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Case Studies > Doune Community Woodland

Doune - Moray Estates

Case Study Doune Community Woodland Doune - Moray Estates
Case Study Doune Community Woodland Moray Estates entered into a management agreement with the Doune Community Woodland Group in November 2014 for an area of woodland known as Doune Ponds. Doune Ponds are a former sand and gravel extraction quarry that, since the 1970’s when gravel extraction ceased, have been managed for trees and wildlife. Originally, the Ponds were managed by Stirling Council but following a change in policy at the Council, where they stopped managing land that they did not own, they were returned to the Estate in 2014.

The local community immediately expressed an interest in managing the area with a view towards improving the area for public access and wildlife. The Ponds had been somewhat neglected prior to the Council relinquishing their management input and the community felt that they could make a good job of it.

To date much has been done in terms of both managing the ponds and improving the visitor facilities. This has included tree felling to open up vistas of the main pond, the installation of new paths, the repair and replacement of steps, repair and maintenance of access infrastructure including picnic tables and benches, bird hides and bridges, a huge amount of weeding and general tidying of neglected woodland. All this has been done through the work of volunteers.

The estate has made a significant contribution both financially by matching fundraising and donating to cover material costs of specific projects, as well as giving up the time of various staff members to both the committee and to practical volunteer effort. As well as the practical work that has been achieved, a great deal of community based activities have taken place including an Easter Egg Hunt, wildlife-related activities for kids in the summer holidays, and a Family Fund Day.

The legacy of this partnership between the estate and the local community will be an area where wildlife can be appreciated by all in a safe environment within the envelope of the town of Doune. The initiative has largely been an organic development based on mutual trust between the local community and the estate, relying on the enthusiasm of both sides to make it a success.

The Doune Community Woodland Group were awarded winners of the 2017 Small Community Woodland Award. The award, which includes a wooden plaque and a £1000 cash prize, was made on 23 June 2017 at the Royal Highland Show and is a huge achievement for the volunteer Group. Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards celebrate the contribution that woodlands can make to the people, environment and economic prosperity of Scotland.

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