THE RADICAL ROWAN
                                     The newsletter of Reforesting Scotland:
                                       restoring the land and the people
                               No 33 Winter 2006/07

         Rural Alternatives – forging ahead
N      ow that the project is up and
       running, the four community
       groups involved with Rural
Alternatives (RA) have spent much of
                                               participants also raised the possibility of
                                               starting a longer-term project focusing on
                                               natural dyes and traditional crafts.
                                                                                             August was a significant month for the
                                                                                             Culag group as an information evening
                                                                                             was held at the village hall, which was
                                                                                             attended by 17 people - an excellent start.
their time organising and running              The ‘introduction to bee-keeping’
training and workshops focused on              workshop focused on equipment, the
delivering the community benefits from         tasks of the beekeeper during the year
Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs).            and good pollen/nectar plant species.
                                               This will be followed up with further
The Sunart Oakwoods local coordinator,         sessions in the spring, when a thatching
Isabel Isherwood, ran a very successful        course is also being planned.
series of autumn workshops which were
co-funded by the local ‘Sgillean na coille’    The Kirkhill and Bunchrew group held a
project. The ‘fungi identification and uses’   series of three winemaking workshops
workshop covered the basics of                 which were led by Les Bates, the local co-
                                               coordinator, and Sheila Bates. Les has also     An introduction to bee-keeping
                                               produced a handbook on wine
                                               production. Further workshops have           The meeting delivered a definitive list of
                                               been carried out by Sue Blanney, who         17 priority NTFPs and interests for the
                                               trained community members in the art         Assynt community. The meeting also
                                               and science of producing chutneys, jams      produced a list of the training and
                                               and preserves, and a two-day transect-       information required by the community
                                               walk and survey workshop run by Alison       to address their interests, which the local
                                               Dyke was carried out with the Kirkhill       coordinator, Hilary MacDonald, has
                                               and Bunchrew community on 8 October.         subsequently focused project activities on.
                                               Les has also tirelessly promoted the RA      Hilary has taken the priority NTFP list
     ‘Natural dying’ workshop                  project at a series of events which have     forward by researching ways to develop
                                               included local Scout groups and schools,     birch syrup, seed-collecting for sale to
identification followed by a fungi foray       as well as a talk and display                                          nurseries, the
to allow the participants to observe           at Inverness College.                                                  use of bracken
habitats and identification features in the                                                                           for     organic
field. Specimens were collected for further    Sadly, Damhnait de Brun,                                               farming and the
studies indoors. Sixty species were            who was local co-                                                      possibility of
recorded with emphasis being placed on         ordinator for Doon of May,                                             supplying edible
edible species and those used for dying.       near Newton Stewart, had                                               NTFPs          to
                                               to return to Ireland at the                                            North West
The ‘wild food cookery’ workshop was           beginning of August. A                                                 Sutherland
attended by six people, two of whom            series of workshops had                                                Food Links,
were professional cooks working locally.       been prepared and so far                                               which has a stall
It is hoped that these cooks might play a      one of these has gone               Know your mushrooms!               at events in the
part in helping to boost awareness and         ahead: a ‘green wood                                                   North West.
use of NTFPs for food in the local area,       working’ course held over three days in Community members also participated in
thereby creating a potentially synergistic     August. The community at the Doon is a series of ‘transect walk’ workshops in
output from the project, and supporting        currently debating re-focusing the three local woodlands to identify locally
growth of the local economy.                   project on building a nursery to grow available NTFPs and a ‘Local-Provenance
                                               native tree seed collected both from the Tree-Seed Collection Information Day’
The ‘natural dyes’ workshop focused on         Doon and nearby. Seedlings would be with Mark Banham who owns a small tree
which species to use and was attended by       both sold to generate income and also nursery near Dornoch and collects seeds
a group keen to apply these skills to          used to sensitively replace the local exotic for his nursery.
spinning, weaving and knitting. The            forest cover with native species.                                            Jake Paul

   page 1                                                                The Radical Rowan No 33 Winter 2006/07
 RS 2006 Gathering News
  T     he 2006 Reforesting Scotland
        Annual        Gathering
        held in the village
  of Falkland, in Fife, from
                                         Falkland Castle from Macduff, the
                                         Thane of Fife.

                                                  Unlike the Picts, who had built
                                                                                        The theme of this year’s Gathering was
                                                                                        ‘Low-energy living and stewardship of
                                                                                        the land’, tying in with both the latest
                                                                                        issue of Reforesting Scotland (issue 35
  6 – 8 October. This is an                       a fort on the East Lomond for         ‘Rethinking Energy’) and the work of
  area teeming with history                       defensive purposes, the Stewarts      the Falkland Centre for Stewardship.
  and we only managed to                          were most interested in Falkland
  scratch the surface during                      as a place of sport and relaxation.   In this issue of the Radical Rowan,
  our weekend there.                              The name of Falkland is               you will find a selection of workshop
  Falkland is situated at the                     associated with falconry, which       reports, site visits and guest speakers.
  foot of the Lomond Hills                        was one of the popular sports in      But such short articles never do the
  in Fife. It shot to                             the area and the Howe of Fife         Gathering justice. Please do try to
  importance in the 14th                          with its vast forests was ideal for   come along next year, when we hope
  century when the Stewart                        hawking as well as hunting deer       to be in the Highlands, celebrating the
  monarchy acquired                               and wild boar.                        year of Highland culture!

