What is a Woodland Croft?
In recent months South West Mull and Iona Development has been moving forward with plans for developing woodland crofts at Tiroran Community Forest. We have identified six potential croft locations and will be taking the croft house sites through the pre-planning process. Location map for woodland crofts Map of woodland croft sites
A woodland croft is a registered croft, usually around 2.5 to 4 hectares, that is subject to both crofting and forestry legislation. Each woodland croft needs to have a minimum of 80% tree cover. A wide variety of tree species can be planted, including native broadleaves such as hazel and birch, fruit trees, and willow for coppicing, to fit with the needs and aspirations of the crofter. This means that woodland crofts help to increase the biodiversity of the forest. Meanwhile, woodland crofters bring and develop land management skills that can help to build our capacity to manage the forest and be of benefit to the wider community.
The woodland crofter is given the opportunity to access land that offers a potential livelihood, a place to live and security of tenure. This means that the development of woodland crofts can contribute towards meeting the economic and social aspirations of the wider community, including the retention of working age individuals and families.
Houses on woodland crofts are subject to the same planning regulations as any other house. SWMID will work with woodland crofters to encourage the use of timber from the forest for the construction and heating of woodland croft houses. This makes sense in terms of cost, limits environmental impact and ensures that houses blend in to the surrounding woodland.
Potential woodland crofters share their ideas:
We have a group of enthusiastic and dynamic potential crofters who have applied to have one of the first woodland crofts.
“We would like to live on the croft and to run a winery, including elderflower, elderberry, rhubarb, greengage and rosehip wine. All fruit would be grown on the croft”.
“We’d like to plant native trees, build a wooden hut and wooden shed, grow soft fruit and high-quality salads, grow/dry herbs for teas and herbal medicinal uses, and make use of wood on the site for green wood work”.
Other ideas include bee-keeping, a tree nursery, hazel coppicing, orchards and poultry production.
We are carrying out a survey to collect views from the communities of South West Mull and Iona on the development of woodland crofts at Tiroran Community Forest. Maps and further information are on display at the Columba Centre and we will be holding a public consultation meeting on Tuesday 12th June, 7pm at Pennyghael Hall.
Please click on the link below to fill in the Survey Monkey questionnaire. You can also fill in a paper questionnaire if you prefer – please contact Celia on 01681 700021, firstname.lastname@example.org, or pop in to the Columba Centre. Please also feel free to make an appointment to see Celia if you would like to find out more.