This group was set up in March 2017 to improve communication and planning of heritage activities, and it continues to meet. Loch Ard Local History Group, Aberfoyle Village People and Trossachs Business Partnership are represented as well as the local churches. The group is open to individuals to attend also. The core regular attendees of about 10 people include Jane Jones, Fergus Wood, Andy Malcolm, John Clow, Alison Boa, Lynda McColl, Katinka Dalglish and James Kennedy, who convenes the Network. The Network is responsible taking forward heritage themes of the Community Action Plan and is accountable to Strathard Community Trust.
The Network acquired funding from the Strathard Initiative (via SEPA) which has funded several projects including the publication of ‘The Enchantment of the Trossachs’ by Louis Stott, which also received funding from the Friends of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs and Aberfoyle Traders Association. This book was launched in March 2018, and is sold and distributed by Loch Ard Local History Group and Strathard Community Trust. So far over 500 copies have been distributed and income will be kept in the community to fund future publications. The Network also organised a mini-series of classic film shows, which was well attended and raised a little extra income from donations. A community clean up was carried out at Doon Hill in March 2018.
In addition, the group considered the proposal in the Community Action Plan for a Heritage Centre in Aberfoyle and were of the view that this was not a realistic prospect at the present time, and that it was better to focus on the activities outlined above including an on-line heritage presence for Strathard. The group is also considering a potential regular feature on heritage and local history in Strathard News to be titled ‘Stories from Strathard’.
Other planned activities include:
Repeat of ‘Classic Movies’ including the 1950s version of Rob Roy; The Sound of Music and Monty Python.
Commissioning David Warnock to improve signage and interpretation from Aberfoyle Car Park to Doon Hill. This project is now underway.
Creation of a Strathard Heritage web site.
Production of an e-book version of ‘The Enchantment of the Trossachs’.
A potential heritage event to show some archival newsreels and promote book sales.
Purchase of archival standard storage albums for the postcard collection held by Loch Ard Local History Group.