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August 31, 2010

Anyone for an acre?

 Sleat Community Trust on Skye are making an offer that they hope at least 1000 people will find too good to refuse.  The community needs to raise £20,000 by the end of the year to bring Tormore Forest into community ownership. They hope that 1000 people will agree to sponsor an acre of the woodland for £20. Within a week of the appeal being launched more than 100 people had stepped forward. The Trust has great plans for the wood if they’re successful

The Sleat Community Trust are asking 1,000 people to sponsor 1,000 acres of woodland to help them bring Tormore Forest into community ownership. The bulk of funding is being sought from business and agency sources, however £20,000 must be raised by the community by the end of the year to help fund the acquisition.

The Tormore Community Forest Appeal asks people to sponsor an acre of woodland for £20. The appeal raised over £1,000 in its first week.

David Macfadyen, Chairman of the Trust’s Forestry Group said, “This is a historic opportunity for the community to gain control of valuable land in their area. Sleat Community Trust is appealing to the public for contributions toward the sum of £20,000, which the community has to raise by the end of this year. Those with the best interests of Skye and Sleat in mind are invited to join in this exciting project by pledging £20 to sponsor one acre.”

The Forest Group has published a substantial business plan which outlines a whole range of possibilities:

• First and foremost is to develop the Forest and woodlands in a sustainable way for profitable timber production, conservation and recreation
• There is great potential for a strong, sustainable local fuelwood business through woodchip and firewood sales.
• Improved access paths will be created for walking, cycling and pony-trekking
• Forest interpretation will allow the forest to be used as an educational resource by Bun-sgoil Shleite, the local Primary School
• Visitors and locals will be able to enjoy cultural, historical and archaeological interpretation, particularly in the remains of an abandoned village
• There is also the potential to create new woodland crofts and several jobs

You can find out more on the Tormore Community Forest Appeal website.

Alternatively, if you like to see a little suffering in return for your money, you can sponsor Duncan MacInnes, Sleat Community Trust director, in his outdoor swimming bid – see here for further details.