Tiny community plants big project for its future

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Ulva Ferry celebrated Community Land Week in sunshine by planting tree saplings, wildflowers and a time capsule.

Community memories, mementos and photos were all stored in a capsule dug deep underground with instructions not to be opened until 2050.

The gathering, on a recently purchased plot of land at Oskamull, was organised by Ulva School Community Association (USCA) and Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT). A family ceilidh and barbecue rounded off the fun day last Friday.

The Oskamull plot was recently bought by MICT on behalf of the Ulva Ferry community to build more affordable and much-needed long-term rental homes.

In the time it has taken for the project’s first two houses to be built, another four homes at Ulva Ferry are now self-catering or holiday homes, said Mull and Iona Community Trust’s General Manager Moray Finch.

The Oskamull plot purchase was made possible via the Scottish Land Fund  and it is hoped work will start in spring 2020.

Mr Finch said it was a privilege for MICT to support its community and to see the hard work of so many people coming to fruition but warned there was ‘more work to do’.

‘In the time taken for us to build the first two houses, another four homes at Ulva Ferry are now self-catering or second homes,’ he said.

And he added: ‘As with any community project, a great deal of fundraising and grant applications are required to secure the development funding
for the build costs. A fundraising appeal has been launched and any donations would be gratefully received.’

Donations can be made online at wonderful.org/appeal/ulvaferryaffordablehousing or by sending cheques
payable to Mull and Iona Community Trust to An Roth, Craignure, Isle of Mull, PA65 6AY.

A total of £326.03 was raised at Friday’s celebration event to start off the appeal.

USCA secretary Anna Hogan said: ‘The warmth and joy of this event were beautiful. The tree planting was about the children and their future which is, of course, what the affordable housing plans are all about.’

Thanks went to Community Land Scotland, Lip na Cloiche Garden for donating the tree saplings, Iain MacKay for carrying out the fencing, pupils and staff at Ulva Primary School for all their help, the Mimi Spence Ceilidh Band for music, Alan Jack for MC duties and Còisir Òg Mhuile for the singing.

Thanks also went to the USCA committee for their organisational efforts.

Anyone wanting more information about the housing project or who is interesting in renting one of the planned houses, should contact Helen MacDonald on 01680 812 900 or email hmacdonald@mict.co.uk.