In 2014 Here We Are was able to acquire 37 hectares of local woodland, in Glen Fyne.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) provided a grant of £125,000 in order to assist us to generate more income and provide a range of economic, social and environmental benefits as well as creating new employment.
Here We Are’s Community Interest Company Our Power is a wood chipping plant, supplying biomass to heat water for several businesses including Lakeland Smolts, a local salmon hatchery and Argyll and Bute Council’s Kilmory Castle. The basis of the grant to buy the woodland was to expand this business by providing the company with a local and sustainable supply of timber.
At the time HIE’s Claire Munro, said: “We are delighted to have supported Here We Are to purchase this woodland. It presents a fantastic opportunity for them to grow the company. Ownership of this asset will enable the community organisation to create efficiencies by providing a local and affordable supply of timber for its biomass processing operation.
The project was also supported by the Scottish Government’s Strengthening Communities Programme as well as the company itself and a loan from RBS.
On Friday the 14th November 2014the community officially celebrated the take-over at Here We Are with tea and scones, and afterwards Alice Beattie and Fraser Whyte jointly cut the ribbon at Ballure wood to celebrate us as woodland owners!
Ballure woodland also included a plot with planning permission for a single house. The planning permission has been extended but this far no satisfactory solution as to the use of the plot has been agreed.
So far, (2021) no activity in terms of forest harvesting or development has happened. Following the advice of John MacDonald, Scotwood MacDonald Ltd, it was agreed that it would be financially inadvisable to harvest any of the trees at present, as it will take several years for them to reach maturity. When felled we will put into action the Woodland Management Plan with regard to rotating harvesting and re-planting.
Here We Are would like to express our thanks to all who helped to make the acquisition …
Hamish Martin, the seller of the plot.
Christopher Cox, Drumturk Ltd consultant
John MacDonald, Scotwood MacDonald Ltd.
Gregor Cameron, Gregor Cameron Consultancy Ltd
David Herriot, District Valuer
Lorna Watt, Our Power
Johnny Bell, Twin Deer Law
Special thanks to Munro Gauld who helped so much with the bid, and with
Claire Munro of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Partially Funded by –