Bute Community Council told to ‘think positively’ about future of Bute Forest

The Bute community forest at Rhubodach was bought by the Bute Community Land Company seven years ago.
The Bute community forest at Rhubodach was bought by the Bute Community Land Company seven years ago.

Grace Strong, the chair of the Bute Community Council, has urged councillors to ‘forget the past’ and support the Bute Community Land Company in its efforts to find future uses for the island’s community forest at Rhubodach.

BCLC chairman John Reid was invited to the community council’s July meeting, held this week, and elaborated on the company’s plan for the future that was laid out in its AGM last month.

BCLC is the land company responsible for the Bute Forest, and Mr Reid’s stated intention ‘for the next year at least’ is for the company to act solely as an enabler for other community projects to take place at the site due to lack of resources.

Former IT consultant Mr Reid has been in the job since late last year, and recently published the BCLC’s accounts for the past seven years on the forest website, buteforest.co.uk.

At last week’s meeting he said: “Two groups are currently using the forest, Bute Access and the Woodlanders.

“We would be more than happy to help more tenants, if anyone was interested.”

Grace Strong, chair and convener of the community council, addressed members after Mr Reid’s presentation and said: “We have to remember that John took on something that was already on its way down the hill, and he has done a good job in turning it around.

“We’ve got to forget the past, learn from the mistakes that were made and think again how we can bring about some regeneration for the BCLC and for the Bute Forest.

“Please try to think a bit more positively.”