Future & Past Projects
Our plans for the future of Cormonachan Community Woodlands
2018 to 2022
6) Conservation of Upper Cormonachan, the Medieval Settlement and access to the Cormonachan Falls with 2 km of new access paths with four viewpoints from the Contemplation Shelter 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 in 2022 onwards.
We are absolutely delighted to report that we have now been offered the full funding for the “Upper Cormonachan Heritage Paths Project” amounting to £253,146.00 for the construction and a further £32,306 for a 3-year part time Heritage Developer (£18,000 through Ardroy OEC) and the balance for training, promotion, etc. from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, NatureScot (Scottish Rural Development Programme) through their Agri-Environmental Climate Scheme – Improving Public Access and local donations of £18,400 from Lochgoil Community Trust and our Members and Supporters.
The “Upper Cormonachan Paths Project Fund” has now reached £17,500.00 as at 23rd July 2021 from members and other donations. Cormonachan Community Woodlands Ltd has now raised more than the 5% of the construction costs that is £12,657.33 . the paths construction cost of £253,146.66 inc. 20% VAT requires the major funding. We have now applied to three funders for grants for the balance of £235,859.42 inc. 20% VAT in June (funding has been approved from two funders for £106,879.20 on 24th December 2021 from Agri -Environmental Climate Scheme – Improving Public Access through Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP) plus an additional £900.00 from Lochgoil Community Trust). The third funder applied to was National Lottery Heritage Fund but as they ran out of money, we have been asked to re-apply for the balance required. We have therefore applied for this balance of £127.867.46 through National Lottery as with this additional funding the project could proceed. Further, more donations will be very welcome!
Major funding is being sought now that planning permission for the project was received on 11th July 2019. We have so far had to pay out of the fund £756 for planning fees and £400 for a Protected Species Survey. Felling 92 trees along the path and at the Settlement (has been paid for by Forestry and Land Scotland totalling £950) and we have paid £4,165.20 for an Archaeology Survey and £1,260 for an Interpretation Panel with the archaeology and history of the Upper Cormonachan Medieval Settlement (old village), was erected on 4th June 2021 that funding had been received for from the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park’s Heritage Fund. These additional costs amount to £7,556.20 for which grants and donations covered separately. See National Park Planning Approval of Construction Costs – 2019 0001 DET Path Construction And Upgrading Works Method Statement 100336689 – See full detailed costing link in 5) below.
Planning permission for the project was applied for on 4th January 2019 from the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park and was received on 11th July 2019 – see Planning Approval – 2019 0001 DET Decision Notice Final 100336697 and is supported by the Argyll & Bute’s MP, Brendan O’Hara and MSP, Michael Russell, Cowal Ward Councillor, Alan Reid, Lochgoil Community Council, Scottish Forestry by Management Plan & Lease, Forestry and Land Scotland, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, Argyll & Bute Council Economic Development Dept., Lochgoil Community Trust, Loch Lomond Community Partnership, Friends of Loch Lomond & Trossachs, Ramblers Scotland, Community Woodlands Association, Woodland Trust Scotland, Argyll Small Woods Cooperative, Paths For All, ACT – Argyll & the Isles Coast & Countryside Trust, Argyll Holidays, Rhumhor Holiday Lodge, Carrick Castle Estate, Lodge On Loch Goil, AOEC Trust Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre, Scouts Adventure Centre, Lochgoilhead Primary School, Loch Goil Kayak Hire & Carrick Farm, Lochgoilhead Holidays, Loch Goil Trails, Two Walking Groups in Lochgoilhead, Lochwood House Guesthouse, The Shore House, Rowan House Bed & Breakfast & Loch Goil Cruisers and Boat Shed Cafe.