                                Fife Buildings Tour
T     his year’s buildings tour started at primary 7 asked us what we thought
       the Scottish Lime Centre of it and was obviously pleased that we
       (see, in had considered it worthy of a visit.
Charlestown. Roz Artis-Young
                                                                                        not easy. Tiles have been reclaimed, a lot
                                                                                        of timber is local and milled on-site and
                                                                                        they have run two 2-week training
                                                                                        courses, with Henry Russell, which
explained the history of Charlestown, its Next off to Inzievar Woods, by Oakley,        brings in help and enables others to learn
limeworks and lime production. where Maggie and Jim Birley run                          about restoration. A lot of hard work but
Charlestown is a ‘planned                                   Scottish Wood, an           immensely satisfying.
                                                        Photo: Steve Robertson

village’ dating from the mid-                               innovative project
18th century, founded by                                    born from extensive         Another excellent buildings tour was
Charles Elgin to house local                                and ongoing research        completed with a trip to Blairadam Forest
workers. Charlestown today                                  into the woodland           Park, where Irene Brady of Kelty
is no longer the industrial                                 culture in Fife.            Heritage Trails explained their work as she
centre it once was but                                      Scottish Wood is the        led us along one of the trails. There was
contains valuable evidence of                               trading arm of the          just one tree

                                                                                                                                      Photo: Sally Macpherson
its past activities. The Lime                               Dynamic Woods, a            when Scottish
Centre conducts research,                                   Scottish charity that       architect
produces publications and                                   brings together local       William Adam
provides specialist advice and                              communities,                bought       the
training in the use of lime-                                environmentalists,          estate of Blair
based materials for the                                     landowners and local        Crambeth in
conservation and repair of Henry Russell’s work at          businesses to promote       1733. This great
Scotland’s        traditional          Sheardrum            the      sustainable        ash, known as
buildings.                                                  development        of       “the      tree”,
                                            woodland resources to boost the local       survived near
Next we visited Torryburn Community economy and create genuine local                    Blairadam
Garden, a project which Linda Muir employment and training opportunities.               House until the
spoke about at our Ormsary Gathering You can read more about Scottish Wood              early      20th
in 2004. It was great to see how this in issue 30 of Reforesting Scotland.              century. It was
derelict site across from the local                                                     amazing to
primary school has been transformed, After lunch in Inzievar Woods, it was off          think that this
with the help of the school children, to Sheardrum, Saline, where Ali Hibbert           wonderful
into an oasis of wildlife and a source of is restoring and extending farm               mixed wood Blairadam totem pole
home-grown food in just 2 years. Not buildings, using timber and unfired                was once a busy
only did the children help to create this bricks. Ali and her partner have lived        industrial area;
garden, it now serves as an outdoor here for 7 years but, as the buildings were         remnants of past coal mining can still be
classroom, where the children learn in a worse condition than realised, the             found within the forest. Our walk ended
about growing plants, making compost work is never-ending! They are trying              at one of Kenny Grieves’ totem poles,
and nature in general. And they are proud to use a mix of ‘sustainable’ and             made by three first nation Canadians with
of it. As we walked back, Clare from ‘affordable’ which, as Ali confirmed, is           help from the local community.

