Book of Cormonachan Woodlands covering 20 Years from 1998 to 2018

The Cormonachan Woodlands Association has produced a 36 page A3 photo book about Cormonachan Woodlands over the last 20 years from 1998 to 2018. The cover is shown and two sample pages of some of the paths and volunteers who have helped to maintain the woodlands for the Loch Goil community. Anyone interested in purchasing a copy for themselves can order from the Secretary of the Association at a 50% discounted cost of £35.95 each if ordered now. Twelve have been ordered to 5/9/2018. Postage would be extra for those not able to collect or be delivered in the Loch Goil area. The Association’s copy will be held by the Secretary and may be borrowed locally by local members.

Sample pages:-


Volunteers page                                                  Flora & Fauna page

Paths page                                                            Contemplation Shelter page

Cormonachan Woodlands Mugs For Sale

Cormonachan Woodlands Mugs are available from the Secretary of the Cormonachan Woodlands Association at a cost of £7.50 each including boxed packaging – if postage is required for delivery, the postage cost is £2.95 each extra. Order by calling the Secretary on 01301 703098. We have just 10 mugs left at 5/9/2018. Two sides of the mug are shown here. The sale of these mugs helps support the running of the Association and its projects.

Loch Goil Gala Day on 28th July 2018








The Cormonachan Woodlands Association had its marquee at the event again this year. During the set up in the morning it was dry but just at the start of the event, the heavens opened with a huge downpour of rain. After a while it became dry again for an hour or so and then there was another downpour before a huge gust of wind tried to lift the entire marquee off into the sky! At this point it was decided to pack up for the day a little earlier than intended. Fortunately during the disassembly of the stand and marquee it was dry enough to stow everything away in the car.
Despite the weather which did affect the numbers of visitors going to the Gala Day, three new members were enrolled bringing the number up to 88 members with some other people saying they would join the  Association after the event. Our new Cormonachan Woodlands China Mugs were very popular at £7.50 each and with a few still available, anyone wanting to buy one should contact the Secretary. We were very grateful to those who gave donations to our Project Fund Donation Boxes, with all takings for the day reaching £179.50 and that total reached in hardly the best of weather conditions.

Committee Members of the Cormonachan Woodlands Association


An Introduction to the Committee of the Cormonachan Woodlands Association for those who don’t know who attends the committee meetings.
Bottom left clockwise: David Thorpe, Centre Manager, AOEC Trust Ltd. (Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre); Jimmy Sim, Treasurer; Don Kamsley, Chair; Sue Morris, Communities & Visitor Services Manager, Argyll Forest Park (ex officio member); Douglas Locke, Secretary; Cecilia Ferguson & Frances Walker.
Photo taken at the last committee meeting on Wednesday 18th July 2018.

Strimming Cormonachan Woodlands Paths

An appeal for path strimming was sent out to the 10 Association trained trimmer operators at the beginning of June 2018 and 4 answered the call for help over the period from 5th June to 10th July 2018.

A big thank you goes to Don Kamsley who strimmed the whole of the circular Squirrel Trail, the car park, Red Squirrel Hide area and Contemplation Shelter area in 5 hours on 5th June; to Anna Wynne who strimmed the lower path from Jan’s Hideaway to the junction at Clach Bhadach in 1.5 hrs on 6th June; to Leonard Gow who strimmed from the top junction above Jan’s Hideaway to the north west corner of the 2.5 km circular path in 3 hrs on 26th June; to Frances Walker who strimmed the path from the top north west corner of the 2.5 km circular path, including the top bench area down to almost the bottom of the path towards Clach Bhadach in 4.5 hrs on 26th June; to Leonard Gow again for finishing the path where Frances finished to the Clach Bhadach junction and north to the Rhododendron tunnel in 1.5 hrs on 10th July and to Douglas Locke who pruned all the trees around all the paths and the Rhododendron tunnel in 11 hrs on 5th & 26th June and 10th July, also supporting the strimmer volunteers as their First Aider.

Over this last month the paths have grown again and will need re-strimming by the end of July so we hope that the other trained trimmer operators will volunteer their services as the above ones have done over the last few weeks. The Cormonachan Community Woodlands rely on the trained members to do this strimming to keep the paths in good order. If the paths are strimmed before they get overgrown, it takes less time to do them. Frances Walker’s section above was well overgrown and it probably took her twice the time to do than it would have done if done regularly. The average time to complete the strimming of all the paths is about 12 hours and they need to be done a minimum of 3 times annually that comes to 36 hours each year. If each of the 10 trained volunteers contributed to the strimming, each would need to offer only 3.6 hours of strimming volunteering per annum.

Other members can help by scything as you don’t have to have a certificate to scythe as you do for using a trimmer. Training for use of a scythe can be offer by the Association if anyone is interested in helping out.

The Cormonachan Woodlands Association are extremely gratefully to the volunteers who have so far been keeping the paths strimmed and in good order for walking on.

Red Squirrel Hide & Contemplation Shelter Now ‘OPEN’

On Wednesday 6th June 2018 just after 11 am, the Red Squirrel Hide in Cormonachan Woodlands was officially opened. Douglas Locke gave a speech about how the funding was raised and David Thorpe, CEO of Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre cut the ribbon a gave a short speech. Whilst the weather was perfect, around the shelter area there were a few too many midges with no wind so everyone moved on to the Contemplation Shelter.


