The Fernaig Community Trust was set up to give the local community access to land, and to involve the community in decision-making concerning the land in this area, creating economic, educational, recreational and environmental benefits, for people resident and visiting.
The Trust was set up in 1998, and is a Limited Company (No 188633), with charitable status (Charity no 033722). It is owned by the membership.
The governing document for the Trust is the Memorandum and Articles (see Library page: Fernaig Community Trust/Documents), which set out the legal framework that the Trust operates within.
What does the Fernaig Community Trust do?
The Trust has purchased land which has been used for tree planting (four areas), smallholdings, allotments, footpaths, and a picnic area and community orchard. The purchase also enabled the building of two affordable houses for local people.
Working/liasing with local land owners including Forestry & Land Scotland (see Concordat page).
The Trust has created work opportunities (mostly local) - two direct employees (albeit temporary contracts), three fencing contracts, ditching and road building contracts, two path creation contracts, ploughing, hay and silage making, dyking, catering, building work, decorating, and electrical work. Also training - dyking, and chainsaw which resulted in employment – and making land and space available for small businesses and the self employed.
The Trust purchased the Old Forest Office – used as Trust office and space let to four local businesses.
Access – The Trust has registered local Rights of Way, and created footpaths on our own land and on FLS land.
Community & Environment – The Trust runs events & open days are held, as well as various forest activities e.g. youth club hut, botanical days (ferns, fungus, trees), The Trust also created the hall garden and the orchard. Trees have been planted in several places on Trust land and the Trust has worked with FLS and Trees for Life to increase the native tree component of South Strome Forest.
The Trust has worked with other community groups to pool information and ideas and to further the land reform agenda – this included involvement in creation of the Community Woodland Association, leading to the Land Reform Act (2003)
Various other ideas and projects have been explored, some of which may still have potential including a Café, Hydro, mountain bike trails, forest crofts…