We started to work on the formation of the Culduthel Woods Group (CWG) in February 2018 for three basic reasons....
- First, the woods were already well-loved and used by many people, especially by young people and by folk who live nearby. We thought a Group would help bring together the people who were interested in the woods, to look after them and to manage the area better.
- Second, there had been repeated concerns expressed to the Community Council and to Highland Councillors about the condition of the woods. There were problems with litter, vandalism to trees and a general sense of neglect in the woods. And people were worried that some of the trees weren't safe. It wasn't clear who owned the woods or who was responsible for what. We thought the Group could look into these issues and chart out a way forwards.
- Finally, the Community Council had been successful in raising some money from The Highland Council to help get us started. So, following an open community meeting in February 2018, there was a call for volunteers and the work started.
Key stages in our history so far:
- February 2018: Community Council held first meeting to discuss the problems and opportunities in the woods and find a way forwards.
- July 2018: our Steering Group was formed.
- September 2018: we commissioned legal advice about land ownership and found, rather surprisingly, that the woods were not owned by anyone - more details here.
- December 2018: we commissioned a tree survey to identify any hazardous trees.
- February 2019: we held a community consultation exercise to gauge public support for our work.
- October 2019: The CWG was formally established as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
- December 2019 - February 2020: The felling and high-pruning of about 50 dangerous trees started to keep the woods safe for everyone to use.
- February 2021: we started work on our first Management Plan for the woods.
- June 2021: Our first ever volunteer work party took place - improving entrances to the woods and pulling out invasive snowberry
- May 2022: We formally took on ownership of the land and the woods on behalf of the community - and started making plans to celebrate with a communty gathering in early July 2022