The expansion of the paths network forms part of the Loch Goil Local Plans and that of the National Park’s plan:- Loch Goil Local Plan 2018-2023. Theme 1: Community – Priority 2: Continue to preserve and promote the heritage and culture of Lochgoil and Carrick Castle (Upper Cormonachan Settlement (old village)); Priority 6: Promote healthy activity for young and old, including walking. Theme 2: Environment – Priority 3: 1) Maintain and extend the paths network; 2) Provide and maintain proper signage for paths; 3) Support the woodlands management plan for Cormonachan Woods; 4) Support local initiatives which provide access to the environment; 5) Continue to eradicate invasive Non-Native Species (Rhododendron ponticum) being supported with grants from the National Park; 6) Ensure that water quality and biodiversity both in Loch Goil and in the local rivers and streams continually improves (we are creating 5 bridges over burns for the paths in the woodlands to safeguard water supplies to local houses; 7) Support the development of a Land Management Forum in the area. Theme 3: Roads, Traffic and Transport – Priority 2: Promote the correct use of passing places and provide appropriate signage. Theme 4: Economic Development – Priority 1: Provide opportunities for training (we have provided training for local people in First Aid, Trimming, Chainsaws, Pesticide Spraying & ATV driving); Priority 2: Improve tourist facilities: 1) Encourage and support more outdoor leisure businesses (we are trying to create a new local tourist destination (opening up the waterfalls, old village, viewpoints and extended paths for walkers with another car park); 2) Provide information for tourists, including signage and interpretation; 3) Promote other heritage initiatives.
Letters of Support for the “Cormonachan Community Woodlands Heritage Paths Project”.
Over this last year 679 native trees have been planted in Cormonachan Woodlands to November 2021. This has also been supporting the BBC CountryFile ‘Plant Britain’ project and our volunteers have been shown on BBC1 TV on 3rd January 2021.
”This is wonderful news and I am very proud to belong to the Association. If I can be there on a volunteer day I shall certainly come along”. F.M.
”I spent a couple of hours on New Year’s morning walking the proposed path site with my trusty hound, we reversed the walk again two days later, she loves it too, quite steep in bits but wonderful views. It will surely be an asset to our community”. F.W.
”Thank you for what you are doing”. M.M. & J.E.
”Love the pictures of what is a magical woodland. Lots of rest areas with views, a touch of history with glimpses of the past and a lot of evidence of jolly hard work making Cormonachan accessible to all. Good luck with the next phase of development.” C.W.F.
”One of my most favourite places in the world” D.E.
The Upper Cormonachan Project here was originally prepared in 2007.
Archaeologist’s final drawing on 16th July 2020 of the Medieval Settlement layout. This has been approved by WoSAS.
The archaeologist’s report can be read by clicking on this link below:-
Cormonachan Falls (scale of middle falls) View of Loch Goil from Upper Cormonachan
Cormonachan Falls on 29th December 1995
Main Upper Cormonachan Falls from south bank
Video of Main middle Cormonachan Falls on 13th September 2020
Video of Cormonachan Falls from the Air!
Upper Cormonachan Proposed Paths
Proposed route of new paths from the Contemplation Shelter to Forest Road, Medieval Settlement, Cormonachan Falls and car park
Click on this link to view – Upper Cormonachan Car Park Plan
The car park would be the same size as the present car park.
Below is an extract from Discovery and Excavation Scotland 1957 – Upper Cormonachan
‘Upper Cormonachan Paths Project’ Costs & Funding to date
2019 – 2020
Archaeological Investigation & Signage £5,425.20 – funded by grant from Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Heritage Fund £5,425.00
Planning Permission for new car park £352.00 – funded by Lochgoil Community Trust Fund £352.00
Planning Permission for 2 km Paths £404.00 – funded by Douglas Locke donation £404.00
Planning Permission Map £25.00 – funded by members subscriptions
Protected Species Survey £400.00 – funded by members donations
Felling of 92 trees along paths route and at Settlement £950.00 – funded by Forestry and Land Scotland
Total of funded costs £7,556.20.
2018 – 2021
5) Obtain quotations and design for the proposed 2 km of paths from Cormonachan Burn Bridge to Upper Cormonachan Medieval Settlement and Cormonachan Falls and the Contemplation Shelter in 8 sections including 5 bridges, 4 view points and a new car park.
(Final version achieved on 20th May 2021)
Construction Maps – Cormonachan Path Sections (Updated 12/10/2021)
Total cost of paths and car park construction £210,955.55 + VAT at 20% = £253,146.66 – full breakdown in link above.
Past completed Projects
4) Contemplation Shelter in memory of our late Chair of the Association Liz Evans – Completed.
Liz Evans, Chair of the Cormonachan Woodlands Association who died on 31st December 2017 requested that at her funeral donations be made for a ‘Contemplation Shelter’ be erected at Cormonachan Woodlands instead of flowers. Liz’s funeral was held on 20th January 2018.
