The forest was once home to over a hundred people, settled in crofting townships at Knockroy and Achonnaill. Social and economic upheaval led to these townships being abandoned and little remains other than walls and mounds of stones.
Over the next year or two we are hoping to restore a crofting township to the forest by creating six new woodland crofts alongside the ruins of Achonnaill. These crofts will offer people opportunities for small-scale forestry related businesses as well as the potential for a secure home. For the wider community, woodland crofts bring benefits including retention of a working population, the production of local food and value-added timber products, and improved biodiversity in the forest.
In June 2021 we currently submitted a croft registration application to the Crofting Commission. The process is still ongoing and we are currently awaiting an in-depth review with the Scottish Government Rural Payments and Inspections Directorate (SGRPID). This could take many months but we hope to have registered crofts on the ground by summer 2023. We are also working closely with Argyll and Bute Council planning department to try to get reassurance for future community crofters that they will be able to make a home on their croft. Offering new crofts, complete with outline planning permission, will enable six individuals, couples or families to build homes and start new lives here, transforming the forest by restoring people to the landscape for the first time in more than a century. As one community member and crofter commented during our consultations, woodland crofts are:
"a fitting way to bring life, vitality, meaningful work and homes into the forest"
MEMBER & CROFTER
If you would like to register your interest in a croft or find out more, please email our Community Forester, Philip Yielder
Woodland Crofts Partner website