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Consultation date set to help bring Perthshire forests into community hands

Five Mile Wood
Five Mile Wood

Volunteers campaigning to put two Perthshire forests into community hands are asking woodland walkers to have their say on the plans.

The West Stormont Woodland Group (WSWG) is leading efforts to bring Taymount and Five Mile Woods near Bankfoot and Stanley into community ownership.

Now, the group are seeking responses to from local residents as part of a consultation which can be submitted on their website, starting next week.

Both woods are popular with dogwalkers and cyclists. Organisers say they want to give them a long term sustainable future as a community resource.

Taymount Wood, located off the B9099, has a “good track… ideal for walking and cycling,” says the Woodland Trust. However, there is currently no circular path.

Stanley’s Five Mile Woods is a flatter, mixed woodland just off the A9 with a small car park at the end of the village’s Duchess Street.

The woodland group aims to acquire the two sites from Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) through a community asset transfer scheme.

Both forests are being put on sale by FLS. If the community does not manage to buy them then a private or commercial landowner could and WSWG fear the woods wouldn’t be managed for community use.

Members have been working on the plans since December 2018, taking into account factors such as climate change, biodiversity and community benefits.

An online community consultation will go ahead from February 22 to March 19. The group has also arranged a leaflet drop to every house in the Strathtay ward.

Elspeth Coutts, secretary of the WSWG steering group, said: “Our community consultation has become a primarily online event due to Covid-19 restrictions, but we are sending out paper copies of the proposal and survey to members who do not have internet access.

“We will have spare copies we can send out more widely, so if you are unable to do the survey online, please do get in touch.”

 

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