Community Woodland – Scottish Land Fund application update January 2018

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Jan 072018

Please note that the following information is being sent to all residents via post.

We are pleased to announce that Valley Renewables Group has now submitted a formal application to purchase 21.3 hectares of woodland (nearly 53 acres) near the Carron Dam for our community. This application has been made under “CATS”, which is Forest Enterprise Scotland’s Community Asset Transfer Scheme. If successful, 95% of the purchase price would be paid by the government’s Scottish Land Fund, with the remainder coming from windfarm community benefit funds. We have also applied for funding to employ a part time woodland manager for the first two years, to start developing the site.

Our plan would be initially to develop the woodland as a community asset, as well as using the site for our annual open day and other events, as per the map below. Our long-term vision is to build a permanent “Community Base” and cafe on site, which will become a focus for our community.

The Community Council and VRG board both voted unanimously in favour of this project, and now we need your backing too!

The application has now entered a statutory consultation period and it would really help our case if you would be willing to write in and show your support for the project. Full details of the application and consultation can be found at http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/managing/get-involved/community-asset-transfer-scheme/carron-valley, and responses must be received in writing before the consultation closes on 23rd January 2018.

The reasons we are proposing this purchase, and ask for your support are:

  • Our community currently has no social infrastructure – no school, church, hall, shop, pub or meeting place. The purchase of this woodland site is a great opportunity to progressively create a community facility for all.
  • The Community Woodland will be a welcoming and accessible space for local people and visitors to meet, find information, get involved in community activities. It will be a catalyst for new groups and events giving the community the opportunity for more cohesion and resilience into the future.
  •  The size and location of the site gives us the opportunity for a phased development to meet the needs of our community, starting simply with management of the woodland, then developing a site for our community open day and other events. When we are ready we will develop the community base and drop-in cafe.

The address to write to with consultation responses is:

Rebecca Carr
Forest Enterprise Scotland
Silvan House
231 Corstorphine Road

EH12 7AT.

A working group of VRG and Community Council members is in place to manage the application process and eventual site development. Even though the application has now been submitted, this is really just the beginning, so we encourage all interested community members to contribute by joining this group.

If you have any questions regarding the application, or would like to volunteer on the working group please contact our secretary, Barbara Wilson (email bwilsonscotland@yahoo.com, or 01324 822 717, evenings only) and we will reply as soon as possible.

 Posted by at 12:46 pm

AGM Thursday 9 November 2017

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Sep 292017

This year’s AGM will be held on Thursday 9 November at 7.30pm at the Mayfield Centre, St Ninian’s, Stirling.

 Posted by at 10:54 am

Palaeo-environmental coring October 12 John de Graham’s Castle 10am – 2pm

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Aug 242017

Update – Kirk o’ Muir and John de Graham Castle archaeology project

Try your hand at Palaeo-environmental coring-John de Graham’s Castle

October 12th 10am-2.00 p.m. approx.

Message from Murray Cook., Stirling Council Archaeologist 

We are hoping to explore a steep-sided ditch feature that is either a medieval fish pond (less likely) or some form of defensive ditch (more likely). At the same time we intend to look to see if we can identify any dam elements with a bit of fieldwalking. There is also of course the chance to see one of Scotland’s best-preserved timber castles…..it really is fabby!

Our host for the morning will be Richard Tipping, late of Stirling Uni, who is an expert in all things coreable and polleny!

Can you confirm that you wish to come?

Please bring, warm dry clothes, wellie boots, waterproofs etc, a packed lunch and a sense of adventure!

Please let me know if you have any queries or if something is unclear!  cookm@stirling.gov.uk

This will be the last opportunity to take part in the Heritage Lottery Project


For more information on the project contact Murray Cook cookm@stirling.gov.uk



 Posted by at 9:16 am

In the steps of the Covenanters Sun 6 August 2017

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Jun 282017


For over 100 years a church service has been held at Kirk o’Muir cemetery commemorating this period in Scottish history around the 1770s. This year’s service is on Sunday 6th August at 12 noon conducted by the Reverend Gary McIntyre of St Ninians Parish Church. This cemetery is one of the sites to be surveyed and renovated in the recent Heritage Lottery grant awarded to VRG.

VRG has also recently joined a new group that has been formed to research and restore heritage graveyards in Stirling towns and villages. It has attracted support from various local political figures and is in discussion with the Council and Historic Scotland. There is talk of developing a tourist trail of historic cemeteries and linked into ancestry.

 Posted by at 9:36 am

Bumper Open Day planned Sat 26 August

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Jun 272017


Once again we are holding our annual Community Open Day on Saturday August 26th from 12 noon to 4.00 p.m. at Craigend Farm, Auchenbowie, courtesy of Willie and Evelyn Crawford.

Last year we had over 200 attending and this year we aim for 250. The theme of the Open Day is Crafts and Heritage. Willow weaving, spinning, mosaics, flower arranging are among the crafts. There will be a baking stall, free range eggs, chocolate drinks and other delights. Stirling Cycle Hub will be there again as will the Forestry Commission. Children’s activities will be well catered for.

There will be a local history and heritage stall and a special focus will be on the Lottery funded project for archaeological excavation and metal detecting at John de Graham’s castle and Kirk o’Muir cemetery. There will be a stall where you can sign up to volunteer and receive training in archaeological investigation.

There will also be a presentation on the project and talks on companion planting, community involvement in local history and heritage, and VRG’s plans for acquiring land for a community woodland. To top it all will be the excellent free barbecue.

Stalls will be in the large marquee and there is a separate Talks marquee. New parking facilities and on site toilets.

Meet old and new friends, widen your horizons and celebrate our increasingly vibrant community.

 Posted by at 10:55 am

EGM Tuesday 27 June 8pm

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May 232017

A general meeting of the company will be held at Mayfield Centre, Sunnybank Road, St Ninians, Stirling, FK7 0BD on Tuesday 27th June at 8pm for the purpose of considering and, if thought fit, passing a special resolution of the company. Members will receive details of this in the post.

Here are links to the special resolution 250517 Special Resolution VRG June 2017 v2 and the proxy vote formProxy Vote v2 250517

Proxy votes should be returned to the Secretary, Barbara Wilson, 2 Buckieburn, Carronbridge, FK6 5JJ. Members will receive a SAE in the mailing.

 Posted by at 1:58 pm

Community Hub – Community Woodland – April 2017

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Apr 072017

Community Hub – Update April 2017

The Valley Renewables Group is applying to the Scottish Land Fund to raise the funds to purchase land at Carron Valley from the Forestry Commission. If successful, we hope to create a multipurpose Base to benefit the whole community. Following consultation with the community we have now completed a feasibility study which you can access following the links below.

Community Woodland Feasibility Study

Here is a link to the Executive Summary Community Woodland Feasibility study: Carron Valley Community Woodland Feasibility Executive Summary March 17

Here is a link to the full report: V9 Carron Valley Woodland Feasibility FINAL 29-3-17

Here are the appendices to the report: Appendices Carron Valley Woodland Feasibility FINAL

Summary of the Project
The land to be purchased is 21 hectares of mature and restocked woodland at the entrance to the Carron Valley Forest, just off the B818 Denny – Fintry Road and adjacent to the existing main visitor car park. The land could be managed by the community to create new paths, wetlands and outdoor activities, improving the access and natural environment.

The proposed building would be owned by the community and be an energy efficient new-build close to the existing carpark and suitable for use by local people and visitors. It could be a catalyst for more activity in the local area, providing meeting space, a café, local and visitor information and room for events and workshops.

We would welcome your views.

 Posted by at 10:20 am
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