Stage 3

Stage 3, with the creation of Lochgoil Community Trust in May 2003, agreement was reached that the woodlands project should be moved to a third stage of development with an aim to encourage wider community involvement.

The aims of the Cormonachan Woodlands project include: –

To protect and manage the natural ancient Atlantic oak woodlands by: –

  • Producing a detailed sustainable management plan which set out best practice of habitat creation for key species, as identified in the Argyll & Bute bio-diversity plan, including red squirrels.
  • Removing intrusive species including Rhododendron ponticum.
  • Remove sections of felled under planted Sitka spruce.
  • Re-coppice old stands of hazel.
  • Carrying out access and improvement works along the top edge of the Atlantic oak woodlands, thereby allowing circular walks of different lengths.
  • Commission and install an interpretation trail along the path.
  • Open up viewpoints with seats so visitors could enjoy the views.

To improve access to, and, an understanding about the woodlands by: –

The Lochgoil Community action plan written in 2002 after the whole community was surveyed and workshops held.  The plan identified the need for environmental improvements.  Priority 4 states “Protect and Manage Natural Woodlands” with a main action being to “Support the development of a Community Woodlands Group”.

Against this background, the existing Cormonachan Woodlands partnership expanded to include the Lochgoil Community Development Trust and the recently formed Lochgoil Red Squirrel Project.

In addition the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Ranger Service – the Argyll team have been involved in woodlands management at the site and will continue to support the project through woodlands management and educational activities.

What benefits will there be to the community as a result of the project?

  • Recreation area – walks, viewpoints.
  • Education about the environment.
  • Understanding of sustainable development.
  • Leisure activities – woodlands crafts.

Stage 3: Funding Package – 2004 compromised of a funding package totalling £31,130.00 provided by Community Economic Development Programme, Argyll & Islands Enterprise, Forestry Commission and Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre.

Work completed included:

  • Habitat management plan
  • 2,000 metre pathways
  • 4 View points, seats and tables
  • Rhododendron ponticum clearance
  • Red Squirrel Trail