The beautiful Killundine Estate covers 2,500 hectares (6,000 acres) in the heart of Morvern. The land runs from the shores of the Sound of Mull to over 550 metres (1800 feet) at the summit of Sithean na Raplaich, looking down onto the Barr River and Loch Teacuis.
Since the start of 2018, Morvern Community Woodlands have been investigating if community ownership of Killundine Estate is feasible. We have registered an interest in the land under Community Right to Buy legislation, which means that if the estate is put on the market within the next 5 years it must be offered to the community first. If this happens there will be a period of time (currently 8 months) in which to make a decision about whether it would be in the community’s interest to try to buy the property. Until that is decided, the land cannot be sold privately.
To register the interest in the land was a detailed undertaking, much more complex than we initially thought, and took over 8 months. It involved changes to Morvern Community Woodland’s constitution to ensure that the focus of our aims is sustainable development rather than woodland creation or management.
Since late 2018 we have been working with Highlands and Islands Enterprise to establish the financial viability of Killundine Estate with a view to entering a negotiated sale with the current owners of Killundine Estate. Part of this process will involve talking to local people to get ideas, investigate needs and opportunities and see if there is interest from people in being involved. Unfortunately Highlands & Islands Enterprise have not yet been able offer any support and, in April 2019, we are still awaiting news as to when we will receive the support required to start this feasibility process.
Although we have not yet been able to start the feasibility process, Morvern Community Woodlands is clear that we want to keep the estate as it is as much as possible, at the same time as creating opportunities for the community, restoring the buildings and protecting the natural environment.
The decision to investigate the potential for community ownership of Killundine was led by Morvern Community Woodlands because no other community bodies in Morvern were in a position to undertake this. Although we are a community woodland group, our main aim is to manage the land in whatever way is best for the community and the environment, and we will be looking at all ideas about how to do this. Our aim is not to expand woodland all over the peninsula and we will investigate ways to maintain traditional integration of woodland, farming and other land-uses. We are also looking at reforming our structures to make Morvern Community Woodlands more open and accountable. Please feel free to talk come to our meetings, talk to any of our directors or drop us an email at: