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Land Reform Consultation

February 3, 2015

You can find out more about the Scottish Government’s current consultation here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0046/00464887.pdf

And you can submit your own response here: https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/land-reform-and-tenancy-unit/land-reform-scotland/

Deadline 10th February so don’t tarry!

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And for some extra reading try this: http://www.andywightman.com/

this http://ruralhousingscotland.org/land-reform  and this: https://calummacleodblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/scottish-land-reform-in-2015/

Rock and Roll!

January 26, 2015

Fancy a breath of fresh air? Getting out and about and exploring? The new North West Highlands Geopark newsletter is out! It’s full of information on exciting events coming soon including a Fire and Ice Geo-hike in February, guided tours and workshops. Click on the link below and read all about it.

NW Highlands Geopark Newsletter

If you are coming from further afield and looking for accommodation in Coigach visit coigach.com for local information provided by Achiltibuie Tourist Association.

Coigach

Project Manager Wanted

January 20, 2015

SWT Logo

 

Project Manager – Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape Project

(Fixed Term until 31 December 2016)

£23- £28k

35 hours per week/Job share considered

 CALL group

We are looking for a highly motivated individual to lead on the ongoing development of the pioneering Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape Project (CALL).  This is a groundbreaking partnership currently comprising of 12  partners working together to deliver landscape scale conservation management and community benefits over an area of 70,000 hectares in the North West of Scotland.

As Project Manager you will work closely with a number of organisations and individuals, locally and nationally, to develop and deliver a range of environmental, social and economic projects in the area.  You will have excellent all round project management, communication and organisational skills, strong nature conservation knowledge and a sound understanding of rural community issues in Scotland.  Importantly, you will have the enthusiasm and initiative to make things happen.

Applicants should be educated to degree level in a relevant discipline, self-motivated and able to demonstrate achievements in partnership working and environmental and / or community projects.  Ideally, the successful candidate will be based or willing to relocate to the project area.

For click on the link for job description:

CALL Project Manager JOB DESCRIPTION January 2015

 For further information and an application form please go to:

www.swt.org.uk, email recruitment@swt.org.uk, or contact the HR Manager, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Harbourside House, 110 Commercial Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6NF

Closing date for applications:  Monday 16th February 2015

Interview date likely to be week beginning 23 February 2015

 

The Scottish Wildlife Trust is committed to equal opportunities.

 

A letter from Flensburg

January 14, 2015
by

We are looking forward to welcoming our visitors from Flensburg (see The Flensburg Connection below) and they are getting ready to travel to Coigach in mid February (not mid Jan which I had before!!!).  In advance of their arrival the students have kindly sent a letter of introduction but if you are out and about in Achiltibuie during their stay, you’ll be able to meet them in person.

Interested in running Acheninver Youth Hostel?

January 12, 2015

Hostel front view

Acheninver (or Achininver) Youth Hostel has been an iconic part of the local landscape for a long time. A former croft house, it became a youth hostel in the 1930’s when hiking and hosteling was the new big thing. Since then people of all ages (some more youthful than others) have stayed here: walked The Rock (the Postman’s Path from Ullapool); climbed the local hills, enjoyed the scenery and made friends. Many have returned and remember the hostel fondly as their introduction to the area – and some have never left!

Happy Hostellers in 1946

Happy Hostellers in 1946

Summer 2015 looks like it will be the hostel’s last in its current form as the Scottish Youth Hostel Association (SYHA) are giving up their lease on the building; it is currently owned by Scottish Wildlife Trust as part of the Ben Mor Estate. At present, the future looks uncertain but we feel there is an opportunity to create a new future for the hostel. The accommodation is basic but the location is stunning and there is currently a shortage of short-stay, budget accommodation in the area.

Nothing is set in stone, and we are discussing various options but would welcome comment or notes of interest from anyone who might be interested in taking over the lease and running the hostel as their own business. It would suit someone one with energy and enthusiasm, and an interest in outdoor activities who would like to develop a business but perhaps does not have the capital to buy a property and start from scratch. It’s not going to make anyone a millionaire but there is the opportunity to increase business through extending the season (the hostel is only open in the summer months) and encouraging group activity bookings, or reducing the dormitory accommodation and offering a slightly more luxurious stay in private rooms. It may also be possible to benefit from SYHA’s advice and ongoing support as an affiliate. All is subject to negotiation and agreement with SYHA, SWT and CCDC.

