We are delighted to be able to invite everyone to join us for our AGM, with morning coffee, at the Columba Centre, 11am on Saturday 25th November 2017.
We took over the lease of half of the building on 1st October and are really excited about the potential that this space offers for supporting local people and businesses.
At our AGM on 25th November we will be giving the communities of South West Mull and Iona an opportunity to take a look around, as well as the chance to enjoy Marion’s delicious cakes! As well as the usual AGM business we will be formally launching an invitation to local people and businesses to submit expressions of interest for renting space in the Columba Centre.
We would like to invite you to attend a Special General Meeting at Creich Hall on Wednesday 24th March at 4pm. The purpose of the meeting is to approve amendments to our Articles of Association to comply with changes to the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and with the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015. At the meeting we will be able to explain what this means to SWMID and to our local community. Members will be able to vote on the amendments. Tea, coffee and cake will be provided!
If you are not yet a member of SWMID and would like to become one, you can join on the day or contact Celia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to know more about the proposed changes, please contact Morven: email@example.com
Two exciting events coming up! On Sunday 14th May, as part of the Tree Council’s Walk in the Woods Festival, we are hosting a guided Walk in the Woods with John Clare, our Forest Officer. Meet at 11am at the forest entrance.
This is followed by a Plant Sale at Tigh na Con, near Tiroran, at 2pm to 5pm with tea, coffee and cakes at the Pennyghael in the Past museum and wood-turning with Bob Hastie.
On Thursday 18th May we are supporting Business Gateway to host a one day Business Start- Up workshop at Creich Hall from 10am to 5pm. You need to book your place but it is free of charge! You can contact us or Business Gateway directly for more information.
Congratulations to the Mull Eagle Watch partnership. At the Highlands & Islands Tourism Awards in Inverness recently, Mull Eagle Watch, which has locations at both Tiroran Community Forest and West Ardhu, won the “Innovation in Tourism” category. The project now goes through to the National Thistle Awards to be held in Edinburgh next March during Scottish Tourism Week.
We have recently submitted our Forest Management Plan to the Forestry Commission. This is an essential requirement for all owners of commercial forests and includes plans for felling, re-planting, encouraging biodiversity, the preservation of historic sites, generating a long-term income from the forest and developing amenity spaces for the public to access and enjoy the forest.
If you would like to find out more please come along to Forest Officer John Clare’s presentations on Tuesday 13th September at Pennyghael Hall, 7pm and Wednesday 14th September at Creich Hall, 7pm. John will also be at the Community Café, Bunessan Hall, on Monday 12th September with a display.
Why not take advantage of these great opportunities to find out more about the future of your community forest.
Click on this link to see a copy of the Concept Plan submitted with the Management Plan.
Community land ownership is to be celebrated – and on Saturday 4th June, the communities of South West Mull and Iona did indeed celebrate our ownership of Tiroran Community Forest.
The weather was almost perfect and even the midges didn’t deter the crowds. People came from all over South West Mull and Iona and included one of the youngest in our communities (Mairi aged 18 months), to one of the oldest (Mamie aged 21+).
Delicious food; fun activities for children including an orienteering trail, a treasure hunt, face-painting and willow-weaving; a sea eagle fly-past; a guided tour of the ruined township of Knockroy; poems in the trees – there was something for everyone.
For many, the highlight was the creation of the first ever Tiroran Community Forest sculpture. Vision Mechanics, a company from Edinburgh, brought three magnificent steel and willow heads that people were able to decorate with wild flowers and moss. They were then hauled into some splendid, old sycamore trees where they will stay talking to each other for years to come. There are Giants in the Forest all over the UK and it is lovely to have this link with woodlands elsewhere.
At 2pm there were pipes, speeches, bubbly and ribbon-cutting. This was the serious part of the day when we were reminded of what the communities of South West Mull and Iona have achieved in buying the forest as an asset for generations to come. Both Lorne MacLeod of Community Land Scotland and Brendan O’Hara, MP, described our achievement as an inspiration to other communities.
Thank you so much to everyone who came and helped to make the day such a great celebration.
It’s fantastic to see that Tiroran Community Forest’s sea eagle pair are nesting in the same place as last year. However, due to the felling of trees along the road, vehicles parking in passing places near the site and people getting out to take photographs are very visible to the eagles and likely to cause a disturbance to them. If they are disturbed this may affect their ability to successfully incubate eggs and raise chicks.
The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 makes it illegal to recklessly cause disturbance to the nesting sites of Protected Species, such as sea eagles.
Under the Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986 it is illegal to park in a passing place. Currently there are up to six large timber lorries passing along the road to and from the forest daily, making it potentially dangerous to block the passing places, as well as a criminal offence.
The local police are patrolling the area and there is CCTV on site.
A better alternative for eagles and people is to book in to one of Mull Eagle Watch’s two-hour guided tours. These offer a walk through the Forest to a place where the eagles can be viewed without disturbance, as well as a fascinating talk about the eagles and other wildlife. It is also an opportunity to contribute to a project that benefits the whole community of South West Mull and Iona.
It is also possible to explore the forest on foot. Be careful to stay well clear of forestry vehicles, operations and log stacks. There are forestry notices in place so please follow the directions given.
For further information, contact John Clare, our Forest Officer, on 01681 700022; firstname.lastname@example.org
Produced after a period of intensive community engagement, the aim of this plan was to define the scope of activities that we hoped to happen over a five to ten year period and to give an insight into the ambitions of our community.
A good deal has happened since the plan was published, including the development of the Community Transport Scheme and the Gala, the revival of Feis Mhuile and the purchase of Tiroran Forest. However, it is now time to update the plan, to open the conversation again, to share ideas about the future of our community.
Tiroran Forest is now owned by the communities of South West Mull and Iona and we want to hear about what you would like to see happening in the forest. What are your priorities for distributing any profits that are made? We are also investigating the opportunity of taking over the management of the Columba Centre in Fionnphort. How would you like to see this develop?
We are working with Connecting Scotland to facilitate this consultation through Café Conversations, to be held at various venues throughout South West Mull and Iona.
Tuesday 15th March – 5pm Keel Row; Wednesday 16th March – 11am Tiroran Forest; Monday 21st March – 1pm Iona Hall, 7pm Argyll Arms Tuesday 22nd March –10am Pennyghael Hall, 2pm Bunessan Hall, 7pm Creich Hall