Unlocking benefits for all through community land ownership.
Important update: See presentations from our consultation event on 27 Jan 2024 here, and opportunities matrix here. The community survey is now closed but we will be publishing the full report in then spring.
We purchased this 23-hectare site from Forestry Scotland in 2011. Our plans were informed by extensive consultation with local residents. The purchase gave us the opportunity to realise many of the community’s ideas that had previously been held back through lack of land.
Soon after acquiring the site we obtained funding to create a recreational path from Broadford village through the woodland. Volunteers learnt how to build the path with training supported by Paths for All. The path creates an attractive route for walkers and wheelers through to the adjacent Broadford Forest, which is managed by Forestry Scotland.
Much of the site comprised cleared area of former forestry. This is where we have been able to build our community growing area, the Growers Hub; our community campsite; and our space for Outdoor Learning. The woodland will also provide an income stream through commercial timber extraction. As plantation forest is removed we will be restoring peatland and planting mixed native woodland and which will provide a more diverse and sustainable ecosystem.
In 2001, the Broadford Environment Group (which later developed into the Broadford and Strath Community Company) embarked on negotiations to buy the land. The process eventually took 10 years.
As part of the process we undertook extensive consultation with local residents. There was overwhelming support for the land acquisition. Suggestions for use of the community woodland included:
- Woodland regeneration and removal of invasive and non-native vegetation to create native, mixed woodland
- Network of paths, nature trails and mountain bike tracks
- Community-run campsite
- A picnic area and recreational space
- Events space
- Youth Adventure Site
- Community orchard and allotments
It was identified that these would in turn have the following benefits for the community:
- A safe, managed recreational space for people of all ages to enjoy
- Sustainable sources of income for the communities of Broadford and South Skye
- Economic benefits to local businesses
- A space for native plants and wildlife to thrive, enhancing local biodiversity
- Land for the use of future generation
Many of these projects have now been realised. Projects under development include biodiversity enhancement and the creation of a bike ‘pump track’ for young people.
How to get involved
We will have volunteering opportunities coming up in 2024 – note your interest on the survey or complete our Volunteering Form.