Should there be a community buyout of Longrigg Woodland?

The 87 hectare block of mature pine, spruce and larch was earmarked for sale a few years ago.

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Residents of Sunart are to be asked if they wish to get involved in taking forward the community buyout of the Longrigg Woodland above Ardnastang, near Strontian, which is being sold off by Forestry and Land Scotland.

The 87-hectare block of mature pine, spruce and larch was earmarked for sale a few years ago and local charity, the Sunart Community Company, commissioned a feasibility study and business plan funded by the Scottish Land Fund.

This showed a community buyout was financially feasible and earlier this year the SCC Board voted that it would help organise the buyout if there was enough interest from people who would form a working group to advise on managing the land or even take part in the project.

John Jones, SCC director who helped organise the study said: ‘We would really like to hear from anyone in the area who might want to get involved.

‘We will be running an information stall outside the Strontian Stores each morning on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th September for anyone who wants to find out some more.

‘We believe owning the forest presents great opportunities for new recreational activities, a woodfuel business, perhaps even a forest croft, as well as a chance to generate cash for the community given the high values of timber. It’s an exciting project and we hope people will get in touch.’

The full report is now available at www.sunartcommunitycompany.co.uk but for a chance to express interest or chat to those who commissioned the study, residents can come along to the stall or (Covid restrictions allowing) come along to an evening meeting at the Sunart Centre  on Wednesday, November 3 or join an online Zoom meeting on November 4.

Anyone who can’t get along to one of these events should email enquiries@sunartcommunitycompany.co.uk to get their views across.