A community group in Morvern, Argyllshire is poised to take control of its local woodland, thanks to a Scottish Land Fund award of £50,250.
Morvern Community Woodlands has managed the Achnaha Wood on the Morvern peninsula since 2004. Thanks to today’s award, they will now purchase the eight hectares of woodland under the National Forest Land Scheme thereby securing its future as an asset for the whole community.
Welcoming the £50,250 award, Sam Firth of Morvern Community Woodlands, said: "The Morvern Community Woodlands Company is delighted to have been awarded this grant from the Scottish Land Fund, which not only enables us to purchase the woodland, but gives us the opportunity to develop its use within the community. Achnaha Community Wood is a wonderful place which is very important to our small community. Bringing this woodland into community ownership will ensure it remains accessible to all for generations to come and will enable us to build on the success we have had managing the woods. We are very grateful to the Scottish Land Fund for giving us this opportunity."
Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Aileen McLeod, said: “I am delighted to see this Scottish Land Fund award to Morvern Community Woodlands, which will allow the community to take ownership of the Achnaha Wood on the Morvern peninsula.
“Community ownership will bring benefits to local people including the further development of skills in forestry management, the extension of recreational facilities and the further development of the wood. Morvern Community Woodlands is a great example of how the Scottish Land Fund is making a real difference to communities throughout rural Scotland. Projects like this help fulfil the Scottish Government’s commitment to secure more land into community ownership by 2020.”
Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, John Watt, added: ““Morvern Community Woodlands has a proven track record of successfully managing Achnaha Wood for the benefit of local people. Ownership of the asset is a logical step for this enterprising community and one which will contribute not only to the sustainability of the woodland for generations to come, but also to the resilience of the community itself. I look forward to hearing about the impact of this Scottish Land Fund grant as the community go on to own, manage and develop this thriving asset.”
The First Minister recently announced the Scottish Land Fund will treble from £3 million this year to £10 million a year from 2016. This will make it easier for communities around Scotland who are interested in owning their land collectively to do so.