Discussions are progressing between the Kirkcudbright Development Trust and Dumfries & Galloway Council (D&G) and the Forestry Commission (FC) to enter into a joint management agreement to enable community management of the Barhill Woods. The Barhill is a very important community asset for Kirkcudbright and it is important that the town has a say in its future. If, as was proposed, the wood were commercially exploited it would ruin the iconic backdrop to the town. If Forestry Commission Scotland sold the wood for commercial use, large parts of the wood would be excluded from public access. If the wood can be brought into community management the wood can be maintained largely as it is for the benefit of all.
Several proposals have been put forward including an outdoor study centre, red squirrel/bird watching hide, improved paths, mountain biking area etc. An application has been made to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Galloway Glens Project to help finance the project and we are delighted to say we have been awarded a grant of £25,000 toward this project. Again, by getting a major funder on board will help the Trust find other funding sources. Plans have been drawn up for a small study centre and local businesses asked to provide quotations. Quotations have also been requested for the upgrade of existing paths and a new path through the centre of the wood. Discussions are continuing with the FCS and D&G Council to secure a management agreement. At a recent committee meeting Dumfries & Galloway Council have indicated that they are content to enter an agreement with the KDT subject to a competent business plan being completed.
We are looking to form a larger steering committee to develop ideas for the wood and if you would like to get involved with this project please contact Rob Asbridge at firstname.lastname@example.org