End of Season Market day 27th Oct

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LCDC News. Oct – Nov 2017

Lochcarron Community Development Company News.

October & November 2017

It has been a busy summer for LCDC, the Smithy hub has continued to see a steady flow of visitors to the businesses and facilities there. The treehouse has been getting hired out for regular yoga sessions, meetings, classes and a concert. We have a new e-mail address to book this- it is now; bookingthetreehouse@gmail.com.

IGallery
The igallery is now running on reduced hours to reflect the slowing down of visitors as the season gets past the busiest period. We are indebted to our volunteer staff who have kept it open and ensure that the visitor information point continues to give a friendly and efficient service to welcome people to our area. Sales in the shop were a welcome contribution to LCDC funds.  It is now Open Tuesday to Fridays, 11am – 3pm. It will close for the season on Friday 20th October.

Christmas Fair
We will be having our annual iGallery Christmas Fair from November 27th to December the 8th. If any local crafts makers, producers or artists would like to take part in this or have more information, please get in touch infosmithyhub@gmail.com. It will be closed at weekends as these are always very quiet, Opening times will be 11am- 3pm.

Market Days.
The Lochcarron Monthly market has continued to be an important fundraiser for us, thanks as ever must go out to all the volunteers who make this important local social event possible. The organisation of the kitchen, and the hard work of all the helpers both in and out of the kitchen is something everyone can be proud of. The October fair is Friday the 29th and the last one for the season, we look forward to seeing you there!

Would you like to get involved?
As one of the HIE supported community anchor organisations, together with its Development Officer; LCDC’s  role is to identify, prioritise, develop and deliver sustainable legacy through creative employment opportunities, culture, heritage and educational activities. Overall, to support  social, economic, and cultural activities to strengthen the community  – increase income levels, assist population retention, and enhance community resilience. It is administered by a duly elected board of volunteer directors.

LCDC is currently managing and developing Kirkton woodland, the smithy Community Hub, a Tree house venue for hire, a volunteer run visitor information point, monthly local market days, the ‘iGallery’- a local craft & gift retail space, educational projects with Lochcarron Primary school, housing options, developing a heritage all access footpath network and developing The strathcarron Artisan Dairy project.

With such a wide range of ongoing activities and projects we need to expand the board of directors. We are looking for people with time, commitment, energy and enthusiasm to join our Board and take things to the next level. We are particularly seeking people with good business acumen, experience in catering, general charity administration, building maintenance, good team skills and people with experience managing large projects.

If you would like to get involved at this exciting time please get in touch at infosmithyhub@gmail.com.

Access to Kirkton woodland
Funding has been granted from the Scottish land Fund to purchase a housing plot at Kirkton Gardens to provide a secondary access to Kirkton woodland for potential housing and other development projects. This allows direct access to the woodlands from the Kirkton area. The existing access to the east of the village is the focus for recreational activity development and is also still being used for the Firewood business.

Woodland Classroom
A funding bid for a rustic woodland classroom and composting toilet has been applied for. Additional building materials are being sought by donations. This building will provide a base and shelter for many community and woodland activities within Kirkton Woodland.

Volunteer days in Kirkton Woodland
Our new volunteer activity coordinator Nic has got events off to a flying start with the first event on 11th October. Many thanks to the volunteers who braved the weather that day These will be regular sessions so follow us on Facebook, twitter or this site for times and dates.

Highlife funding-community engagement
Funding has been awarded from Highlife Highland towards a community engagement project. This will take place over this winter. There will be some days of tree planting, storytelling and bush craft with the local children. Trees have been donated by the Woodland trust, the children will create name plaques for the trees and produce a booklet based on traditional stories and wildlife photography.

Defibrillator at the Smithy Hub
The new defibrillator is now in position on the rear wall of the Smithy building at the Smithy Community Hub, this was purchased with generous local donations and is a welcome addition which could help save a life.

