Four Forestry Commission woodlands pass into community hands

Four more applications for communities to buy or lease parts of the National Forest Estate in Scotland have been approved.

Carron Valley - image: cakerider (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Carron Valley - image: cakerider (CC BY-ND 2.0)

The Community Asset Transfer Scheme (CATS) was launched in January 2017 to enable communities under to purchase, lease or use National Forest Estate land if this can be shown to provides local benefits.

The first such transfer, on the Isle of Skye, was approved at the end of last year has recently been completed.

Forest Enterprise Scotland development manager Rebecca Carr said: "Since CATS was launched we have engaged with over 50 communities across Scotland regarding purchase or lease of sites on the National Forest Estate, and have received a further six Asset Transfer Requests, four of which we have now been approved."

The four approved applications are:

  • Carron Valley in Stirlingshire, where 21 hectares of land will be used for timber harvesting to support local home heating as well as for community events, woodland walks and adventure trails;
  • Leadburn in Midlothian, where 9 hectares will be added to an existing community woodland, increasing the variety of walks available and opening up views by removing conifers;
  • Eshiels Wood in Peeblesshire, where a community trust will use 7 hectares to improve biodiversity, resurrect coppice management skills and enable further skills training and nature learning;
  • Dronley Wood in Angus, where a community group has bought 50 hectares where it intends to maintain and enhance the diverse environment and develop it as an educational, recreational and timber resource.

Dronley Community Woodland chair Shiona Baird said: "We now have an amazing opportunity to manage and enhance the wood providing health, education and wellbeing opportunities for many more to benefit from this much-loved wood."

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