North Sutherland Community group applies to NFLS

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The North Sutherland Community Forestry Trust (NSCFT) has applied to the National Forest Land Scheme (NFLS) to purchase 484.5ha of the Dyke and Forsinain plantations in North Sutherland, as well as the 82ha heritage sites at Rosal and Truderscaig.

The Scheme, administered by Forestry Commission Scotland, gives communities the opportunity to bid to buy or lease national forest land on the basis that it provides increased public benefits.

The Trust aims to secure a long term timber supply to help re-establish the NSCFT sawmill, providing jobs, revenue and training opportunities for local communities. It also aims to improve recreation and educational opportunities by creating new paths, cycle paths and forest shelters.

The Trust will also explore opportunities to develop the potential of the renowned heritage sites for the benefit of the local community.

An open consultation period is required by the scheme and public comments on any aspect of the proposal are welcome.

Details of the application can be viewed on line at and all comments on the proposals detailed in the application must be submitted by 19 January 2010.

Responses and comments should be addressed to Malcolm Wield, Forestry Commission Scotland, Highland Conservancy, 'Woodlands', Fodderty Way, Dingwall, Ross-shire, IV15 9XB or to 

Forestry Commission Scotland has a policy of making these comments publicly available, unless requested to keep comments confidential.

1) Forestry Commission Scotland serves as the Scottish Government’s forestry directorate and manages the 667,000 hectare national forest estate. The Commission’s woodlands are making a difference to the well being of Scotland’s people and their communities. Local woodlands act as a catalyst for communities to meet up, get involved with projects and volunteering, or simply enjoy the many walking trails, bike rides and peace and quiet that forests and woodlands can offer. By developing more woodlands, especially near towns and cities, woodlands can also improve healthier lifestyles and bring a boost to urban development across Scotland.

2) Any responses will be passed back to the community body making the application, which then has 28 days to respond to submissions.

Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0131 314 6507.