Abriachan Forest Trust
In 1996 the people of Abriachan, a community of about 120 set high above the shores of Loch Ness bought their own forest. A Forest Trust was created to bring into community ownership 534 hectares of planted forest and open hill, which had been put up for sale by Forest Enterprise (FE). Today Abriachan Forest is the largest community-owned forest in Scotland. The group manages the land to create jobs, plays a major role in the re-afforestation of the Great Glen with native species, and encourage access by the public through a network of paths and bike trails and innovative educational projects, like the Forest School. The group has planted over 20,000 native trees.
The project has allowed long-term planning by the community and created new income streams. It’s a shining example of what can happen when ownership is shared.