ORGANISATION // The North Harris Trust
PROJECT // Ardvourlie Woodland Observatory
TOTAL PROJECT COST // £50,202
LEADER FUNDING PROVIDED // £25,101
The main part of the project is the construction of a new building in the community woodland at Ardvourlie. The project originated from a community consultation meeting held in Scaladale in late 2017. This highlighted the fantastic resource we have in the 100ha broadleaf plantation that was created as part of the Millenium Forest programme. Since the meeting we have worked with the local crofters to create a design and seek planning approval for the new building.
Ardvourlie Community Woodland lies on the main spinal route through the islands. It has good public transport links and has a large number of visitors passing by each summer.
The Woodland Observatory will sit at an elevated position offering 270 degree views over Loch Seaforth and up the Vigidale valley. Sitting on the existing circular path, the Woodland Observatory will be a signed destination for visitors, allowing them to rest and shelter half way round the route. They will be able to watch the increasing number of birds in the maturing woodland and learn about the local environment.
Following the construction of the building, we plan to utilise the North Harris Ranger Service to deliver a series of events focussing on the woodland environment -based in the Woodland Observatory. Donations made at these events will contribute to the upkeep of the facilities and the local path network. We will use the facility to deliver outdoor education on landscape management. We have also consulted with the local Astronomy group to create a dark-sky location. With limited light pollution and a good northerly outlook, the site will be advertised for Northern Lights watching.