SEEING THE WOOD FOR THE TREES
Islay suffers from a lack of available land for community development, including housing, and has no ‘circular’ solution for its forestry – in other words, one that makes full use of locally-grown resources.
Through a Scottish Land Fund development application, IDI has secured 264 acres of Cornabus forest.
We have a range of options being scrutinised, from affordable-to-buy housing to woodland crofts. Long-term, we intend to develop small artisan-based businesses and reverse the absence of circular economy in our wood supply.
FUNDING AND SUSTAINABILITY
Initial funding will come from the harvesting of mature spruce trees, which will also yield wood for other projects.
A development plan is being drafted to satisfy as many of the community’s priorities as can be achieved. These were included in our consultation document before we purchased the forest.
It is likely that putting the forest to good use will address a wide range of issues which Islay’s community faces.
Right now, the general Islay community is behind the project.
By acquiring this land, we can offer community development opportunities for many years. For instance:
A community-owned-and-run sawmill for local wood will provide a sustainable solution to lack of planning in the supply chain
Locally-designed affordable-to-buy housing that overcomes many inevitable hurdles will enable us to build locally and devise a solution that can be exported.
This project might tie in with other local groups such as the Energy Trust, as any solution would undoubtedly include use of renewable energy.