5 YEAR REPORT
Evanton Wood Community Company
COMMUNITY CONSULTATION SESSION
in The Church of Scotland Hall (behind the church)
on Tuesday 24 OCTOBER 2017 at 7.30pm
Come along to share your ideas and thoughts about the wood – in particular the long-term management of the woodland. The session will be led by Bill Fraser, who is independent of the wood and community.
Refreshments available. All welcome.
‘The purchase and active management of the wood for the benefit of the community, in a way that maintains and enhances the rich and diverse environment, and develops its educational, recreational and timber resource’.
- To manage the wood on a system of low impact silvicultural systems including continuous cover.
- To increase the involvement of people in the wood, especially the local community.
- To encourage the biodiversity and enhance the beauty of the wood.
Evanton Wood Community Company was established in 2007 following an approach to the community by Novar Estate to sell the 65 hectare mature wood immediately behind the village, bordered by the Allt Graad/R.Glass and Blackrock Gorge. This has long been an important amenity for the community.
It was a 6 year process to engage with the community and gather the funds to purchase the wood and to run a 5-Year Activity Programme. We became the proud owners in August 2012 and took on a part-time Education & Outreach Coordinator soon after. He is working with a wide range of local schools and groups to involve them in the wood in a variety of ways.
In recent years we are pleased to have won the 2 Scotland's Finest Woodlands Awards: The Schools Award (in conjunction with Dingwall Academy) and the Healthy Lifestyles Award. We also received a Highly Commended accolade from RSPB Nature of Scotland (2016) and were a Finalist in the National Lottery Awards Environment Category (2017).
We hold volunteer days every Friday morning and every last Sat of the month (10am-1pm) to cut back the western hemlock, improve paths, plant native trees, clear brash etc. All are welcome.
We have recently embarked on a regular programme for People with Dementia which takes place in the woodland cabin each Friday from 10.30am to 2.30pm. Carers are also welcome. Contact 079477 72066.
We also run a programme of occasional family and other events and walks and talks. See our website and Facebook page for details (links below).
Membership is open to all aged 18 and over who subscribe to our aims.
[Tain Royal Academy pupils with their creations Sept 2017]
Contact Simon at
We made it to the FINALS in THE UK NATIONAL LOTTERY AWARDS 2017 (1 of only 7 in Environment Category). "We really do think that you are an excellent National Lottery funded project ... congratulations on the great work you are doing." (Jackie O'Sullivan, National Lottery Awards)
Amazing footage of Evanton Pond by Stuart Baxter here
Short Film - 5 Years of Community Ownership here
Viking ship landed at Evanton Wood
Pupils from Dingwall Academy have been hard at work building a replica Viking longship in Evanton wood. Trenches were dug and logs were rolled. The ship can be used by all and offers a great opportunity for creative play.
Can you find it?. Here's a clue to help find the ship - Its near something that meanders like a snake in the grass...
Thorstein The Red Viking gathers recruits at Evanton wood.
Pupils from Dingwall primary spent two days at Evanton wood learing how to be vikings from our very own Thorstein the Red. After being fitted for their very own viking costumes, the pupils learned some viking battle secrets, tried their hand at cooking some viking bread and made some viking shield art.
Finally, a farewell recital in norse saw the group head back to school. A great day out had by all.
Ben Wyvis Primary Teachers on reconnasance visit to wood:
12 teachers from Ben wyvis Primary visited evanton wood to check out all the facilities and to hear Simon highlight all the outdoor learning possibilities for schools. A great session made better by the lovely weather. We look forward to welcoming Ben Wyvis pupils in the summer months.
trying out the new seat...
Great success at Easter archery and scavenger Hunt:
Over 150 folk turned out to have a go at decorating egg balloons then try to shoot them under instruction by archery coach Lorraine Gillespie. Then it was back to the cabin via a scavenger hunt to claim their eggs. Our woodland chefs cooked up some great soup, pancakes and scones which was enjoyed by all. We also raised over £100 to help support the onging work of the woods. Thanks to all.
Easter archery Event at Evanton
Tain Royal Academy help plant Scottish Native Wild flowers.
As part of the Kew Gardens 'Grow wildUK' project, pupils from Tain Royal and Dingwal Academies have been preparing ground at Mags wood then seeding with Scottish Wildflower mix. The hope is that a wildflower meadow will develop helping not only the flora but also fauna. It was hard work but well done group.
Volunteers hard at work
A hardworking band of volunteers helped cut peel and set in place, larch poles which will act as the legs for the new interpretation panel at the bridges over black rock gorge. the next step is to set in place the elm slabs that will act as the backing for the panels. A hard days cutting peeling and gigging but the weather was good as were the biscuits and coffee afterwards.
preparing the larch poles
Setting in the uprights ready for the elm panel.
