The farmland, which spans almost 35 hectares, needs to be bought back into use from its disused state in order to be suitable for some of our plans. These are some of the projects we want to get up and running, once the land is ready.
Currently, the majority of food consumed on Arran is brought in by ferry. Being cut off from the mainland means it is less easy to buy organic, locally grown produce. We would like to prepare parts of the land to support crops of our own that could be sold on the island for regular consumption.
Older students will also benefit from the use of the farmland for further studies in landbased skills courses such as horticulture and agriculture thereby expanding the range of studies available on the island.
Living on an island is a unique way of life. Many islanders say they feel safe knowing they are part of a close community with low crime levels. We hope that activities for families, young people and adventurers will not only boost Arran’s tourism but may even grow its population. New mountian bike trails, walking paths, and community gardens are all possible.
Saving the Arran Whitebeam
The Arran Whitebeam is one of the most endangered trees in the world and is found only on the Isle of Arran. The tree is very difficult to grow from seed, and needs to germinate in particular conditions. Local tree expert, Henry Murdo, encourages growth with using a polytunnel misting machine that prolongs the summer season for germinating seeds. Right now there is nowhere for the trees to be planted which is easily accessible to the public. Once the land has been transformed to allow public access specific planting areas can be constructed to protect young trees from voles and deer. The Arran Whitebeam could become more prolific on Arran and easily cared for by locals.
This will be a place for island community groups to care for plants and crops resulting in a sense of pride and ownership. The achievement and enjoyment of eating flavoursome home-grown food is the ultimate reward for the effort and hard work put into the community garden by volunteer groups.
The gardens would be open to the public, so everyone can come and admire and lend a hand with planting trees and growing fruit and veg. crops. The local schools including Arran High School would be able to use the experience to build on their delivery of curriculum studies and further the quality of education for youth on the island.