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 : firstname.lastname@example.org
Argyll District Office, Glenbranter
Gordon Donaldson: email@example.com
Cowal and Trossachs Forest District, Aberfoyle, Stirling, FK8 3UX
Forest Enterprise Scotland, 1, Highlander Way, Inverness Business Park, Inverness IV2 7GB
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.
Vice Convenor Ardentinny Community Council