Smithy Hub
Though the iGallery and woodturning studio is closed during the winter months, Kiki’s craft corner and Vicky’s Pottery will be busy and open for business as usual. The treehouse is always available as a venue for hire, contact bookingthetreehouse@gmail.com for more information. 

http://www.lochcarroncommunity.com

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Volunteer event 11th October 2017

Report from the first of the new programme of volunteer events.

Blue sky and sunshine greeted the small but enthusiastic band of volunteers who met at Kirkton Wood today (Wednesday, 11th October). For half an hour while we laboured on making a flat area suitable for a picnic space, the sun was hot and the birds (well, a local wren) sang. With the onset of rain, we retreated to the shelter of the shipping container thoughtfully provided on site and had a break. The rain came on heavily and we discussed lots more achievable ideas for small but steady improvements to the woods we would like to make. We also discussed which day of the week we should meet, and although Wednesday was fine for the folk present (unsurprisingly), we would be happy to try a weekend day towards the end of this month.

Before work started

We went out again and finished off the picnic site job, before moving on to one of the old houses on the site. We set to removing branches and twigs from round the ruin. Some of the stone used to build the houses is not stable, so we do not recommend climbing on the walls.

We finished after 12.30 and took our muddy tools home. It had been good fun, and with a small friendly group, no injuries, no-one vowing never to return.

Thanks to the genuine volunteers Lorna, Gary and Joe, and to Chris from me, Nic. We hope our next event will be on 25th October, also a Wednesday, but then we may move to a different day of the week. If you like the idea of being useful, having fun and getting dirty, but would like a different day, just leave a note for me and the Development Company team. ( email via infosmithyhub@gmail.com )

Nic Bullivant.

Some of the volunteers in action.

Progress to date on the picnic site. We still have to spread topsoil and grass seed.

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New programme of Kirkton Woods Volunteer Days

Hey! You with the Loppers!

Hello, my name is Nic Bullivant and starting at 10.00 a.m. next Wednesday October 11th I’m inviting you to the first in a new programme of Kirkton Woods Volunteer Days – actually half days to begin with – which we plan to run a couple of times a month over the winter, spring and autumn months until Christmas 2018. And we’d like you to come along, lend a hand and Enjoy Yourself! Even if you can’t manage that date, look out for others, and they won’t all be on Wednesdays, either.

What will we be doing?              

Well, just to get warmed up we’ll be clearing up some more of the old dead branches from around the ruins of the old Kirkton settlement within the woods and its new footpath – so that they can be better appreciated by visitors, better accessed by local school children who are doing project work there as well as creating a nice picnic table/reception area at the threshold for a Grand Opening in Spring next year.

Branches & felling debris on Kirkton blackhouse ruin

Over the weeks and months to come we’d like to:-

  • clear encroaching gorse from the Cnoc an Staing public footpath up through the crofts to the Viewpoint;
  • provide something a little more stylish and welcoming at the Viewpoint  than the present ‘plank’ seat; (see picture)
  • install new timber signs and plaques incorporating artwork that the primary school children are producing to explain the heritage and wildlife interest in the woods;
  • prepare an area  of cleared ground for a Public Tree Planting Event planned for late February 2018 that will involve the school and anyone (i.e. everyone) from the area;
  • improve access, drainage and way-marking along the old drove route through the forest;
  • develop a new entrance for woodland visitors/walkers from Kirkton Gardens

oh, and finally – the Big One!…

 

  • help build a new timber forest classroom/wet weather refuge at the Timber Stackyard.

Artist’s Impression of new Forest Classroom

Do I need to have a background in woodwork, landscaping or forestry to get involved?

Absolutely not. This for anyone who can simply spare a few hours once or twice a month and who just wants to get out for a bit and do a Good Turn. If you can push a wheelbarrow, or use a pair of loppers/secateurs – or even just bring along some biscuits and help make the half-time hot drinks – then you will be Most Welcome. We hope to ensure there’s always a range of tasks to choose from to suit all levels of strength and ability and to make everyone feel involved, busy and part of the team.

Will it be cold, wet, hard work?

