ACLI was recently awarded £181,500 funding from the Scottish Land Fund to buy the land and kick-start the project. The purchase went through on 18th December 2014 and now the hard work begins!
The trustees are very keen to drive the project forward immediately and on 3rd January 2015 they organised a volunteer day on the land so that locals could get to know the area and clear brambles away from access points into the fields. It was great to witness the enthusiasm and support of many on a beautiful sunny day in the fields!
The group will shortly be appointing a part-time project manager, for which there is one year’s worth of funding from the Scottish Land Fund, to help implement plans for the land. Funding and planning applications will be submitted shortly for multi-use paths through the land so that people can walk, bike or ride through it. There is much planting work to be done with the development of an orchard and community gardens/allotments and improvements of hedges.
The group is, with the help of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, launching a crowdfunding campaign towards the end of January 2015, as further funds are vital for the long-term success of the project. There will be a range of goodies on offer to those who give small or large financial donations. These range from original ACLI designed T-shirts, tree-planting pledges including the rare Arran Whitebeam tree, through to adventure activites and hotel stays.