Minutes of LCDC Board Meeting


Date: August 2, 2021, 6.30pm

Location: Cafe Ceardach

Present: Board members: Helen Murchison (HM), Hilary Rooke (HR), Peter Mackenzie (PM) and Peter Barr (PB), Local Development Officer: Kristine Mackenzie (KM), Observer (Social Media Manager): Vicky Stonebridge (VS).

Apologies: None

Declaration of interest: None

1 Approve minutes of previous meeting: N/A

2 Acting Chair’s introductory remarks: HM agreed to take the chair after resignation of Colin Sharp and welcomed new board members, PM and PB.

3 LDO’s Report:

a KM said housing project would be slightly delayed due to planning issue caused by extra drainage requirement, leading to a need for compromise without reducing value of land. Meeting will be held soon with planners and housing association to finalise. Work should start early next year.

b Restocking of woodlands (40 hectares) due to be done next summer at a cost of £106,000-£110,000. Key aim – to increase value of open space and plant trees which are best for the environment. Consultant from Scottish Woodlands Association to come soon to recommend species.

4 Online Purchases

KM said she needs to be able to make online purchases without HR (as the only remaining signatory/named cardholder) needing to verify every purchase via message from bank – a new requirement. HR pointed out that the Articles require two signatories for payments, including at least one director.

ACTION: It was agreed that KM should be given a card, with the logistics to be finalised to verify purchases and avoid undue delays.

5 Cafe Ceardach

PM expressed concerns about the Cafe’s reduced hours and forced early shutdown. All are concerned about staff shortages. KM said she needed to monitor status to report back to funders, and it was suggested that this could be handled by asking the Cafe Board for relevant info when required. General agreement that management structure needs to be clarified – e.g. The Cafe Board and manager, reporting to LCDC Board. PB said there seem to be two issues, management and chronic shortage of staff, and all agreed that LCDC Board should meet Cafe Board to fact check and clarify management structure.

ACTION: Meeting to be confirmed next Thursday (August 12), focusing on management structure, roles and recruitment.

6 Finance & Accounts Report

The Cafe has been doing well since reopening in terms of finances. Cafe and Kirkton Trading accounts still to be signed off, but LCDC ready. HR reported anonymous legacy to Woodland.

7 Reschedule AGM: Thursday, September 2, 2021, with guest speaker (to be confirmed) and refreshments to encourage more people to come.

8 Any other business

ACTION: KM’s contract to be sorted. To be discussed after meeting with Cafe Board.

ACTION: Maintenance plan to be drawn up with help from VS.

ACTION: Market stalls to start again last Friday of month.

9 Time, date and location of next meeting: To be confirmed

First wellness walk of 2021

Well we sure lucked out on the weather on Tues 23rd for the first of our six week block of walking for health walks.  Thank you to Scottish Sea Farms and Forestry and Land Scotland for their funding towards this six week block.
We were blessed with rainbows and a breeze that certainly “blew away the cobwebs”, leaving many of us feeling invigorated.   Great to see some familiar & well as some new faces & we were a group of 15 participants.  New members are very welcome to join, just get intouch.
Just a reminder that due to the current restrictions the limit is for a capacity of 15 persons.  So, if you do want to join in on one of our walks please email Lynda Beveridge (Walking Group Leader) on
 beveridge.lynda@yahoo.co.uk to book a place.

Forthcoming Dates are Tues 30th March, Tues 6th April, Tues 13th April, Tues 20th & Tues 26th April.

Have your say- Community Development Plan Consultation.

Our last Community Development Plan was undertaken some years ago, much progress has been made on the projects that were highlighted for development, some are still ongoing. We need input from everyone in the community to determine LCDC’s projects and priorities for the next few years. Please fill in and return one of these forms. PM or email us if you need help with the forms. You can also fill it in online. or download the PDF  here Lochcarron Survey June 2020 FINAL

online link – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/lochcarron

Official Opening Day of Café Ceàrdach.

On Tuesday the 3rd September the Cafe had it’s official ribbon cutting ceremony to formally open it.

It was a busy day at the cafe at at 1pm we were joined by representatives from the community, from Lochcarron Community Development Company, volunteers and Funding bodies. Everyone enjoyed the lunches and cakes on offer before heading out into the dull wet day for photographs and a few words from Bart McFleat, a director of the Cafes’ parent company LCDC.

Pictured above are those brave enough to be photographed! Our new staff are rather camera shy and couldn’t be persuaded to join in here.
L- R; Bart McFleat ( LCDC director ), Sheila Cudby ( Chair of Kirkton Trading ltd ), Adam Cameron ( volunteer ) , Chrissie Mackenzie ( volunteer ) , Lorraine Cushnie ( half hiding! ) Cafe Manager, Kristine MacKenzie ( Local Development Officer ), Jennifer McPherson ( Highlands and Islands Enterprise ), Helen Murchison BEM ( community Council ) , Michael O’Donnell (Highland LEADER) .

