On the weekend of 11-12th Feb we held this workshop at The Treehouse in Lochcarron. This was a free “taster session” for those wishing to try their skills at the craft.

We had a flourishing group from complete beginners to amateurs ranging from 10-60yrs old, all keen to get whittling away. Eyes were bulging as we were met by an array of menacing weapons splayed across the table and you’d be forgiven for thinking this was a scene from Kill Bill! Thankfully our tutor alleviated our concerns as he introduced us to some of the tools that we would come to cherish over the weekend.

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Our tutor was Bruce Kojan from Invergarry. His patience and relaxed style of teaching eased all participants into the craft. After some health and safety tips, Bruce quickly familiarised us with the three main processes of Greenwood working: Splitting, Chopping and Carving, giving each tools purpose some meaning. Bruce then showed his own beautifully carved spoons, spatulas and bowls – whetting our appetite for things to come.

After sharing cake by the fireside we focused our attention on the beautifully handmade wooden structures scattered around the Treehouse as well as chopping blocks and ‘draw horses’. We all laughed to learn that the alternative name given to a wooden mallet was “The Persuader”.

Allowing children to use Axes and Draw Knives to prepare greenwood may appear hazardous but under the careful instruction of Bruce no fingers were lost! Adults and children alike watched in awe at the ease at which the tools glided through the greenwood. The drawhorse in particular seemed to instil a hypnotic effect on some of the participants.

We then got a chance to meet the carving knives and learned how to keep them in optimum condition. For the rest of the afternoon folk started their own projects. On the veranda of the treehouse everyone diligently worked away chopping, carving and whittling. Only the sound of the river running underneath could be heard as the levels of concentration increased. Perhaps exasperated parents/teachers/partners could use a bit of Green Woodworking timeout!

img_1836img_1841img_1844img_1846On Sunday we had an equally beautiful winter’s day. Bruce brought along a woodturning pole lathe he had built himself. We learnt this hobby doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune as many of the materials were from salvaged builders merchant wood. We set about learning how to assemble the lathe and marveled at its simplicity. A lathe is an apparatus that allows you to “turn” wood, the magic of the one that Bruce has made is that its height can be adjusted to allowing all age groups to practice. After everyone took a turn we set about carving and preparing our wood to make a spurtle on the pole lathe.

The children made some arrows using their newfound fine carving skills and later got more time practicing with the axes, saws and drawhorse. By the end of the weekend everyone had something to take home; a spurtle, a spoon with detailed carving, some arrows, a fork, a pancake spatula and letter opening knife.

img_1887Thank you to LCDC for allowing the workshop to be held at the Wonderful Treehouse – can’t think of a better location! Thanks too to Forestry Commission Scotland’s Community Grant & our industrious Community Development Officer, Kristine Mackenzie for helping to finance this workshop and of course a huge thank you to Bruce Kojan for sharing his Greenwood Working Gift with us. We hope to have Bruce back again this year so if you missed out this time – watch this space!

img_1910Lynda Beveridge

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Volunteer day -March 2017


Next workparty day is 26-03-17, always a great way to jump in and find out all about LCDC’s work. The maintenance work these volunteer day’s do saves us hundreds of £’s of fundraising, and allows us to use funds instead for projects such as training courses, children’s outdoor activities and new developments.
All welcome.

Come and Find out more about us.
Join in with
tidying and landscaping at our
beautiful community site.

Sunday 26th March,  11am

 Hot food and drinks will be provided
wear old clothes.


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Job vacancies. community engagement Kirkton Woodland

We are currently seeking applicants to deliver the following fixed term contracts:-

Animateur – primary school/young families

Contract Duration:              20 total days (over March – June 2017).

Contract Description:        Design, promote and deliver a programme of creative ‘hands-on’ activities with primary school children and local people that explore the heritage and environmental interest of the ruinous village of Kirkton. A minimum of 6 school days & 8 public ‘event’ days are expected over the contract period. Prior experience of organising and delivering schools- & community-based projects preferable. Evidence of certification to allow working with young people/vulnerable groups is a mandatory requirement of the contract. 

Animateur – community/visitor groups

Contract Duration:              24 days (July – Dec 2017) and 36 days (March – Nov 2018).

Contract Description:        Design, promote and deliver a programme of creative ‘hands-on’ activities with local people and visitors that explore the heritage and environmental interest of Kirkton woodland. A minimum of 42 schools/public ‘event’ days are expected over the contract period (19 days: 2017; 23 days: 2018). Prior experience of organising and delivering schools- & community-based projects preferable. Evidence of certification to allow working with young people/vulnerable groups is a mandatory requirement of the contract. 

For further details & to apply contact:  Kristine Mackenzie, LCDC Development Officer

(: 01520 722490   or   ::   Closing Date: 15th March 2017.