Well, it’s only going to work if it’s fun, and we can’t guarantee fine weather every time, that’s for sure. Yes you will need to dress warmly with sturdy footwear and bring waterproofs in case it rains (see What to Bring below). We have a Bad Weather Refuge which will allow us all to get out of the wind and wet whenever needed. The whole session will last a maximum of three hours but there will be an obligatory half-time break for a warm drink, rest and get to know who else is as mad (keen) as you to turn up in the first place!

Why is it on a Wednesday morning?

No reason really. We had to choose some day of the week to get the Programme started and – if you get in touch and/or turn up we can talk about another Regular Day (or even time of day) that best suits you. So do get in touch if you’d really like to get involved but just find the current timing impossible or impractical. We want to capture as much local enthusiasm (and energy!) as possible.

OK – how do I get involved?

It would be really great if you contacted me beforehand just so I know how many chairs, biscuits and hand tools I need to provide. But you don’t have to. You can just turn up on the day and you would be just as welcome. You can drop me an email at nic.bullivant@gmail.com. Alternatively you could ring The Smithy on 01520 722232 and leave your details (or any queries) on the answer machine there so that I can register your interest or get back to you if required. Thank You.

What to bring?

As mentioned earlier, you should dress for The Outdoors: warm, hard-wearing clothes and boots/wellies that you might use to do gardening (say) or hill-walking. Definitely bring waterproofs and a warm hat. At the moment we don’t have many Volunteer Tools and are therefore hoping that those people who have them might bring some of their own along at least at first. The first task is some branch and woody debris clearance work so any loppers, secateurs, pruning or bow saws would be the most appropriate tools. Obviously some robust gardening gloves are best if working with cutting tools like this. If you have a garden fork or spade then they might be useful as we pick over the ground to make it suitable for future grass seeding and picnic tables. If you have no tools or simply are unable to bring any along then that’s OK. We will have a small array of tools that you can use. Don’t forget to bring some personal refreshment for the half time break (a mug, flask of tea/soup and some food to keep you going). There will be a ‘Kelly kettle’ going so there should be hot/boiling water available on the day so even just a mug and a sachet of powdered soup, hot chocolate or the like would be sufficient with your snack food.

Where to meet?

The meeting point is the Kirkton Woods stackyard: if you drive/walk up the new forest haul road (located halfway between the school and the old kirk) you will reach the timber stackyard where we stockpile all our logs and firewood. There is a large blue metal lorry container there on the right hand side which is where we’ll meet up, drop off bags, food, tools, spare clothes etc and discuss the plans for the morning. The area where we will be working is then just next to the stackyard so no distance at all to walk to and from the shelter to the work area.

And (again) what exactly is the point?

Where to start!…

  • You’ll be contributing to and improving your own ‘backyard’: planting trees, enhancing new ponds, developing new walks and rest areas, building new structures and social spaces in the woods that will ultimately make Lochcarron an even better place to live and recreate.
  • The fresh air and gentle exercise should be good for you.
  • You may meet new (like-minded and different) people from your community that you never even knew existed.
  • You’ll probably develop skills, knowledge (and confidence?) you never even knew you were capable of.

Remember Kirkton Woods has only been in community ownership a little over 2 years. But it is now Ours and Forever. And you can help shape its brighter, more environmentally friendly and more accessible future.

See you at 10 on Wednesday then!

Many Thanks,

Nic Bullivant

PS look at all these people who think this is a good idea and have put money into it. Thanks, folks!   N.

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LCDC awarded Scottish Land Fund assistance for woodland access

A project helping older people to continue living in their own communities is amongst those benefiting from the latest round of awards from the Scottish Land Fund.

Across the country, five community land initiatives are today (28 SEPTEMBER) sharing in funding worth £596,900 that will allow local people to pursue their community ownership ambitions.

Plans to build a new Housing and Care Hub for older people in Lairg, Sutherland, have received a welcome cash boost of £210,000Lairg and District Community Initiatives will use the funding to purchase the site of the former Sutherland Arms Hotel, as well as the adjoining Old Coach House building in the centre of Lairg, on which the proposed new development will be built.

