Introducing the Participants

Coigach – Assynt Living Landscape (CALL):    

  • CALL is one of the largest landscape restoration projects in Europe: 60,600 ha

  • CALL is a partnership which aims to benefit the land, the people and the local economy in the

    northwest of Scotland.

  • Working with landowners and local people, CALL aims to restore the health of the whole ecosystem by improving and re-connecting habitats (especially native woodlands) and creating rural employment and volunteering opportunities.

    CALL’s Programme Plan sets out the reasoning behind setting up this partnership, its vision, and the projects which will be undertaken to achieve its aims: www.coigach-assynt.org

    CALL has a 40-year vision:
    ‘It is 2050; the communities of Coigach and Assynt are working together to achieve a truly living landscape through improved understanding of their environment and the impacts of climate change; shared active management providing a diverse range of connected and resilient habitats; creation of local employment and training opportunities, and; building on the communities’ strong cultural heritage linked to the land.’ 

Knoydart Forest Trust:    

Knoydart Forest Trust (KFT) is a community company; it manages community woodland on behalf of Knoydart Foundation (a community landowner), as well as neighbouring privately owned woodland. The trust's objectives are to manage the woodland to increase benefits to the environment, community and wider public.

KFT is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status and run by a board of directors who are volunteers, elected by the members. Today, there are around 60 members and four employees. Volunteers provide valuable support to KFT's work throughout the year.

 

KFT manages 800 hectares of community woodland made up of both semi-natural native woodland and conifer plantations. Restructuring of the conifer plantation behind the village of Inverie will increase the variety of trees to make the woodland more stable and useful to future generations. As part of KFT's long term vision of linking up the woodland habitat on the peninsula, over 200 hectares of new native woodland has been created on community land, and new woodland has also been created by the Trust on behalf of neighbouring landowners.

To make best use of the woodland and to generate income to re-invest in the woods, milled timber and firewood is produced and sold locally. Recently, we have also developed a range of small wood products through the trading subsidiary Wood Knoydart. To encourage people to explore the woods we have built and maintain a network of paths and tracks, and we provide guided walks in the summer. 

 

Community Woodland Association:    

The Community Woodlands Association (CWA) is a not for profit company limited by guarantee. It was established in 2003 following the 2002 Community Woodland Conference at Betty Hill and a nationwide consultation of community woodland groups. It acts as the direct representative body of Scotland’s community woodland groups. The aims of the organisation are to help community woodland groups across the country achieve their aspirations and potential, providing advice, assistance and information, facilitating networking and training, and representing and promoting community woodlands to the wider world

A ‘community woodland’ may be defined as a woodland partly or completely controlled by the local community, through a community woodland group. The woodland may be owned or leased by the group, or managed in partnership with another organisation. There are over 200 community woodland groups across Scotland, involved in or responsible for the management of over 22000ha of woodland and open space. New groups continue to form, encouraged by the Land Reform Act and the National Forest Land Scheme.

Community woodlands are extremely diverse, embracing all woodland types from ancient semi-natural woods to extensive conifer plantations, and ranging from less than a hectare to over a thousand hectares in size. They can be found anywhere from small patches of newly-planted trees in town centres or city housing estates, to more extensive older woodlands in remote countryside and vary in level of community involvement, and encompass a multitude of uses and produce a multitude of benefits.