Skye residents take over Tormore Forest

Skye residents take over Tormore Forest
BBC Online

An island community in the south of Skye is celebrating taking ownership of a local woodland, which it hopes will provide a vital economic boost.

The Sleat Community Trust raised £330,000 of private and public funding to take over the 440-hectare Tormore Forest.

The forest will meet growing demand for firewood, as well as supporting the local green woodfuel business.

Community trust secretary Henry Mains said the move was a "milestone".

"For the first time ever, the community will own the land where we live," he said.

"In the first three years, we will be harvesting the timber to open up the wood. As well as the re-planting of native species, we will also be looking at how to offer pathways for access for both local people and visitors."

Funding for the takeover came from a range of sources, including Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Highland Council and Triodos Bank.

The community itself raised more than £16,500.

Scottish Infrastructure Secretary Alex Neil, said: "The Scottish government is committed to community empowerment and we believe that sustainable solutions for rural Scotland should emerge from rural communities themselves."