Tain Royal Academy help with build affordable housing:
Our regular Tuesday group have been busy ensuring that there is suitable accomodation on offer for our local Owls. We felled the tumber, the group then milled, measured, cut and built the boxes ready for newly wed Owls to take over.
TRA sizing up the logs ready for milling.
the finished article...
Group firelighting in the woods:
Pupils from Tain Royal Academy have been busy sourcing the best dry wood to help make a giant group 'Bow and Drill'. This is to demonstrate traditional firelighting techniques. Although the planned fire did not materialise, the group did manage to get lots of smoke and a good work out!
HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!!
(Kiltearn Primary 1-3)
Official Tester give new swing the BIG thumbs up.
Its a little know fact that Adrian Clark has a degree in swingology, here he is testing the new tyre swing. Thanks to the community payback team and ALP Project for helping get this off the ground (literally!)
Join us in the woods for some christmas fun..
Highly Commended Award at the 2016 RSPB Nature of Scotland Awards (Community Initiave category). Hosted by Chris Packham.
A new addition to the play area -work starts on the swing.
Our Friday Volunteers along with pupils from Tain Royal Academy were hard at work building the frame for a new wooden swing. This is in response to a request by the local nursery groups asking for a small swing for the youngling who visit the woods each week. Thanks again to the CP team for cutting the required lengths of wood.
Tain pupils stripping the bark off poles to be used for the swing.
Evanton wood will be featured on BBC Radio Scotland on Friday 4th November. The programme "out for the the weekend" will air a recording of a visit to the woods last week to look at why shelterbuilding is important and such fun.
Budding Robin Hood's brave the weather at Archery event.
Despite the rain, a good turnout was seen at the archey event. Thanks to Lorrain for spending the day with us showing how to make arrow go in the direction we wanted them to go.
even the grown ups got hooked...
Thurs 6 Oct 2016, 7.30pm
Cornerstone Cafe - All Welcome
Creeping Toad visiting Evanton wood
Renowned story teller Gordon Maclellan (AKA Creeping Toad) will be running a free community story telling and puppet making event on Saturday 10th August. The event will have two drop in sessions for anyone aged between 1 and 100.
Why not come to the woods and get creative with the family..
STOP PRESS: EVANTON COMMUNITY WOOD WINS SCOTTISH FINEST WOODS 2016 Healthy Lifestyles Award (see here)
Opening the New Woodland Play Area (April 2016)
ACCESS: (By foot and bike) Chapel Road, enter wood by signed path right of the Chapel; 2 mins to Cabin. Vehicles (not encouraged) via Camden St.
Poetry in the Wood: http://creativityincare.org/latest-news/poetry-in-motion/
Our new door by St Clement's School
Our education programme with Dingwall Academy wins the Scottish Finest Woodlands Awards - Schools Award (Crown Estate). Presentation at Royal Highland Show by Dr. Aileen McLeod, Minister for the Environment
The cabin is finished - the open day April 4th 2015
WE ARE NOW THE PROUD OWNERS OF THE WOOD (1.8.12)
‘Evanton Wood Community Company aims to purchase and actively manage the woodland for the benefit of the community, in a manner that maintains and enhances the rich and diverse environment and develops its educational, recreational and timber resource. This will bring a priceless asset under the control and ownership of the community in perpetuity, providing a sustainable fuel source, learning and employment opportunities, and a bio-diverse amenity for all to enjoy.’
We hope that you might be interested in supporting us. By Aug 2012 we had raised sufficient from elsewhere to meet the target price and to buy the wood. We are now initiating our 5-Year Activity Programme.
We have appointed an Education and Outreach Coordinator. (See here)
Following the expressed intention of Novar Estates to sell the 64 ha wood, EWCC (company limited by guarantee no. 332678) was formed in 2007 for this purpose. A Feasibility Study, Business Plan and a Management Plan were completed - all of which point to the viability of community ownership and management. We have since put together a detailed 5 Year Activity Plan.
The company has successfully attracted major funding from the Heritage Lottery towards the purchase and a 5 Year programme of activities. The main match funding has been provided by HIE and Kiltearn Community Counil (NEWS).
We are looking additional members, to get involved in our Volunteer Days and training opportunities, family events etc.
DONATIONS are very welcome. Gifts of £50 and over will be specially acknowledged. Please write cheques to Evanton Wood Community Company and send with form on Membership and Donations page
HLF funding 67 per cent
Highlands and Islands Enterprise funding 22 per cent of the purchase element.