The Radical Rowan No 33 Winter 2006/07                                                                             page 2
                                         RS 2006 Gathering News
    Fife Green Map project                                                                                RS Home
S     aturday morning kicked off with
      Mike Trevett’s inspiring talk about
      community mapping or ‘green
maps’. Mike is the Chair of WECAN, a
                                              knowledge, action and responsibility.
                                              Green maps are created locally to chart
                                              the natural and cultural environment as
                                              perceived by those who live there. Today
                                                                                                     T    he idea of a ‘home’ for Reforesting
                                                                                                          Scotland (RS Home) first arose
                                                                                                          during the Staff and Directors’
                                                                                                     meeting at Glenfeshie in March 2006. It
local environmental group with an             there are 350 green maps in 50 countries.              came from several discussions: how to
exciting food project (read more about                                                               build up an RS reserve fund; supporting
that in the Spring 2007 issue of              Mike then told of his experiences                      forest-related businesses; having a ‘centre
Reforesting Scotland) and also works for      working on green mapping in north-east                 of excellence’ and/or skills training base;
Action for Change. Action for Change          Alloa, in Clackmannanshire. Because                    and a place to hold members’ events and
is the focal point for the Earth Charter      green maps show what the community                     possibly even the office. Furthermore,
in Scotland and the registered green map      values, a good start is to ask people where            having a real RS forest is an aspiration
makers for Fife and Clackmannanshire.         they would take their visitors: good                   which some members have had for a long
                                              shops, nice walks, favourite pub or cafe               time, although RS is well aware of the
For everyone to live like Europeans do,       and so on. The first Clackmannanshire                  problems of becoming an absentee
we would need three planets. Added to         green map covered Sauchie,                             landowner or taking up land and
this are the problems of population           Coalsnaughton and Fishcross. These                     accommodation which could be used by
growth and resource depletion. Mike           areas all have their problems, for instance            local people for affordable housing.
pointed out that if the Chinese went          Sauchie played host to the first dispersal
‘green’ on transport and housing they         orders. But moving a problem is not                    So this idea was put to members at the
could change those industries globally.       addressing it.                                         Gathering. There was a workshop on the
Today’s markets only consider Gross                                                                  idea and all who attended the Gathering
National Product (GNP) and rarely          Local schools and young people all                        were sent a paper, written by Donald
address positive developments towards      contributed to the map and local                          McPhillimy, and invited to let us know
sustainable living because we, the         authorities were alerted to problems they                 their thoughts. The first question posed
consumers, don’t demand such things        had no idea about. Who really knows an                    at the workshop was, “What does ‘RS
en masse.                                  area, its strengths and its weaknesses, better            Home’ mean?” Is it a building, a
                                           than those who live there? Once the                       woodland to manage, would it be rented
Sustainable communities                                             Council knows of a               or purchased? Is it even the right path
                                                                Photo: Steve Robertson

are not an option – they are                                        problem, such as                 for RS to consider?
essential      if    future                                         discarded needles
generations are to be able                                          under a bridge, it can           The Pishwanton project in East Lothian
to meet their own needs.                                            tackle it. Mike’s                was raised as a good example. Pishwanton
But this is a difficult                                             work also includes               Wood is a 60-acre site situated in the
message to get across to                                            Green Agent Teams,               Lammermuir Hills with a Life Sciences
most people. We need to                                             whereby school                   Centre on-site, which enables
develop new ways of                                                 children not only                demonstration of the project’s work. It
thinking. Communities                                               feed problems in to              was agreed that a site visit to Pishwanton
often hang on to a past                                             the local authorities,           would be beneficial, and this is to be
long-gone, such as the         Round bench welcomes                 they        actually             organised by workshop delegates.
mining communities of visitors to Falkland Estate                   monitor whether
Fife or Lanarkshire or the                                          the problem has                  RS already has a Forest Sharing discussion
shipping communities on the Clyde. been remedied. It was quite an eye-opener                         group (see Radical Rowan issue 32, page
These industries ceased to exist decades to learn that now Council officers are going                4), which is looking at how a group of
ago, yet the local community still relates into local schools to report back on their                people with similar aspirations (and not
to this earlier period, and seems unable progress! Such schemes have also made                       much money!) can buy and share a
to move on.                                children and police, for example,                         woodland. The difference between forest
                                           communicate rather than being seen as two                 sharing and an RS Home is that an RS
So what are green maps? The idea began opposing sides in some community                              Home would be for all RS members
in 1992, when New York developed the battleground. In these days of ASBO                             whereas forest sharing is being pursued
‘Green Apple Map’, which was obsession, I was really touched by this                                 by a small group of interested people.
produced by young people and listed all demonstration of welcoming the
the features which they felt were dispossessed back into the fold.                                   This stimulated a discussion on what
worthwhile and important, such as good                                                               might be a good location; RS is perceived
bookshops, bicycle shops, places to buy For more information on this project, see                    by some as being Edinburgh-based
ethnic foods and so on. The Green Map w w w. g r e e n m a p . o r g / g r m a p s /                 simply because that is where the office is.
System is a global eco-cultural europe.html#fife                                                     It was suggested that RS could be a
movement, energised by local                                                                                           continued on page 5

