The Community group involved in the Beinn Bhan Land Management Plan Community Engagement work met on 1st November 2017 (4th meeting) to review the draft felling and restock maps followed by a site visit to the LMP area. Topics discussed at several stops included:
- Overview of LMP area and various issues affecting felling design and restocking.
- Species choice
- Establishment of trees where natural regeneration appears to be failing (e.g. PAWS)
- Management of heritage sites during and post felling.
- Management of riparian areas and wider habitat network
- Use of Sitka spruce as main conifer species
A 5th, and final, meeting of the group was held on 24th November 2017 in Kinlochard Village Hall. In the meeting, Planning Forester Stephen Murphy presented the final draft felling and restocking maps, which were reviewed and discussed by the group. There was a discussion on management of heritage sites and how much open space should be kept around these.
Next steps will involve draft text and other supporting documents, maps and visualisations. These will be posted on-line and any major changes flagged up to the Community Group. Once finalised the plan will be submitted to Forestry Commission Scotland Conservancy in Perth. The plan will be placed on the public register and there will be a final consultation period of 28 days giving stakeholders a chance to comment on whether the plan has incorporated any comments/issues from the initial scoping exercise. Once FCS are content that the plan meets the required standards they will issue an approval certificate.
The group also discussed the Community Engagement process as they have experienced it in the context of the Beinn Bhan LMP. The next plan in Strathard will be Achray. A request will once again be made for volunteers to join a Community Engagement group.
Minutes of the meetings are available to download here: