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The project was established in 1997 as a co-operative arrangement of six economic development, forestry and conservation organisations. Substantial additional support was provided through the Millennium Forest for Scotland Trust.
The project employs 8 full-time and one part-time staff.
Woodland in Ayrshire
Ayrshire has approximately
21% tree cover, most of which is conifer plantation established
over the last 30 years. Only 2% is considered to be ancient or semi-natural in origin and the bulk of this is fragmented, often neglected, blocks of less than 5ha restricted to steep burn and river valley slopes. These broadleaf woodlands are recognised to be amongst our most valuable areas for biodiversity. In addition they make a substantial contribution to the landscape character of Ayrshire and offer great potential for recreational access, rural employment and environmental education.
What we do
We seek to secure and expand native and amenity woodland cover by providing professional services in relation to woodland design and survey, land restoration, preparation of management plans, application for funding, organisation and supervision of contract works.
We seek to develop access and recreation opportunities within woodland by constructing and maintaining appropriate paths and tracks, waymarking and publicising of routes and links to wider outdoor access networks.
We manage an Intermediate Labour Market programme in forestry skills for long-term unemployed in East Ayrshire.
We seek to engage and support local communities in the management of woodlands by undertaking participatory appraisal, assisting establishment of community woodland groups, facilitating local networking and organising practical volunteering opportunities.
We promote and deliver environmental education linked to woodlands by participating in the Ayrshire Forest Education Cluster, installing interpretation boards in woodlands, organising guided walks and practical training events.
We support the activity
of individuals and local sub-contractors working with woodland products and
in woodlands by enhancing access to tendering opportunities, specifying local
hardwood for site signs and furniture, facilitating networking between woodland
owners and woodland craft workers, operating a community tree nursery and
promoting woodland and countryside crafts at local events.
Facts and figures
£650,000 - £700, 000
40% Woodland & Access Management
40% ILM Programme for long-term unemployed
10% Community Development & Environmental Education
New Amenity Woodland
265ha on 43 sites
195ha on 24 sites
27km within 67 sites
64 long-term unemployed into work
>400 Certificated Qualifications achieved