  page 3                                                                                 The Radical Rowan No 33 Winter 2006/07
 RS 2006 Gathering News
   A new pulp and paper mill in Scotland?
F    orscot, a small group of forest
     industry entrepreneurs, is
     promoting a proposal to build a mill
at Invergordon, in Easter Ross, to make
                                              •      The Forscot plan is to export the
                                                     vast majority of the pulp and paper
                                                     that the mill produces to lucrative
                                                     markets in Europe and North
                                                                                           need not be clear-felled, but could be
                                                                                           thinned and managed to allow some
                                                                                           trees to grow to full maturity, while
                                                                                           introducing mixed native species,
pulp and paper from Sitka spruce. Vast               America, rather than meeting the      although it was accepted that thinning
quantities of Sitka were planted in the              needs of UK paper consumers.          can leave trees weakened and prone to
post-war years in the biggest expansion       •      The mill would consume 40 per         wind-throw.
of tree cover Scotland has seen since the            cent of Scotland’s timber at the
last ice-age, and it is now reaching                 peak of projected timber supply,      Another dilemma is that while the
maturity, with supplies projected to                 consuming almost all of the           Forscot proposal would use a less energy
nearly double in the next 15 years. Given            projected increase in supply from     intensive chemical (as opposed to
that the UK currently imports 80 per                 current levels, and would therefore   mechanical) process, chemical processing
cent of the forest products we consume,              either inhibit competing wood-        uses three times more tree to produce the
half of which is pulp and paper, from                users (such as bio-energy or          same amount of paper. Chemical
other people’s forests, surely it is a good          sawmills) or end up by importing      processing is becoming increasingly
idea to use some of our home-grown                   even more wood, or both.              popular as fossil fuel prices rise.
wood to make paper, thus reducing the         •      The mill would cost £1 billion to     Discussions led to the conclusion that
size of our global forest footprint?                 build, and yet only create 500        paper is actually a very precious resource
                                                     jobs. Although 500 jobs would be      – one which we have taken for granted.
The answer, as always, is ‘yes, but’. Here           a big boost to Invergordon, that      In the UK, we use an average of 250kg
are five ‘buts’:                                     is £2 million per job. Surely there   per person per year – the challenge must
•       A massive Sitka-munching                     are more cost effective ways to       be to reduce that demand and campaign
        monolith on this scale will                  stimulate employment in the           for recycling facilities. Newspapers have
        encourage foresters to replant               Highlands, and better ways to use     a legal minimum requirement to contain
        with more monoculture even-age               our wood resources to encourage       65 per cent or more of recycled paper
        plantations of Sitka spruce.                 job-creation?                         but glossy magazines and, more
•       The Forscot proposal is to make                                                    bizarrely, toilet paper are exempt.
        pulp and paper from 100 per cent      Workshop delegates discussed this
        virgin wood fibre, and the            dilemma. The majority felt that the          We do want more local production of
        directors refuse to include the       Forscot proposal would not be                paper, but felt that recycling is the best
        use of any recycled fibre in their    beneficial for the future sustainable        option. Recycling paper saves energy and
        plans, yet the UK has a glut of       development of Scotland’s forests.           resources and while paper can only be
        waste paper. We export waste          However, there is a clear need for           recycled 6 times before the fibres become
        paper all around the world, with      education in the uses of Sitka other than    too short and ‘floury’, we currently
        68 per cent going to China, India,    for paper manufacture; David Blair gave      achieve little more than two rounds of
        Indonesia and Korea. The best         personal testimony to the uses of Sitka      recycling of paper. Furthermore, the
        way to reduce our forest              timber in construction. The Sitka bulge      paper flour from over-recycled paper
        footprint would be for any new        should be seen as an opportunity to          could be used to make insulation or a fuel
        paper plant to include a de-          diversify its uses rather than assume it     for biomass plants.
        inking facility and recycle as        all has to be pulped and made into paper.
        much fibre as possible.               It was also noted that Sitka plantations          Mandy Haggith & Mandy Meikle

       Energy news: oil sands expansion threatens boreal wildlife

S     cientists are warning of a possible
      mass extinction of Canadian boreal
      wildlife if Alberta’s oil sands
development continues at its projected
                                              extracted through new steam-assisted
                                              mining, which could affect 50 times as
                                              much of the boreal forest as the strip-
                                              mining now underway in the Fort
                                                                                           forest for deep oil sands development.
                                                                                           or see
                                                                                           oil.html for more information.
pace. A new report from the Pembina           McMurray area in northern Alberta.
Institute, Death by a thousand cuts,          Pembina and The Canadian Parks and           The Pembina Institute is an independent,
suggests that future oil sands                Wilderness Society (CPAWS) say a             not-for-profit environmental policy
development will swallow 21 per cent of       moratorium should be put in place on         research and education organisation
the province - an area the size of Florida    new lease allocations for the Fort           based in Alberta, Canada. Reproduced
- and damage populations of caribou,          McMurray area and also call for the          with permission from Taiga News issue
lynx and martens. The study claims 80         creation of a wildlife reserve park. The     56. Taiga Rescue Network (TRN), Box
per cent of Alberta’s oil sand reserves are   province has already leased out more         116, 96223 Jokkmokk, Sweden. See
too deep to be mined and must be              than 35,000 square kilometres of boreal for more on TRN.

