Kilfinan Community Forest Company:
A registered Scottish charity that manages Kilfinan woodland on behalf of the local community.
Kilfinan Community Forest Company (KCFC) is a registered Scottish charity formed in 2007. In 2010, we purchased lower Acharossan forest on behalf of the residents of the Kilfinan parish, and what was once an unvisited tract of uninspiring commercial forestry has since then become a valuable community asset. In 2015 we purchased the Upper Acharossan forest from the forest commission, and now own and manage 561 hectares (1300 acres) of woodlands on behalf of the local community.
The woodland stretches from Tighnabruaich across the Kilfinan peninsular to the Powder Dams on the Kilfinan road. We are responsible for managing the land, and the felling and replanting of the woodlands. We aim to deliver a variety of additional benefits to the Kilfinan community, including the development of recreational facilities, further employment opportunities and the provision of genuinely affordable housing.
The site currently includes a timber processing yard, firewood processing and hydroelectric scheme, all of which generate income for the forest. The path network allows easier access to the forest for walkers, bikes and horses. KCFC leases land to the Kilfinan Allotment Group. The current plan for the forest includes a woodland play park, low impact classroom, heated poly tunnel and workshops.
The charity is managed by a board of directors who are all volunteers and live and work locally in the Kilfinan Parish. The Board deliver the long term strategic vision. The Board meets monthly to discuss progress and strategy and holds an annual AGM.
There are currently four paid staff members managing the day to day operations, each with skills in different areas of the organisation, from practical forestry and project management, to administration and marketing. The company Treasurer manages the day to day finances of the charity.
There are currently 200 members on the charity’s membership list. Only permanent residents in Kilfinan who are on the electoral roll can be full members (to qualify as a competent body and undertake applications for Community Right to Buy we had to restrict our full membership in this way). For those who don’t fulfil these conditions, we accept associate members. Associate members cannot vote at KCFC meetings, but their contribution is always welcome.
We are grateful for the continued support we have received
from all our funders: Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Argyll & the
Islands LEADER, Awards For All, Paths For All, The Robertson Trust, Forestry
Commission Scotland, Argyll and Bute Council, Big Lottery Celebrate Fund,
Cycling UK and Voluntary Action Scotland. Together they have supported a
diverse range of projects and enabled exciting things to happen at the forest.
We are also grateful for the support of individuals, trusts and foundations.