For Glenan Community Wood to be viable in the long term, we need to develop an income that can pay core costs and enable us to undertake activities to improve the woodland and maintain it for future generations. This core income is even more crucial in the current climate as grant income becomes harder and harder to access.
Our Feasibility Study and Business Plan identifies the need for Friends of Glenan Wood to develop a sustainable income and outlines various low-impact income-generating projects. One of these is a low-impact eco-accommodation project, in the form of either a bunkhouse, eco pods or a mix of both. Built using local wood, these would be environmentally friendly and would be situated on a carefully chosen location that would not impact on the core woodland. It could also include space for six campervan stands with electric hook up.
Over the past six months we have developed this project, formulating ideas, designs and possible locations. We would like to share these with the you, the local community, to get your thoughts and ideas. Nothing is set in stone. These are draft proposals and we are seeking your feedback.
There are a number of different ideas. Please have a read, a look at the draft plans and then provide your feedback using the online survey (link at the bottom of the page). It is likely that the project will be developed in stages as we do not have funding to implement everything at once. When lockdown is over, we would like to propose an onsite community meeting, giving you further opportunity to give your opinions.
The accommodation would be primarily aimed at walkers (particularly those walking the Cowal Way), cyclists, kayakers and other people who would be looking for a simple yet comfortable place to stay for a night or two. Our proposal is for a small number of huts/pods made using local wood. These would be unobtrusive and sit within the landscape. We propose a total of six of these.
We also propose a community space which could include kitchen and toilet facilities, as well as a potentially a reception/office, education centre, community facility and a bike/kayak/paddle board storage facility. This could also enable weekend workshops and events to take place here, such as green woodworking, volunteer parties and foraging. This could also include bunkhouse accommodation.
Location for the eco-accommodation
Choosing a sensitive site for the eco accommodation is paramount. Glenan’s ‘naturalness’ is what is most appealing to locals and visitors and we do not want to impact on the community’s enjoyment of this unique and special woodland. However, there are a few pockets of non-native woodland sitting at the edge of Glenan that, after much discussion, we have identified as potential sites for the accommodation project.
A – This is the cleared area located across the track from the Chip Shop. Access is via the Chip Shop track. This was one of the areas we initially identified, but after much consideration felt it was the the least preferred of our options. It is a good location in the sense that it would have the least impact on the woodland, but it is not a particularly scenic spot and has an industrial feel with the abandoned Chip Shop across the track We are not convinced that people would want to stay there.
B – This is the scrubby woodland area to your right as you drive down the road towards Portavadie Marina. It sits between the road and the burn. It’s a scenic spot, leading down to the burn. Parking and the main building with toilets etc. could be built just by the road, with huts/pods dotted among the wooded area.
C – This is the site of the original Boys Brigade (BB) hut, which was knocked down and moved to Stillaig in the 1970s during the oil rig development at Portavadie. It sits at across at the other side of the burn. If the accommodation was to be situated here, we would suggest access across a wooden footbridge over the burn, rather than access via the current carpark and gate. This is perhaps the most scenic spot, situated next the the burn and looking out over the grassy area. However, it is potentially more intrusive on the public’s enjoyment of the grassy area at Glenan. There is an option to site a few huts/pods here, and some more isolated ones in Area B as well.
Please note that all these sites would have their own parking and access so would not impact on the current parking area.
We would love to know your thoughts. Please fill out this short survey. There are just six questions. The closing date for the survey is Monday June 22nd.
and access to Glenan.