The Radical Rowan No 33 Winter 2006/07                                                                                page 4
                                        RS 2006 Gathering News
                                  The Energy Debate
T     his session followed on from the
      latest Journal, which looked at
      energy. Reforesting Scotland wants
to see sustainable communities in a well-
                                              conventional oil. Conventional oil is the
                                              stuff we think of as ‘oil’ – it flows freely
                                              from oil-wells and requires no upgrading
                                              before refining, meaning it is also cheap
                                                                                             lot of money and/or allows us to carry
                                                                                             on emitting because emissions released in
                                                                                             one part of the world would be ‘offset’
                                                                                             elsewhere in the world, such as emissions
forested land, but what do we mean by a       to produce. Non-conventional oils              trading and using forests as ‘carbon sinks’.
sustainable community? Those present          include the tar sands of Alberta, the oil
split up into 4 groups and spent 5 minutes    shales of the western U.S. and the heavy       Karen ended by reminding us that we
brainstorming key features of a               oils of Venezuela. The extraction of non-      need to cut our energy use quite
sustainable community, with each group        conventional oils is energy intensive and      dramatically. While opinions differ over
looking at one of the following categories:   costly. However, as conventional oil           just how dramatically, the general
food, energy, housing or livelihood. Their    prices rise, people are using more and         consensus is that we need to reduce
ideas were put to one side while Mandy        more of these non-conventional oils with       consumption by 60-90 per cent in the
Meikle and Karen Grant spoke for 10           their higher energy cost – and emissions.      next 30-50 years. These reductions sound
minutes each on ‘energy and demand                                                           quite scary but our society is currently
reduction’ and ‘climate change’.              Karen began by explaining that climate         very wasteful and while some of the
                                              change is not a new phenomenon. In             impetus falls on individuals to act, there
Mandy started by pointing out that oil        1860, British scientist John Tyndall           is an even greater need for Governments
is the most energy dense substance we         discovered that CO 2 produced the              to act because our dependence on fossil
know and no mix of renewables can             natural ‘greenhouse effect’ and in 1895,       fuels is so ingrained in our society.
replace it in terms of energy demand,         Svante Arrhenius, a Swedish scientist,
which is why demand reduction is so           argued that changes in the concentration       After questions and answers, the groups
crucial. While we are all aware of climate    of CO2 could bring about the advance           put their brainstorming ideas on a chart,
change, there is another problem              or retreat of glaciers. Unfortunately, it      indicating where they thought various
looming, known as ‘peak oil’, which is        took over a century for these findings to      issues fitted in with RS projects – existing
the point at which global oil production      be taken seriously.                            and new. There was also a space for
cannot be increased any further –                                                            important issues which were outwith the
production has reached its peak. This         We should understand that CO2 emitted          remit of RS. As time was limited, it was
does not mean we are running out of oil       today remains in the atmosphere for            not possible to seek consensus on what
– there is more than enough oil left to       decades, so even if emissions are reduced      was or wasn’t an RS issue. For example,
damage our climate irreparably – but it       now their impacts will be felt for 40 years    some felt our international work should
does mean that oil will become                or more. We are already seeing climate         include ‘mileage labelling’ and ‘fair-trade’
increasingly expensive to extract. No one     change: globally, 1998 was the hottest year    while others felt that ‘allotments’ and
knows the date of peak oil but many fear      on record and 6 out of the 10 hottest years    ‘local organic food’ production were
that it will happen around 2010, which        ever recorded were in the 1990s. Karen         beyond the scope of RS. However, it was
isn’t long to wean ourselves off of oil.      listed some of her top ‘pitfalls and red       fantastic to see so many ideas linked to
                                              herrings’ for tackling climate change and      Forest Harvest (which includes the Rural
Mandy also explained the difference           warned us to be sceptical about any            Alternatives project) and our new Low-
between conventional and non-                 ‘solution’ which makes a dirty industry a      impact Development project (see page 8).

 RS Home continued from page 3
channel to purchase ‘the whole’, with the     perhaps not the perceived ethos of             – maybe land could be leased instead.
possibility of then selling forest plots to   Reforesting Scotland. Concern was also         Then came the question of the RS office
groups of RS members looking to share         expressed on the investment focus of this      in Edinburgh. With high office costs and
resources. This would mean that RS raises     project and its perception by future           the development potential of the current
the funds and purchases the land required     members and funders. Consideration             office locality, it is by no means clear that
while members invest in the project at a      must be given to any costs involved, feu       RS will be able to afford an office in
later date. Here the example of Cashel        fees, insurance, financial risk and legal      Edinburgh in perpetuity. The RS Home
Farm was given, which was bought by the       costs. Setting up a trading arm would          might also house the RS office at some
Royal Scottish Forestry Society with the      mitigate risks to the organisation, but        future date. However, the group rejected
aim to regenerate native woodlands. Or        wouldn’t address the potential split           the idea of future Gatherings being held
the Woodland Trust model, where               among members with differing views             exclusively at this place.
members acquire a bit of land and work        over organisations owning land – even
co-operatively to manage it.                  with the best intentions.                      Finally, the group agreed that the term
                                                                                             ‘RS Home’ was not a useful expression
While there are lots of exciting ways to      So it might be a better option to find RS      and proposed referring to the project as
go forward and options to explore, some       members who already have land or               the ‘RS Wood’ in the meantime.
of the group were uncomfortable with          woodland on which an RS Home could
this more commercial aspect which is          be built. And there’s no need to buy land           Michaela Hunter & Mandy Meikle

