A brief project description
Valley Renewables Group (VRG) officially took possession of 21 hectares (52 acres) of woodland near Carron Bridge, in November 2018. The site is being developed as an amenity woodland for the benefit of local residents and visitors. Community volunteers are developing the woodland under the guidance of a newly appointed part-time woodland manager. Activities include establishing a base cabin; clearing windblown trees for community wood fuel; clearing a large area of immature Sitka spruce and re-planting more than 5,500 mixed native broadleaved trees in their place; creating a wildlife pond which will eventually become a centrepiece for the project, and; creating footpaths, boardwalks, wildlife boxes and observation hides. There is also a proposal to establish a new community meeting room. A business plan is being prepared with the intention of moving forward with this during 2020/21. The option to use the new accommodation as a drop in café in also being investigated.
Expected results of the project
The community woodland will act as a focal point for community volunteering and provide an accessible local amenity in an area which lacks a village hall or equivalent. It will offer residents an environmentally friendly space for outdoor activities including walking and cycling, whilst enhancing local habitat and species. It will attract visitors to the area, acting as a gateway to the wider Carron Valley Forest, and has the potential to open up new social and economic opportunities within the community via a community meeting room and drop-in cafe for meetings and social functions. Overall it will promote community spirit and cohesion, and enhance resident health and wellbeing, augmented by attracting visitors and associated spend to the area. As a measure of it’s early success, over 30 residents were at the Woodland Open Day last summer. The community wood fuel weekend was supported by 50 households over two days. The Saturday workdays during summer and autumn of 2019 were each supported by between 12 and 15 volunteers. The woodland is proving to be a real focus of activity with interest from right across this small community.
Name of the community benefit fund
Falck Renewables Kingsburn and Earlsburn Funds
Kingsburn and Earlsburn wind farms
Location of the project
Carron Valley, Carron Bridge, Denny, Stirlingshire
Starting date and timeline
Project started December 2018; Falck Renewables Kingsburn and Earlsburn Funds contributing from January 2019 for three years
Total project budget
Amount of support provided by Falck Renewables
£177,000 over three financial years