Nature Trail closure – protest appeal

We reproduce below correspondence received from Marian Norris, Vice-Convenor, Ardentinny Community Council, which relates to the closure of the FCS Discovery Trail.

IMMINENT CLOSURE OF ARDENTINNY NATURE TRAIL

This is a picture of the Ardentinny Nature Trail, and a copy of a letter I have sent to the Forestry Commission. I have also asked for the support of the Ardentinny Community Trust, Ardentinny Centre, Strone Primary School, the National Park and Councillor Bruce Marshall. I would be grateful if all those who, like me, would like to retain the Nature Trail for the village, put in your protest by writing to

David Robertson :  david.robertson@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Argyll District Office, Glenbranter

Gordon Donaldson: cowal&trossachs@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

Cowal and Trossachs Forest District, Aberfoyle, Stirling, FK8 3UX

Simon Hodge:

Forest Enterprise Scotland, 1, Highlander Way, Inverness Business Park, Inverness IV2 7GB

2014-02-18_12-54-29

Dear Sir

As vice convenor of Ardentinny Community Council, I would like to make a formal protest at the plans of the Forestry Commission to close the Nature Trail and Bird/Squirrel Hide at Ardentinny.  I visit it frequently, and think it is a wonderful facility for the village. I have watched squirrels and many species of bird, and the hide has also been used by the local camera club. Many varieties of wild plants can be seen, and I have particularly enjoyed the profusion of violets and primroses in the Spring. The information boards were of great value to visitors and also of educational value to local schools. I understand that Ardentinny Centre will be following the John Muir scheme this year, and as a trained John Muir leader I can state categorically that the nature trail would be invaluable to support this study. It would also be very useful to any local school following the Forest Schools syllabus.

Ardentinny residents are grateful to the Forestry Commission for the new toilets it has provided at the beach and for its continuing grass cutting and removal of litter. The number of visitors has increased recently and is likely to continue to do so with the interest in the restoration of the Walled Garden and the Coronation Wood, and the re-opening of the Outdoor Centre, and the continued attraction of the beach and forest paths. It is ridiculous that just at this time the Commission should make the decision to remove one of its best and most creative amenities.

The Forestry Commission has cut back its Education and Recreation activities considerably over the last few years, and while I understand the financial restraints they have to work under, this would seem to be a comparatively low cost facility.

I would be most grateful if you could consider any strategies by  which we could keep this great addition to forestry education. I am sure there must be possibilities that volunteers could assist in the maintenance of the trail, and perhaps we could join together to restore the information boards so that this facility would be available for future visitors and schools for a long time to come.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Marian Norris

Vice Convenor Ardentinny Community Council

 

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Comments

  1. J Robinson says:

    The proposed closure should come as no surprise to those of us who use it .As over the last year, like the rest of Glenfinart Forest it has taken on a general air of neglect. This walk,was funded by grants from the European Agricultural Guidance and Gaurantee fund under the Highlands and Islands objective 1 Parnership Programme and it was allegedly suitable for wheel chair access a claim that turned out to be rather ambitious as turbo charged wheelchairs are hard to come by. So what has that funding body got to say about its proposed closure? And why did the F.C. recently spend money erecting a new barrier at the entry to the forest road,when there are already two gates just beyond the oakwood carpark?
    This walk, contrary to what seems to be the F.C. view is reasonably well used, especially during the summer months Although I don’t see the point in the Commission erecting a hide and putting up feeders to attract wildlife, advertising it to the general public and then neglecting to fill the feeders.
    Therefore I would think it would be in the Foresty Commissions best interest as far as public relations go to retain this walk. And may I suggest that instead has been suggested asking for volunteers from the public as has been suggested They approach the National Park to split the cost of the upkeep of and maintenance if that is the problem.

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