  page 5                                                                The Radical Rowan No 33 Winter 2006/07
Reforesting Scotland News
  The role of the public forest estate in Scotland
T     he public sector estate in Scotland
      is relatively large (650,000 hectares)
      and accounts for some 35 per cent
of the woodland area of Scotland. A
                                               In general, SFEs are becoming more
                                               common throughout the EU. Forest
                                               Enterprise Scotland, despite its name,
                                               would clearly fall into the category of
                                                                                             we would end up with the estate we have
                                                                                             now. There is a need to consider whether
                                                                                             a rolling programme of sales and
                                                                                             purchases could be used to achieve a
review of the estate was carried out in        SFO. There are many differences between       closer fit between the current estate and
2004 and indicated a significant level of      forestry in Scotland and other EU             its role as a modern delivery mechanism.
support but also the need for more             countries but the two most important are
strategic thinking about its future role.      the age of the forest system (young) and      There are essentially three directions in
                                               the population density (high).                which the estate might go:
It’s always useful to look over the fence to                                                 •     Its nature and objectives could be
see what is happening elsewhere. The           While a strong focus on social and                  focused on the delivery of a very
preference of most EU countries is for a       environmental outputs is likely to                  commercial agenda;
mix of state and private sector forestry.      continue, underlying ‘profitability’ of       •     The key role of the estate could
State Forest Management Organisations in       woodland management is likely to                    be delivery of public benefits,
EU countries can be divided into two sorts:    improve. As forests mature, the cost base           particularly in areas where market
                                               should reduce. It is the period of                  failure is most likely;
State Forest Enterprises (SFEs): these         transition from plantations to mature         •     The estate could continue to
organisations have a strong commercial         forests which adds cost and complexity.             attempt to do both the above,
agenda and generally are cash positive.                                                            generating additional social and
There is Government involvement in             Some thoughts on the core rationale for             environmental outputs while
objective setting. They are common             a national forest estate are:                       maintaining the ability to generate
where there is an established forest           •      Safeguarding ‘national treasures’            a significant income stream.
estate not requiring investment in             •      Informing policy development
afforestation, where timber production         •      Exemplar role/responsive policy        Taking forward these issues will be
is important and where the forest area                implementation                         helped by the development of a shared
per capita is high.                            •      Sustained duration of action           view of the optimum role that the estate
                                               •      Cost effective delivery                can play in delivering the Scottish
State Forest Organisations (SFOs):                                                           Forestry Strategy and I hope that this
these organisations have a wider range         The national forest estate has been built     paper will help to stimulate discussion
of objectives and a much stronger public       up in response to different policy drivers    amongst RS members. Please email your
benefit agenda. They are likely to be          and its current size and distribution are     thoughts to
closer to Government and in receipt of         the net result of different acquisition and
net funding. They are common where             disposal policies. If we were setting out     Abridged by Donald McPhillimy from a
the forest products sector is small and        to create a public forest estate to deliver   report by Bob McIntosh, Director, Forestry
where the forest area per capita is low.       the current Forestry Strategy it’s unlikely   Commission Scotland (August 2006)

 News from the RS office...

 F     irstly, welcome to our two newest
       Directors, Penny Edwards and
       Dan Gates. Penny owns and
 manages          Falkirk      Wood, an
                                               with “E-bulletin” in the subject box and
                                               ask to sign up.

                                               RS is now the proud owner of 6 (soon to
                                                                                    with “RS
                                                                                             exhibition” in the subject box.

                                                                                             This year RS was chosen by the
 environmentally friendly business             be 12) wonderful exhibition boards,           Edinburgh branch of the Religious
 established in 2002 to process and sell       produced by Sam Staddon and Karen             Society of Friends (Quakers) to receive
 timber from local woodlands. Dan works        Grant. These A0 (really big!) boards          a share of donations received during the
 as woodfuel information officer for           have made a huge difference to our            Edinburgh Festival. We received a
 Forestry Commission Scotland, helping         presence at events such as the recent         wonderful gift of £1,500 which will go
 to get the emerging woodfuel industry on      CWA conference and our annual                 towards producing more publicity
 to its feet in east Scotland.                 Gathering. Our plan is to organise a          materials to promote our work.
                                               series of travelling exhibitions to
 Our e-bulletin has increased in               promote our work, and to raise                And finally, there is to be a members’
 frequency, thanks to our new remote           awareness of sustainable communities          local day in East Lothian, (see ‘RS
 volunteer, Liza Evans, who helps Kristin      and forestry, around Scotland. It has been    Home’ article on page 3). We'd like to
 immensely by collating news and events        great having Jude Dunn, our former            hear from anyone who is working on
 from her home in Glasgow. If you don’t        fundraiser, back doing some fundraising       an RS-style project in East Lothian.
 receive our e-bulletin it means we don’t      for this project. If you know of a venue      Email with
 have your email address. To remedy this,      which might be willing to host our            “East Lothian local day” in the subject
 email         exhibition, please send an email to           box and we may be able to visit you.

