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Stromeferry & Achmore

What's happening?

Spring 2024

The Concordat

Back in 2000 the Trust signed a Concordat (partnership agreement) with the Forestry Commission regarding the management of South Strome Forest. Activity around this agreement has lapsed a bit over the years, but it was agreed to run for 25 years so it is still in place.

The Trust board met last week with Alex MacLeod, Regional Manager for north Scotland, and other staff to discuss where the Trust want to take it from here. Things have changed a lot over the years, not least by the Forestry Commission being superceded by Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) which, although retaining some of the same staff, has been reorganised, and ideas and priorities have moved on. With this change in management many of the principles set out in the Concordat are now part of the normal FLS approach. Details of FLS plans for this area can be found on their website: Their current plan runs for 10 years from 2016.

It was a very constructive meeting and together we will work towards an updated document maintaining a renewed dialogue and spirit of cooperation. The purpose of the original Concordat was to involve the community in decision making, keeping it informed about management of the forest, and creating local benefit. These things will be reiterated in the new one.

Community benefits have come from the partnership in the past and there is great potential now for future developments. The board will be seeking the input of the community over the next few months. Topics which came up were:

  • Firewood supplies, which we will be discussing further. There are precedents now for community firewood such as at Reelig Glen (Aird Community Trust)
  • Footpaths in Strome Wood and their maintenance. Many community groups work with FLS on maintenance work and we will continue working together on this.
  • Tourism and the impact of visitors, campervans etc, which can be a problem and the fact that, due to funding cuts, FLS no longer have a ranger covering this area. They do, however, have other staff who can help and would appreciate information and feedback. If you have anything to report please get in touch with the local office or Lizzie Bird or myself and we will pass it on.
  • Many community groups use their local forest for educational activities and projects, as the Trust has done in the past. Some ideas were mentioned at the meeting and will be further explored.

This meeting was just the beginning, and the Trust will be following up ideas and possibilities, and your input is an important part of the process.

Trust Governance

The Trust is a Company Limited by Guarantee, and the legal governance document is its Memorandum and Articles. This was created in 1998, and since then there have been various legal changes including The Land Reform Act 2003, Companies Act 2006 and Community Empowerment Act 2016. Due to these factors and others, the board have been reviewing the Trust Mem and Arts and are considering an update. The intention is to clarify things and create a new document which is more focussed and readable, while retaining the core purpose and spirit of the Trust.

In 2011 the Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) was introduced. The purpose of this legal form was to allow charities to be incorporated while making administration simpler, being regulated just by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). The Trust directors have had a good look into this and will propose a conversion.

To this end, the board has started the process of putting together a new Constitution, and perhaps the most important part of this is the statement of the Trust's Purposes. As a company set up in 1998 the Trust had 4 purposes set out in its Memorandum and Articles. These are (slightly clarified and simplified):

(a) To conserve, protect and improve the natural environment of Fernaig, Achmore, Stromeferry and surrounds for the benefit of the local community and the public at large,

(b) To promote sustainable development in the area compatible with the above object,

(c) To advance education, training, lifelong learning and skills development through the creation of and support for, education and training infrastructure and activities,

(d) To provide or promote the provision of housing in the area,

In addition to these Purposes the Trust board proposes adding the following for the new Constitution (taken from other similar community groups):

(e) To improve the quality of life and contribute to the physical, mental and social health of residents and visitors through the provision of recreation facilities, the organisation of recreational activities and other leisure time activity, and promoting responsible access,

(f) To ensure effective implimentation of the Trust's aims through co-operation, liaison, and partnerships with local authorities, land owners and other groups and individuals with common interests,

(g) To manage community land and facilities for the benefit of the community and the public in general.

Your Views?

At this stage the board would welcome any feedback from the membership, about these Purposes. The Trust is a community owned organisation and should reflect the concerns and aspirations of the community (within the constraints of retaining charitable status).

The FCT board will keep you updated. Watch this space!


Toolshed. You may have noticed we now have a new shed at the picnic area. This will be used to house mowers, tools and materials for path maintenance and other work on the land, and we'd like to thank the National Lottery Awards for All for generously funding it.


A wee reminder: we are in the middle of the lambing season so please keep dogs on leads when near fields with sheep in them. Dog mess is also a perennial problem, so please bag it and bin it. Bags are now available at each end of the Achmore/Braeintra path.

Thank You!