The Trust and its subsidiaries always have a busy workload and the following are just some of the current initiatives:
Community Broadband (Skyenet) - Bringing a better broadband service through wireless technology to remote parts of the peninsula.
Forest Enterprise - We continue our work to ensure the ability to provide split logs, wood chip and the possibility of log lengths. The completion of recent harvesting has given us sufficient stock pile for the next few years, our work is now set to look to establish longer term supply.
Armadale Trading Redevelopment - The redevelopment of the Armadale trading area including the shop, Post Office, fuel station and with office space for Trust continues. Rural Designs have established plans we are happy with and they are progressing to establish the building warrant. We have secured the funding and very much look forward to starting the work in October / November.
A temporary shop and post office will be sited opposite the Clan Donald garages near Ardvasar. Unfortunately, we will be unable to offer fuel.
The University of the West of Scotland are undertaking a long-term pine weevil study in Tormore Forest, which started in March 2018.
We are looking to develop our Forest School in 2019 with Emma Micski. This is an exciting and interesting opportunity for young people.
Work is now complete on the polytunnel, sited to the left of Tormore Forest’s entrance gate. This area of land has been identified for our Tree Nursery Project, and further developments at the site will include storage sheds and a small field for planting. The project has been funded by the Postcode Local Trust, and will enable school children, young people, and their families to grow trees that will form a part of the replanting work for the forest. In time, we look to offer the chance to grow seasonal vegetables and plants too.
We are working with Local Energy Scotland and Community Shares Scotland to establish a 34kW Micro Hydro Scheme on the Allt A' Cham Aird burn in Tormore Community Forest. The capital for this project will be raised through a community share offer in 2020 along with other sources of finance as necessary. This will give the community an opportunity for a social investment in the Trusts renewable energy activities. We have planning permission for the hydro and look forward to progress with the work.
We look set to continue our work with Anaerobic Digestion. Although we can no longer gain a Feed In Tariff (FIT) for the unit, we can consider biogas as an output. Our last feasibility study left us considering where we could gather feedstocks from, as locally, there was insufficient of the type we required. We are now looking a little further afield and hope this next stage of the work will give us further information as to whether an investment in an anaerobic digester will be worthwhile.
Our work with Sabhal Mòr Ostaig considering a Sporting Facility for Sleat is also continuing.
The entrance to Tormore Community Forest has now been improved and a larger car parking area has been completed. Very soon new colourful and professionally designed informative signs will be appearing at the entrance and in areas of the forest too!