The Radical Rowan No 33 Winter 2006/07                                                                                  page 6
                                Reforesting Scotland News
                        Life at Dunbeag                                                          Kilfinan Community
                                                                                                   Forest Project
I  t’s late autumn, with the season
   changing slowly but surely. We’ve
   had a fantastic summer, and the forest
garden has been abundant. The apple
                                               essential Knockengorroch Festival at
                                               Carsphairn in May. But then we had to
                                               seriously focus on the build so that the
                                               bunkhouse was wind and watertight as             W      e are pleased to report that, at last,
                                                                                                       the feasibility consultants have
                                                                                                       been selected and funding is
harvest was bountiful to say the least and     soon as possible.                                almost in place to begin the feasibility
chutney making continues. The chickens                                                          study of the Kilfinan communities
have settled in and visit most mornings.       Six months from the date of the fire, the        potential purchase of 450 hectares of
They keep us very amused and well              building was almost complete and we              Acharossan Forest. Chris Morgan will
supplied with fresh eggs - when we can         moved in shortly afterwards – as soon as         be conducting the housing aspect and
find them. The polytunnels produced            the sofa arrived! It is now finished (almost),   Chris Piper will face the socio-economic
asparagus, sweetcorn, cucumber,                and looks and feels stunning. It’s a fine        study and takes the lead consultant role.
butternut squash, tomatoes, and grapes         home and we’re well warmed, both by an           The environmental consultants are Bob
amongst everything else. Fresh basil and       extremely efficient wood-fired stove and         Black and Peter Quelch, who will be
chillies also flourished in the greenhouse.    by the joy of space and light again.             looking at the timber resource and
                                                                                                biodiversity within Acharossan Forest
The summer was also busy with energetic        But the building gang couldn’t stop there        and the irrepressible Rob Borruso is
friends, volunteers, Wwoofers and visitors     and headed off to Inverary Primary School        assessing the minutiae of renewable
alike. Some people helped with building the    to build a 6-meter diameter, seven-sided,        energy factors. All in all a fine team!
new bunkhouse and some in the garden.          turf roofed outdoor classroom using the
More recently, a hardy bunch of Dirty          reciprocal frame roof. The classroom was         The steering group have also been ‘oot an
Weekenders came and engaged in some            completed in two weeks, and was                  aboot’ visiting Abriachan Community
serious Rhodie-bashing for the weekend.        dedicated as a peace building by the school      Woodland by Loch Ness and Milton
Well done and thank you to you all!            children. It was an awesome experience           Community Woodland in Inverness-
                                               both for us and for the kids. The children       shire in April. The investigative visit was
In early spring, we felled a stand of Sitka    were involved in the entire process from         to see what other groups around Scotland
spruce and milled the timber up in the         funding through to carving the roof beams        are doing and explore other community
woodland. The building site was                and hand-printing the walls.                     woodland projects. Members of the group
prepared and the essential foundations                                                          have also recently returned from the
and groundworks completed, allowing            As the nights are drawing in there’s more        housing conference on Gigha and the
the timber to be delivered to the site using   time to think, reflect and take stock…           Community Woodland Association
the log chute. By the beginning of May         rest even… but there are plenty of               conference in Strontian. Both events
we were building in wood and                   unfinished and new projects to work on           inspired and filled the group with
constructing the frame.                        depending on rain or shine. But it is one        enthusiasm. With so many like-minded
                                               day at a time and every day is special.          and dynamic community groups around
We did manage some brief escapades,                                                             it would be difficult not to.
including Isle of Rum Festival and the                Michaela Hunter & David Blair
                                                                                                We are currently preparing for our next
 Photo: David Blair

                                                                                                public meeting and AGM in December,
                                                                                                where we can amend our constitution so
                                                                                                we can become a Community Company
                                                                                                with charitable status and register our
                                                                                                official interest in the forest. Exciting
                                                                                                times indeed.

                                                                                                We have also engaged two local
                                                                                                Animateurs. An Animateur fulfils a variety
                                                                                                of roles. In this instance, we are aware that
                                                                                                many people may have concerns or
                                                                                                misconceptions regarding the project. We
                                                                                                hope that these can be more easily and
                                                                                                effectively dealt with in an informal
                                                                                                manner, round the kitchen table for
                                                                                                instance. This way we hope to promote
                                                                                                the project, dispel myths and capture real
                                                                                                community views and opinions.

