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Community involvement in Beinn Bhan land management plan

Strathard Community Trust has been approached by Forest Enterprise Scotland (FES – the operations arm of Forestry Commission Scotland that is responsible for managing Scotland’s National Forest Estate) to help with community participation. FES is about to start work on a land management plan for an area referred to as Beinn Bhan, which is in Strathard. Land management plans detail how FES intends to manage specific areas of the National Forest Estate, over a period of ten years.

Over the last couple of years, the Strathard Initiative has been seeking the views of the local community on what they value about their local area, how they use it, what they like and dislike about it, and how it might be improved. The Community Action Plan process has also asked similar questions, receiving a similar range of comments. FES is keen, as much as possible, to take the views of the community into account when producing their land management plans. To do this FES would very much like the community to be involved at an early stage in the production of the next area to be designed within Loch Ard Forest – which is Beinn Bhan (approx. 1000 ha). This area is located in the west side of the forest.

To help achieve community representation in the work that goes in the land management planning process and the decisions that are made during it, we (the Trust) are looking for a handful of volunteers. Ideally, people who have an interest in the natural environment and heritage of Strathard and who will be able to put time and effort into the project. The work will take place during August-end of October 2017, and will involve a series of forest visits as well as discussions to develop the plan. Topics to be discussed will include felling, replanting, habitat creation and enhancement, archaeology, landscape, water quality, access and road / track building.

Would you like to take part in this work and help represent the residents of Strathard in the production of a forest land management plan? Then please email Katinka at Strathard Community Trust – contact@strathardct.org.uk