The idea of a peninsula wide conservation project on Morvern has been talked about for some time by a number of different external and internal groups.
In 2012 Woodland Trust Scotland commissioned a report into woodland restoration in Morvern, to create a continuous coastal woodland strip, and extend southwards the Sunart oakwoods. The land in question is managed in over a dozen significant blocks and if the idea would go ahead coordination between landowners would be required.
In November 2016, Ardtornish Estate hosted a meeting to consult more widely on this idea, particularly with landowners on the peninsular and coordinate approaches on a proposal from several expert bodies. Attendees included Scottish Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust Scotland, RSPB, Plantlife, MCDC and MCW and others. Morvern has been considered a candidate area for a Living Landscape-type initiative – akin to the project at Coigach-Assynt.
Significant pressure to reduce grazing impacts comes from Scottish Natural Heritage, due to the worsening condition of designated sites in Morvern monitored by SNH, and from woodland and wildlife interests in Morvern and beyond.
From the initial meeting it was decided that the community should take a lead on any potential project like this. MCDC, MCC and MCW were asked to co-host a community consultation to gauge support for this project and find out what potential community projects it could involve.
The community consultation took place on 11th March 2017 and was attended by over 70 people, with representatives from several community groups including Morvern Community Development Company, Morvern Community Council, Morvern Community Woodlands, Morvern Community Trust, Heritage Society, Lochaline Village Hall and several large and small landowners including Ardtornish and Drimnin Estate and the Forestry Commission.
The consultation consisted of 4 short talks by representatives from WTS, SWT, CALL and Donald Kennedy from Morvern. The attendees then formed small groups to discuss, first broadly, then more tangibly, what community benefit they would hope to achieve through a project like this. The full report can be found HERE