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iGallery 2017, call for exhibitors

We will be opening up the iGallery again from April to October 2017, inviting local producers, crafts people, artists and makers to showcase and sell their work. We wish to provide a taste of the quality products, gifts and some food items that are made in our local area, the visitor information desk aims to encourage visitors to stay longer in the area, use the smithy hub as a starting point for holiday activities, support local businesses and explore around lochcarron & district more. We aim to creating a positive visitor experience while promoting the community development projects LCDC is involved with.

2016 saw a rise in visitor numbers to the area in general with the NorthCoast500 taking off, we are pleased that a new prestigious architect designed interpretation and information shelter will shortly be built on site, adding to the profile of the Hub and raising roadside visibility. Work will also be starting on the proposed Artisan Dairy and kitchen,  If funding is available this is scheduled to be finished by the end of 2017. These developments will firmly place the Smithy Hub on the map as a location to spend a day and visit regularly. We hope you will join us this year and benefit from all this activity.

iGallery Monthly Prices for 2017

Whole table- 6ft x 2.5ft , 183cm x76cm = £40

Glass cabinet- 4 glass shelves, 38cm x29cm each = £18

Big wall space- 190cm wide x 130cm high = £10

Small wall space- around 100cm wide x 130cm high = £5

Display cabinet shelf – 120cm long x 28cm deep x 30 cm high = £15

Set of 4 ‘cubes’- each cube 39cm x 33cm x33cm =£15

Space for own small display stand – £10

Space for own large display stand – £20

T’s and C’s This year we are reverting back to the previous system of renting out spaces to people rather than taking a commission which was trialed last year. The rent will be payable at the beginning of each month and we require a commitment for the whole season. Exhibitors will need their own product liability insurance, and will be liable for breakages and loss where LCDC has taken all reasonable care and proper security measures. Exhibitors will also need to be legislation compliant with food hygiene certificates and toy safety labeling where relevant. All items will need to be clearly labelled with the exhibitor’s name (or business name) and price. Exhibitors will be responsible for setting up their own spaces and take down at the beginning and end of the season. Promotional materials (business cards & flyers) can be left. Your own table covers and display items may be used as long as LCDC have no concerns about safety, quality and appearance. Please contribute some of your usual packaging materials to the general collection at the front desk.

We hope you will join us for the summer season of 2017. Spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis, please get back to us before the 10th March to book a place.
contact us via or 01520 722 952 ( leave message )


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Wester Ross Biosphere Family day and AGM

 Wester Ross Biosphere Ltd

Family Day & Annual General Meeting

Saturday 25th March 2017, 11am to 4pm

at Beinn Eighe NNR &

Kinlochewe Village Hall 

  • 11am:  family friendly wildlife challenge and guided walk.                Please meet at Beinn Eighe NNR Visitor Centre. Wear boots and warm waterproof clothing.
  • from 11am: displays and exhibits in Kinlochewe Village Hall.
  • 1pm: light lunch including food from the Biosphere supported by SNH’s Scotland’s Natural Larder, Kinlochewe Village Hall.
  • 2pm: Wester Ross Biosphere Ltd AGM, Kinlochewe Village Hall

(art and crafts for youngsters, next door). 

  • 3pm to 4pm: displays, exhibits and networking, in the hall.

(bushcraft activities for youngsters, outside the hall).

The AGM is open to all members of the public. We would love you to join the Biosphere on the day if you haven’t already! There will be an opportunity before the main business to participate in activities of interest for all ages, with displays explaining the Biosphere concept and additionally there will be information from local businesses set up within the hall.  Activities for children will continue throughout day thus allowing parents to attend the AGM if they wish. For more info, please visit:

Web: or Email:  

Wester Ross Biosphere Ltd, Company Registered in Scotland, Company Reg No: SC548352

Company Secretary: Iain Turnbull, Lochalsh House. Balmacara, KYLE OF LOCHALSH, Ross-shire, IV40 8DN

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Whittling and Greenwoodworking Taster Session.



Would you like to try out Whittling and Greenwoodworking?

Come and join us at the Lochcarron Treehouse on Sat 11th & Sun 12th from 10am – 4.30pm.

We have a trained tutor coming along to demonstrate equipment & best practice.  You will be given the opportunity to make a small item to take home.

This is a free workshop.  Bring your own lunch or food to share .

LIMITED SPACES – on a first come first served basis.

Please contact Lynda Beveridge on 01520 733232 or to secure your place.

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willow weaving courses spring 2017

basketry-posteras part of our commitment to adult education & rural skills we are hosting a couple of willow weaving courses again this spring. Tutor is Monique Bervoets, the first course is the weekend of 4th 5th February, for beginers and intermediate. 10am – 5 pm. £50 each. to make a big log basket with an underfoot base.
Evening classes will be held on Tuesdays in March. 7pm – 9pm. £40 per person for the whole course, this is suitable also for beginners or intermediates and will produce a round basket with finger grips. venue the pinewood cabin. wear old clothes and for the weekend course, bring a packed lunch. Booking essential 01520 722 952. or

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