Mull branches out to take on community forest

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Celebrations are being planned to mark Mull taking ownership of Ardura Forest in the south of the island.

It was announced earlier this year that the 200ha forest was to be bought for the community following an award of £518,420 from the Scottish Land Fund.

Mull and Iona Community Trust plans to restore the ancient woodland that was replaced during the 1960s by commercial conifers. The group also plans to develop woodland trails through the trees.

Moray Finch, general manager of Mull and Iona Community Trust, said the grant meant islanders would be able to restore Ardura Forest in a way that benefits nature and biodiversity while at the same time creating opportunities for crofting, recreation and wildlife viewing.

He said: ‘We’re delighted that we can start to deliver the plans suggested by the community.’

In celebration of becoming the new owners of Ardura Community Forest, people are being invited to save the date and join in an event on Sunday September 22 from noon to 3pm.

Orienteering, den building, wildlife spotting, a barbecue, collecting tree seeds, stick making and other woodland activities will be just part of what will be on offer.

The grant was part of a total of £1,628,610  awarded in June to eight groups countrywide from Scottish Land Fund.