The Rhubodach Forest which was put up for sale recently with an asking price in excess of £1.3 million could become a community owned asset for Bute. The community has the statutory right to buy-out the privately owned forest at the north end of Bute and 95% potential funding for a community buy out could be available making this a real possibility.
John McGhee QC who is spearheading the campaign has had “exciting discussions” with government ministers this week. John said “we need the community to get behind this to get it off the ground but it needs to do so straightaway – we need to have over 6oo signatures from eligible voters on the Island before Wednesday the 16th of September to be able to make a bid”.
John said the forest – described by the sellers as a “dream location” in a “magical situation” should be owned and used by the people of Bute. He described how the area could be made more accessible and attractive to tourists and visitors (as well as locals of course!) with walkways, cycle paths, pony trekking, forest crafts, children’s play areas and interpretation boards. John urged people to sign up and support this important development for the wider benefit of the island.
Rhubodach Forest is home to a Site of Special Scientific Interest. John has discussed the proposal with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and said the aim would be to enhance this area in conjunction with SNH to protect the important bird populations and ancient woodland while at the same time generating an income from managing the area of commercial forest for the benefit of the community.
The forest will provide employment and training opportunities for local people and the improved access and attractiveness of the area will provide significant benefits to the economy of the island as a whole from increased tourism. But in John’s view, more important that all that, it provides probably the only opportunity that will ever arise for the community as a whole to own and have a stake in the future management of a large and important part of the island.
If you are an eligible voter from Bute and would like to add your support to the campaign for a community buyout of this beautiful forest please fill out your details in the form below and press the send button:
[contact-form 1 “Contact form 1”]