Again, on Wednesday 6th June 2018 at 11.30 am 31 people gathered after a short walk to the entrance of the Contemplation Shelter in memory of Liz Evans in Cormonachan Woodlands. Douglas Locke gave a speech about Liz’s final request to ask her friends and family to donate towards a shelter instead of giving flowers at her funeral. As you will by now know over £7,000 was donated and in just 4 months planning permission was obtained, the shelter ordered, groundwork with concrete base and path prepared and then the shelter was erected on 21st May. Liz’s kayaking friend, Christobel Fallon was asked to cut the ribbon and give a short speech about her friend. The weather for the event was perfect – dry, sunny and very warm with a slight wind that let everyone enjoy the visit to the shelter midge free so there was no rush to leave but to contemplate on the words that had been written about Liz and to enjoy the wonderful view over Loch Goil from the shelter that was Liz’s favourite view.



This was followed by 22 pre-invited guests going to a reception at The Lodge on Loch Goil where an excellent light meal was served at 1 pm sponsored by our corporate members at The Lodge. Alongside the Contemplation Shelter an oak tree in memory of Liz had been previously planted by Douglas, Liz’s husband and Calum, her son and her ashes had been scattered around the tree with a plaque erected in her memory. The day could not have been better and was enjoyed by all.


Both the Red Squirrel Hide and the Contemplation Shelter are now open all year round 24/7 to members and visitors.

Red Squirrel Hide

Although the Red Squirrel Hide and shed were erected on 12th March 2018, the volunteers only managed to get the second coat of preservative paint on the hide and shed on 6th May 2018.

The Red Squirrel Hide is open all year round to members and visitors in the Cormonachan community woodlands. Please record the time of sightings on the white board in the hide as it helps others to know when the red squirrels are around. Be prepared to spend 10 minutes in the hide as often when the red squirrels see no one around they go to the feeders and you can watch them.

The Official Opening of the Red Squirrel Hide and the Contemplation Shelter (being erected on Monday 21st May 2018) will be on Wednesday 6th June 2018 at 11 am meeting in the car park. Those coming will walk anti-clockwise around the Squirrel Trail to the Red Squirrel Hide first and then to the Contemplation Shelter up the hill. There will be short speeches and ribbon cutting before returning to the car park. The event will last about one hour.


The Walking Theatre Group is coming to Cormonachan Woodlands!

Cormonachan Woodlands Association and Argyll Arts Collective are bringing together two performances by The Walking Theatre Group on Sunday 15th April 2018 in Cormonachan Woodlands by Carrick Castle.


For Children: 2 pm – ‘The Celtic Tree Walk; An Enchanted Forest’
This performance will last up to 1 hour 20 minutes.
Tickets from Argyll Arts Collective – Lochgoilhead
£6 each or £20.00 for family ticket of 4.

For Adults: 6.30 pm – ‘Conference of the Faeries’ an adaptation of  Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’
This performance will last 1 hour 30 minutes.
Tickets £8.00 each from Argyll Arts Collective – Lochgoilhead

Minibus transport from Lochgoilhead car park will be available to & from Cormonachan Woodlands car park.

The Walking Theatre Company create and adapt their family fun shows to suit outdoor locations. Their performances involve a promenade around the performance location, guided through by the performers themselves. They perform a range of different shows some for all the family to watch and sometimes interact with, to adaptations of classic Shakespeare to more contemporary writing.

Please note that the paths in Cormonachan Woodlands are rated as easy to moderate (moderate being up the short paths from bottom to the top path). Please “Leave No Trace”.

For further information and booking – contact Joni at or at 07765 016543.

Report on the Volunteers Weekend of 24th & 25th February 2018 in Cormonachan Woodlands.

Saturday 24th February – We had 11 volunteers from Fife, 3 volunteers from the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park and only 4 CWA members of which 3 were committee members.
The Fife volunteers of which one came up from Cumbria felled 6 of the very large under planted Sitka spruce trees in Area 1 and burnt all the brash under the CWA’s felling licence all day and a rotten oak that could have posed a danger to one of the paths in the future. The NP volunteers with one of our committee members cut down Rhododendron in area 3a by the lower path in the morning whilst the other three CWA volunteers erected 10 new signs around the woodlands on posts. In the afternoon, 2 CWA members continued cutting down Rhododendron with the 3 NP volunteers. This was a very successful day in achieving such a lot for the community woodlands.

Sunday 25th February – The 11 Fife volunteers continued to fell another 5 large Sitka spruce and burnt all the brash all day. This now leaves just 2 pockets of 5 Sitka spruce trees in each in Area 1 to fell under the CWA licence with Forest Enterprise Scotland and the Fife volunteers hope to complete this in the autumn. Only two CWA committee members volunteered in the morning and they prepared the site for the Red Squirrel Hide and shed digging ditches to keep the site area as free from water as would be possible. In the afternoon only one committee member remained (aged 76) to carry on working and he pruned branches along side some of the paths, painted a new post for a new squirrel feeder and cleaned out & drilled out 2 bases, re-sited one of the feeders that the squirrels seemed not to be feeding from and put away all the tools used.

We have to say it was extremely disappointing that there was such a lack of support from CWA members to volunteer in our community woodlands especially when the weather was absolutely perfect all weekend. We do hope that at future volunteers days more members will come and help. All the Fife and NP volunteers commented to us how they enjoy working in Cormonachan Woodlands so hopefully local people will come and enjoy the experience and make a difference to the woodlands that has to be maintained.