Bute Forest Ltd has been awarded £18,081.70 to ensure the continued involvement of the community in the forest at the north end of the island.
The award comes from the Forestry Commission’s Community Seedcorn Fund, which aims to supports community groups and organisations which encourage and facilitate greater public use of woods thereby realising health, well-being and community benefits.
The grant will part-fund the forest manager position, held by Emma Cooper, in order to facilitate community involvement in all aspects of the forest. This includes arranging a series of events, school and community group visits, volunteering opportunities, conservation work and forestry demonstrations.
In addition the forest manager will be producing a report for the Forestry Commission on how community-owned forests can work together across Argyll and Bute.
Jim Mitchell, director of Bute Forest Ltd, said: “We are delighted to receive this award from Forestry Commission Scotland.
“The forest manager position is vital for ensuring both short term and long term aims are achieved for the community.
“Significant progress has been made since the purchase of the forest and we expect to see further developments over the next year, as well as continuing to provide a range of opportunities for the community to be involved in the forest.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Emma for her hard work and dedication to her role.”
Last year close to one hundred people volunteered in the forest, helping with conservation projects, trail creation and the timber products business.
There were a number of events and guided visits to the forestand programme of events are planned for spring this year.
Bute Forest Ltd is a subsidiary of Bute Community Land Company which purchased 161 hectares of forest at the north end of Bute in 2010.
Bute Forest Ltd manages the forest and is responsible for achieving the outlined aims and objectives for the forest. This includes management of the timber products business, volunteering, events, conservation and facility development.