                         The new roundhouse at Dunbeag                                                 Michaela Hunter & David Blair

               page 7                                                     The Radical Rowan No 33 Winter 2006/07
                             Dates for Your Diary
21 January: Carrifran Wildwood Tree            Ullapool) for 5.5 miles to the Maryburgh     May 2007. Open daily 10am to 5pm.
Planting from 10am – 4pm. Help in the          roundabout; Continue on the A835             Adult £4.50 / Conc £3 / Child 12 and
restoration of an ancient wooded valley        Ullapool road for two miles and take a       under free. The exhibition is timed to
- a strenuous volunteer conservation day.      left turn through a stone gateway to the     coincide with the Museum’s willow
Bring a packed lunch and warm clothes.         Brahan Estate. The event is signposted.      weaving events.
Meet at Carrifran Wildwood car park on         Half a mile down the estate road, at the
                                                                                            Four Winds Inspiration Centre, Inverleith
the A708, 6 miles NE of Moffat. Grid           crossroads, turn right into an oak lined
                                                                                            Park, Edinburgh runs a range of Crafts
Ref. NT 161116. Additional workdays            avenue signposted The Caravan Club
                                                                                            & Herbal classes throughout the year,
on 18 February and 18 March. E:                Certified Location. Please park cars at
                                                                                            including Wood & Stone Carving, Living               the end of this driveway. The sculpture
                                                                                            Willow Arches, Traditional and Frame
                                               site is a short walk from end of driveway.
3 February: Reforesting Scotland Imbolc                                                     Basket Weaving, Paper making, Rag
                                               Admission free
Ceilidh with Hud Yer Wheesht at the                                                         Rugging and more. Adults only and
Rudolf Steiner Hall, 60 Spylaw Rd,             9 & 10 June: Edinburgh Treefest &            Parent & Child courses available; cost £45
Edinburgh. Featuring local, organic bar        Woodmarket, 11am - 5pm in                    plus materials per place or joint place.
and guest musicians. For more details,         Inverleith Park, Edinburgh. E:               10.30 - 5.00 / 11.30 - 4.00. Also Renewable
E:                    Energy courses - 3-day course in Wind
                                                                                            Turbine Construction from Fri 6 - Sun 8
26 – 31 May: Big Willow Sculpture.             ‘Pushing the Boundaries’ is an exhibition
                                                                                            April. See or tel:
Internationally renowned artist Patrick        of innovative new work by 34 members
                                                                                            0131 332 2229
Dougherty has created a new sculpture          of the Scottish Basketmakers Circle
in the grounds of the Brahan Estate near       including work by Lise Bech, Lizzie          ‘The Cutting Edge’ is amajor new
Dingwall, in the Highlands of Scotland.        Farey, Trevor Leat, Valerie Pragnell and     touring exhibition which will showcase
The sculpture was constructed with help        Jane Wilkinson and is essentially a          the very best of contemporary Scottish
by members of the Scottish                     companion piece to the Big Willow            craft. The exhibition opens at the
Basketmakers Circle using willow cut           project. The exhibition is at Gracefield     Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street,
from the estate. It will be ‘in residence’     Arts Centre, 28 Edinburgh Road,              Edinburgh from 26 January to 29 April
until May 2007 when it will be de-             Dumfries DG1 1JQ from 10 February            2007. Admission free
constructed as part of the 2007 Highland       to 17 March 2007. Open T uesday to
Year of Culture. V isitors are welcome         Friday 11am to 4pm and Saturday 10am            If you know of an event which
onto the estate to see the                     to 5pm. Admission free. If you miss that,        other RS members might be
sculpture.Directions: T ake the A9 road        it will also be at the Museum of Scottish               interested in, E:
from Inverness via the Kessock Bridge          Country Life, Wester Kittochside,    
for 7 miles to Tore roundabout; From           Philipshill Road (off Stewartfield Way),         with “RR Diary Dates” in the
roundabout take the A835 (signposted           East Kilbride G76 9HR from 1 to 30                        subject box.

      Low-impact development in Scotland                                                    Help raise RS funds

K   aren Grant, who designs our Journal
    amongst many other things, has been
interested in low-impact developments
                                               development in Scotland and use this
                                               momentum to promote it from the
                                               grassroots to the government level.
                                                                                            W    e are lookingformembers with
                                                                                                 ideas, motivationor skills to form a
                                                                                            group to brainstorm fundraising ideas to
for a long time and is now working on a        Outputs will include a manifesto for         ensure that RS has ways to generate regular
partnership project with Reforesting           low-impact development in Scotland and       funds for core activities. While we may
Scotland. The project will work with           an inspirational book showing creative,      meet occasionally, we want to involve as
individuals and groups of people at the        dynamic people doing amazing low-            many members as possible so
grassroots level, who are building a low-      impact living projects in Scotland. This     contributioncould also bemade remotely .
carbon, sustainable way of life. The aim       is a very new project and is still in the    Email
of the project is to create the sense of the   fund-raising stage so watch this space for   with “Fundraising group” in the subject
growing movement for low-impact                further developments!                        box if you are interested in this idea.

                    Reforesting Scotland
                    62 - 66 Newhaven Road
                    EH6 5QB
                    Tel: 0131 554 4321     Fax: 0131 554 0088              Edited & Designed by Mandy Meikle;               REFORESTING
                    Email:                  all text written by Mandy Meikle                  SCOTLAND
                                                                                                                            IS SUPPORTED
                    Website:                          unless stated otherwise                       BY SNH

The Radical Rowan No 33 Winter 2006/07                                                                                 page 8

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