Accommodation:

Common room with kitchen area, upstairs Dormitory (8 beds), downstairs dormitory (8 beds?), family room (4 beds), warden’s accommodation, showers/toilets, sheds.

Access is by foot along the burn from the car park at Achavraie – there is a rough path but only passable by appropriate vehicle (quad, 4×4). The path continues down the Acheninver burn to the sea where there is a sandy beach.

If you would like to know more and are considering an exciting challenge in one of the most beautiful parts of the world (we have stunning scenery AND a friendly community!) please get in touch. You might even like to come and stay this summer and see for yourself.  Or if you stayed in the past and have happy memories, or would like to make some suggestions for improvement please let us know.

Coigach is part of a National Scenic Area and the North West Highlands Geopark. The hostel overlooks Loch Broom and the Summer Isles and is a 25 mile drive from Ullapool (where the ferry departs for Stornoway and the Western Isles). There is a very rough path from Ullapool round the base of Ben Mor Coigach –  suitable only for experienced and very hardy walkers. Or you could come by small boat or canoe as there is a sandy beach nearby.

Contact: Julia Campbell, Local Development Officer, CCDC

email:      info@coigachcommunity.org.uk

phone:     01854 622 379 (home)

write:      Coigach Community Hall, Achiltibuie, Ullapool IV26 2YL

tweet:    @coigachcdc

facebook:   Coigach Community Development Company

visit: fly/train to Inverness, bus to Ullapool, bus to Achiltibuie – or drive approximately 25 miles north of Ullapool.

From the Album….

Hostel Acheninver Burn

Achiltibuie Schoolhouse: another step forward

December 15, 2014
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Achiltibuie Schoolhouse gate Highland Council Resources Committee has approved the transfer of Achiltibuie Schoolhouse to the Coigach Community Development Company on terms to be finalised with the Director of Development and Infrastructure. This good news means we may shortly be working with Highland Small Communities Housing Trust (HSCHT) to transform the vacant schoolhouse into two flats for rent. The plan is to lease the building to HSCHT who have the expertise and experience to take the project forward, oversee construction work and manage the tenancies. We are very happy with the working relationship we have with HSCHT and are grateful to them for their advice and support so far. Through HSCHT, substantial funding is already in place thanks to Nationwide Foundation (Shelter Empty Homes Initiative) and we are optimistic about attracting more to ensure a high standard of development. Although tenancies will be managed by HSCHT, CCDC and the community will have a say in the criteria for tenancy, eg: key worker, family connections,  someone working or coming to work in Coigach and/or able to demonstrate social and economic benefit to the community. The plan is to convert this solid Victorian house into two flats: one downstairs with access by the existing front door, and the other upstairs with access round the back. With the addition of modern insulation, new wiring and an energy-efficient heating system we are looking forward to seeing two cosy, comfortable homes and a few more people living  in the heart of the village. Achiltibuie schoolhouse playgroundThe “before” picture – note the wobbly chimney pot and overgrown garden. “Requires substantial upgrading but offers delightful views of the Summer Isles and Loch Broom. Convenient for local amenities including the community hall …. and school”

Article in West Highland Free Press 2 Jan 2015

Article in West Highland Free Press 2 Jan 2015

The Flensburg Connection

November 24, 2014
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Flensburg

Flensburg

This Summer, Ullapool will welcome the new Caledonian MacBrayne ferry, the MV Loch Seaforth built and launched in Flensburg, (Germany, near the Danish border). The Loch Seaforth made a brief visit to Loch Broom recently and there was much celebratory tooting  in the Minch as she and the current ferry, MV Isle of Lewis, passed each other near the Summer Isles.  Work continues at Ullapool Harbour for the bigger, better boat but meanwhile we have our own visitors from Flensburg.

In February we are looking forward to welcoming a group of international students based at Flensburg University. The students are led by Professor Wulf Boie of the Interdisciplinary Institute for Environmental, Social and Human Studies in the Department of Energy and Environment Management. The group plan to stay in Coigach for about five weeks and will undertake several case studies relevant to their course. Suggestions include looking at ways to improve energy efficiency in local buildings and possible local uses for locally generated renewable energy. Although they will be busy with their study work most of the time, we plan a few social events so that they can get to know members of the community and vice versa. As the students themselves come from all over the world there is bound to be some opportunity for world cuisine … and they may even bring some lovely Flensburg beer. Watch this space!

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