Community Engagement Report and Next Steps
Added at 10:55 on 28 March 2019
The report from our community engagement exercise that we held during February can be accessed via this LINK. Many thanks everyone who got involved - and thanks to the Abriachan Forest Trust for helping us with the work.
The summary highlights from the report are:
- We had around 80 people at our “drop-in” event and more than 50 online surveys were completed. So, counting the pupils that were involved in local schools, the Scouts and the local Rotary Club that we engaged with, that means that nearly 200 people were involved overall.
- Most people responding used the woods daily (32%) or weekly (31%)
- The overall response was VERY positive - 90% of people agreed (29%) or strongly agreed (61%) that we should move to form a community group to own/manage the woods
- Over 80 people were willing to volunteer to help and over 30 to contribute financially
The Management Committee considered the report of all this feedback at a meeting in early March and agreed to move towards forming a charity or similar body. To be clear, we haven’t taken any steps towards owning the woods yet and so the ownership position remains unchanged - no-one owns the woods.
Also, guided by the feedback we got from people, we are taking further steps to look the management of the trees that we have had surveyed. There are 43 trees that have been recommended for removal, and 18 trees need remedial work, for example having dangerous branches removed. These are mostly trees near the paths or woodland boundaries which are potentially dangerous. We are having discussions with The Highland Council - and with the former owners of the woods, Tullochs Homes - about how that work might be financed. We will post updates as the situation develops.
Thanks again to everyone who gave us their views.