The new hub plans to address the existing lack of suitable accommodation for older people in the area who otherwise would need to move out of the community to access suitable housing and care. As a multi-purpose community hub, the new development would provide extra care homes, a central space for shared meals and social events, a small fitness suite, treatment rooms available for everyone, and space to provide community services.

Steven Maclean, Chairman of Lairg and District Community Initiatives, said: “This is seriously good news for the people of Lairg, life-changing for some. The land acquisition is fundamental to the delivery of our Care and Well Being Centre and we can now look forward to progressing our plans to bring together the various partners necessary to ensure the optimum care of our elderly, allowing them to remain within the local community amongst friends and family.”

Announcing the funding, John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, said: “I am delighted that older people in some of the most fragile communities will benefit from today’s Scottish Land Fund investment. They are amongst hundreds of people across the country who will now have greater control over their own future, thanks to this funding and the promise of community ownership.”

Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham, said: “The Scottish Land Fund awards are not only good news for the groups involved from across Scotland – they also represent significant progress towards our goal of expanding community ownership and control of key local assets. The five awards announced today brings the number of community groups across Scotland who have successfully applied to the current Scottish Land Fund for help with the cost of purchasing land and/or buildings to 75 and I look forward to further such awards in the future.”

Ailsa Raeburn, Head of Community Assets for HIE, said: “The Scottish Land Fund seeks to create resilient and supportive communities where people take responsibility for their own actions and deliver real community involvement. The proposed facilities in Lairg will address a real need within the community to provide excellent care services for the elderly and I look forward to seeing these plans come to fruition.”

Other projects receiving Scottish Land Fund cash today are:

Donside Village Community SCIO
Award: £55,100
This group will purchase 4.5 acres of land in Tillydrone, Aberdeen, by the River Don, which is currently used by the local community for a range of leisure activities. Once in community ownership, they will improve and develop the area while also encouraging volunteering and training opportunities.

Lochcarron Community Development Company (LCDC)
Award: £60,000
This group will purchase a plot of land beside the community owned Kirkton Wood in Locharron to create an access road into the woodland. Ownership of the land will also create the opportunity for a new social housing development which will help address the acute lack of affordable housing in the area.

Easthall Residents Association
Award – £65,800
This group will purchase two neglected and derelict areas of land in Easterhouse to create two areas that will provide leisure facilities for outdoor activities including; tennis courts, seven a side football pitch, running track, bike track, adventure play area and outdoor gym.

A Heart for Duns
Award – £206,000
This group will purchase the Volunteer Hall in Duns town centre on behalf of the community. This will empower local people to be involved in its future development and management.

The Scottish Land Fund is keen to support more applications from across Scotland and particularly within urban areas. Groups considering applying should contact the Big Lottery Fund to discuss their idea at advicescotland@biglotteryfund.org.uk or by phoning 0300 123 7110.

 

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Market day 29th sept

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LCDC – New board members

Lochcarron Community Development Company is a community run charity. As one of the HIE supported community anchor organisations, together with its Development Officer; LCDC’s  role is to identify, prioritise, develop and deliver sustainable legacy through creative employment opportunities, culture, heritage and educational activities. Overall, to support  social, economic, and cultural activities to strengthen the community  – increase income levels, assist population retention, and enhance community resilience. It is administered by a duly elected board of volunteer directors.

LCDC is currently managing and developing Kirkton woodland, the smithy Community Hub, a Tree house venue for hire, a volunteer run visitor information point, monthly local market days, the ‘iGallery’- a local craft & gift retail space, educational projects with Lochcarron Primary school, housing options, developing a heritage all access footpath network and developing The strathcarron Artisan Dairy project.

With such a wide range of ongoing activities and projects we need to expand the board of directors. We are looking for people with time, commitment, energy and enthusiasm to join our Board and take things to the next level. We are particularly seeking people with good business acumen, experience in catering, general charity administration, building maintenance, good team skills and people with experience managing large projects.

If you would like to get involved at this exciting time please get in touch at infosmithyhub@gmail.com.

cof

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