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Community Woodlands

Clydebelt attempted to follow complex ever-changing stories about Community Woodlands being developed in the Kilpatrick Hills. The Forestry Authority assured us that no landowner would receive a grant under this scheme until the local community, including Clydebelt, were satisfied with the plans.

The first application by Roland Park, who had bought Cochnohill Farm in about 1992, was abandonned in 1993 when he sold the farm after deciding that his investment wouldn't be safe from vandalism. The land was then bought by a group (Ferrier, Brogan and Hughes) who formed Kilpatrick Woodlands, and put in an almost identical application for a Community Woodland grant for 370 hectares of new woodlands in the Kilpatrick Hills. They met our secretary in Dec 1993 and chairman in Jan 1994 to explain their plans.

Clydebelt submitted the following points to the Forestry Authority, after a Clydebelt consultation meeting on 21st February 1994 with representatives of Clydebank Community Council Forum and of local groups of Friends of the Earth, Ramblers' Association and Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Clydebelt would have approved the plans shown to us for the Kilpatrick Community Woodlands providing the following points of concern are addressed satisfactorily:

  1. The hilltops will be left unplanted, and views of the hill tops from each other, from the Greenside Reservoir, and from those urban parts of Clydebank which have views at present will not be obscured by trees.
  2. Right of access for walkers to all parts of the former Cochnohill Farm will be granted (with respect for the privacy of the farmhouse). The unplanted parts of land must not be allowed to deteriorate eg through waterlogging or erosion.
  3. The Kilpatrick Hills "Sensitive Area" designation by Strathclyde Regional Council will be respected, and no changes will be made that do not satisfy the present Regional Structure Plan.
  4. The proportion of open ground will not be less than the maximum permitted by the rules governing grant aid, and will include at least one North to South corridor, at least 200m wide, within the West boundary of the land along the lower slopes of Duncolm.
  5. No changes will be made to the land between Cochnohill Farm and Cochno Road which will adversely affect its Green Belt nature. This includes anything, eg the construction of a new road, which might tempt developers to seek planning permission for building. The present plans for new roads and car parking are too intrusive.
  6. A traffic impact study is carried out and satisfies the road authority that Cochno Road will not be dangerously overloaded by extra traffic.
  7. Car parking is not allowed at any point above 175m.

By Nov 1994 the Forestry Authority had received disapproving comments from Clydebank District Council and SNH, and eventually nothing came of the plan, and Community Woodlands weren't planted on Cochnohill Farm.

In 1998 544ha of Cochnohill Farm was sold to Michael O'Loughlin. The new owner joined Clydebelt and discussed his plans at general meetings. He planted 250 acres with native broadleaved trees. Responsible access was welcomed. Unfortunately he suffered assault, and vandalism to trees and fences, and sold out.

Sub-topics index: other pages on our Kilpatrick's campaigns
|Seven square miles of hills for developers  |   Raving Mad  |   Medical Technology Laboratories  |   Edinbarnet Saved  |  Community Woodlands | Football stadium  | Drums - garage not house  |  Extension to Douglas Muir Quarry   |  Windfarm proposal |  Equestrian Centre |
back to Kilpatrick's campaigns main page created 13/3/96, modified 7/1/05 by Dutyhog.