After three years of community effort, Morvern Community Woodlands (MCW) have submitted a £2.7M bid to the Scottish Land Fund to purchase the 2,500 hectare (6000 acre) Killundine Estate in Morvern.
The vision for the project is to create ‘a living, working 21st century estate promoting the re-population and regeneration of Morvern and the conservation of its natural environment’.
Morvern is a fragile community with an aging population and falling school roll. There is currently no-one living on the Killundine Estate and it supports no full-time local employment.
Tilly Painter Jones, one of the eight directors of MCW said ‘Killundine has been neglected for many years. This buyout will turn around a neglected estate and bring opportunities to local people. Post COVID-19 it will bring housing and jobs and reverse depopulation. It will increase the economic and environmental resilience of the peninsula and its people and help tackle other major issues like climate change.’
The estate is made up of farmland, forestry, hills, woodland and five properties, all currently unoccupied. A feasibility study and detailed business plan completed as part of the bid have confirmed the viability of managing the estate as mixed farmland and woodland with the establishment of new crofts and affordable housing supported by income from timber.
A local resident from the nearby village of Lochaline resident commented, ‘Having my own croft would not only help me realise a life-long personal ambition, it would inspire the younger generation to come back into crofting. Productive use of land for agriculture, stock or arable is very important to me.’
It is the integration of modern crofting with sustainable, wildlife-friendly development that lies at the heart of the bid. In its first phase this includes: the sale of affordable housing plots, the creation of six new crofts, the development of a local tree nursery and wildlife tourism linked with the Scottish wildcat – for which Morvern is a priority area.
The bid has been the subject of extensive local consultation. It is supported by Ian Blackford MP and Kate Forbes MSP, Morvern Community Council and Morvern Community Development Company.
The outcome of application to the Scottish Land Fund for £2.7M will be decided later this month.
For more information, see the Killundine Estate: detailed information pages and the Killundine Estate FAQs.