May 2018 – Donations totalled £7,050. This total was enough to purchase a 3.9 m diameter octagonal shelter including groundwork, erection, signage, 2 benches and pathways to the shelter at a cost of £7,041.40 and further donations paid for planning permission (£202). Planning permission was received and the shelter was erected in Cormonachan Woodlands on 21st May 2018 at its location at the top south west corner of the Squirrel Trail.
June 2018 – The Contemplation Shelter was Officially Opened on 6th June 2018. Liz had asked for her son and husband to scatter her ashes by the shelter and plant an oak tree close by which has been done.
Project completed in just over 3 months.
2017 to 2018
3) Red Squirrel Hide and Storage Shed – Completed.
September 2017 – Fund raising for the above commenced. Hide plus ancillaries and sign costs £1,440.14.
October 2017 – Forest Enterprise Scotland permission received for the project.
October 2017 – Application made to Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park Authority for 100% Natural Heritage Funding.
October 2017 – Planning permission requested (£202.00) with plans prepared by architect member Anna Wynne without charge.
December 2017 – Natural Heritage Grant Scheme approved funds of £1,440.14 for the hide and another member offered 50% funding for the shed with other members donations paying for the planning permission and balance of the total shed’s costs of £730.
November 2017 – Volunteers Day (18th) cleared site area except for demolishon of existing shed.
December 2017 – Total cost of Red Squirrel Hide, Storage Shed and planning permission was £2,372.14 funded 100% by grant and donations.
December 2017 – Planning permission approved.
December 2017 – Red Squirrel Hide and Storage Shed ordered – delivery late January/early February with erection.
January 2018 – Original shed demolished (26th).
March 2018 – Red Squirrel Hide and shed erected on 12th March and hide now open all year round.
June 2018 – Official Opening of the Red Squirrel Hide (6th).
Red Squirrel Hide project completed in 9 months.
2) Sculpture Trail around Cormonachan Woodlands existing paths to commence – Completed.
Work by local artists to be sought in keeping with the woodlands.
So far there are five sculptures featured:-
Four interactive and hanging sculptures around the paths
Bunting on the Totem Pole on the Squirrel Trail
2016 to 2017
1) Extend the Cormonachan Woodlands Car Park that originally could only park only two cars to eight vehicles including a minibus and disabled parking space – Completed.
May 2016 – Planning permission applied for with plans prepared by architect member Anna Wynne without charge.
June 2016 – “Car Park Fund” launched to raise £4,000 for work to commence.
August 2016 – Two applications for funding applied for.
September 2016 – Planning permission received from Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park.
October 2016 – Extended car park site cleared of scrub and small trees by volunteers.
April 2017 – Planning permission revised & received to add two signs and two gates.
May 2017 – Funding and donations of £6,254.81 received for project to go ahead.
June 2017 – New car park opened on 29th June 2017
September 2017 – Official Opening on 14th September 2017
Note 1: Members Donations at launch on 1st June 2016 £289
Note 2: Open Day Sales & Donations on 12th June 2016 £71
Note 3: Friends of Loch Lomond & Trossachs Grant of £500 on 15th July 2016
Note 4: Member’s Donation via PayPal Donate on 15th July 2016 £100
Note 5: Loch Goil Gala Day Competition/Sales £100 plus Donations £35.35 = £135.35 on 30th July 2016
Note 6: Private non-members’ Donations £50 & £10 on 4th August 2016
Note 7: Members’ donations £100 matched by £100 = £200 on 21st August 2016
& Members’ donations £20 matched by £20 = £40 on 21st August 2016
Note 8: Caravan & Chalet Owners Annual Coffee Morning at Drimsynie Estate Holiday Village
Donation of £100.00 received on 7th October 2016
Note 9: Member’s Donation on 15th November 2016 £25
Note 10: Members’ Donations of 1 x £100 and 3 x £5 on 24th December 2016
Note 11: Private Donation £10.00 2nd February 2017 & AOEC Trust Ltd Donation £50.00 on 13th January 2017
Note 12: EB Scotland Ltd (Scottish Landfill Communities Fund – Argyll & Bute Council) £2,192.00
Note 13: LandTrust (Scottish Landfill Communities Fund – North Ayrshire Council) £2,367.00
Donations total = £6,254.81.
Project completed in just over one year!