Bart gave a short speech on behalf of LCDC. He thanked the contractors; MacIntosh Joinery ( Fraser Macintosh ) , Billy Reynolds the architect. David Menzies the electricians from Drumnadrochit, David Michie, the Plumbers from Kiltarlity, Cambell the Decorators from Conon Bridge, Kristine MacKenzie the Local Development Office without who’s long hours and extra efforts the project would never have happened, and Vicky Stonebridge for setting up and running the Cafes social media.
He also Thanked the funders, Highlands and Islands enterprise represented by Jennifer MacPherson, High;land LEADER, represented my Michael O’Donnell, The Princes Countryside Fund, The Robertson Trust. and Lochcarron Community Development Company.
He went onto praise the new staff and thank them for taking on this challenge and thanks the community and customers for bearing with us while we got this new venture up and running.

One of our community’s older generation of volunteers and one of the younger ones had been invited to come along and cut the ribbon. Chrissie MacKenzie sells raffle tickets and helps out at LCDC’s monthly Market days, and Adam Cameron has attended Bushcraft events and planted trees in Kirkton Woodland.

Chrissie then delighted everyone with a poem that she’d written for the occasion.

We’d like to thank Adam, Chrissie and everyone else for coming along and supporting the Cafe on behalf of the Local community.
Thanks as ever to the staff who served everyone with a smile and flourish !

End of Term Woodland activities and Bonfire

On the 19th of December Pupils from Lochcarron Primary School Joined volunteers up at Kirkton Woodland for an end of term Bonfire, outdoors activities and treats. Thanks to Lynda for organising this and to Nic for lighting the Bonfire & providing some photographs. There are some exciting new activities and developments planned for the rest of this winter and next year, more news when I get it .

Autumn Crafting 2018- report

We held two workshops at the Treehouse this week, making Mandalas on day one followed by Waxed Leaf mobiles and Teasel Hedgehogs on day two.
Mandalas are usually seen in Asia, the Tibetan word for mandala means “that which encircles a center”.  Most types of mandalas are used in Buddhism, where you place symmetrical patterns in a circle.  The process is very relaxing and used as a form of meditation.
For our mandalas we used locally sourced natural materials.  Many of the leaves were collected from Attadale Gardens (Thank you) so we had a huge range of colours and shapes to work with. A favorite being the Japanese Acer leaves.    Traditionally a mandalas are dismantled at the end to demonstrate that nothing lasts forever.  Unable to destroy our beautiful works of art we opted to cherish them forever by gluing them to card & taking them home.
On our second day we melted bees wax and dipped selected leaves to hang from  driftwood twigs (kindly donated by one of our participants); producing intricate waxed leaf mobiles to hang on display back home.
After sharing bakes & hot chocolate (thanks for all the yummy cakes) we set about making our Teasel Hedgehogs.  Teasels are brilliant plants for birds, bees & butterflies.  The pink pollen covers the summer bees, whilst in the autumn goldfinches are drawn irresistibly to tease out the shining black seeds from in amongst the brown spikes of the seed head.  As the seed heads were reincarnated into a hedgehogs we collected & shared the seeds to all plant up next year….. continuing the life cycle.   Using some clay we attached hedgehog heads to the teasel spiky bodies to transform into a Hedgehog.  Some of our hedgehogs had larch cone eyes and rowan noses, perhaps a new take on red nose day.
Thanks to all those that attended,  Attadale Gardens for the leaves & to Lochcarron Community Development Company for the use of the Treehouse as a venue.

Volunteering starting up again – Oct 5th

Remember what fun we had?

Back to the woods with the new volunteer programme of autumn 2018.

Mainly Friday mornings again, with the occasional Saturday.

Path clearing, tree-tube weeding, helping to put up a forest building and generally having an interesting time in the woods with like-minded company.

You are welcome to come along and make a difference to Lochcarron’s Community woods, even if you have never done anything like this before. Bring your tools or use ours.

All welcome: heavy work or light, and always time for a break for coffee and a chat. Next event: meet 10 am on Friday October 5th

Then (provisional dates): October 12th, Saturday 20th, Friday 26th.

Meet at the heritage trail, you may drive in at the forest entrance.


Contact Nic Bullivant 01599 534596 or 07565424981.

Fungi Day !

Fungi Day
In celebrating Kirkton woodland . This activity is FREE to attend.
Intrigued about Fungi but don’t know where to start?
Then come along and learn with local expert
Tony Lyon.
Sunday 2nd September 2018
At the Treehouse in Lochcarron
Numbers of participants are limited so please book in advance to avoid
disappointment. Bring a packed lunch or food to share.
For further information or to book; contact: