Bute forest owners appeal for public’s help

Ian Jardine, chairman of the Bute Community Land Company, explains the organisation's development plans for the commercial forest it owns near Rhubodach at the north end of the island.
Ian Jardine, chairman of the Bute Community Land Company, explains the organisation's development plans for the commercial forest it owns near Rhubodach at the north end of the island.

The owners of Bute’s community forest are looking for members of the public to help their development plans become reality.

The Bute Community Land Company (BCLC) wants to form a steering group of around ten people to help reach the final decisions on their bid for £2 million from the Big Lottery Fund for a meeting centre, cafe, accommodation and other facilities in the commercial woodland owned by the company near Rhubodach.

Those involved in the steering group would also have the chance to join BCLC’s existing directors - all of them unpaid volunteers - in overseeing the construction of the new facilities and the first year of their operation, in the event of the ‘stage two’ lottery bid being a success.

The appeal was issued this week at the first of two public meetings organised to show off the Rhubodach plans in more detail.

BCLC director Emma Cooper said: “It’s really important for the success of the project, and the lottery bid in particular, for us to be able to demonstrate that we have the right people, in addition to the existing directors, to see it become reality.”

The development plans were unveiled at the turn of the year and have been submitted to Argyll and Bute Council for planning approval, while a draft version of the company’s lottery application was completed last month.

BCLC completed the purchase of 161 hectares of ancient woodland and commercial forest at Rhubodach in 2010 following a public vote in favour of a community buy-out - the largest community purchase of privately-owned land in Scotland.

To view the planning application, click here and type 15/00040/PP in the Search box.