Ar­ran Com­mu­nity Land Ini­tia­tive

The Arran Banner - - Feature -

Ar­ran Com­mu­nity Land Ini­tia­tive set up as a Scot­tish Char­i­ta­ble In­cor­po­rated Or­gan­i­sa­tion in 2013 and bought an 80 acre site of dis­used farm­land for the com­mu­nity to use for the pur­poses of ed­u­ca­tion, re­cre­ation and sport with a grant from the Scot­tish Land Fund. This ac­qui­si­tion hap­pened af­ter a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion us­ing a Com­mu­nity En­gage­ment Of­fi­cer who found out that the most pop­u­lar choice of ac­tiv­ity for the site was a re­cre­ation and gar­den­ing space. The site now boasts 12 com­mu­nity al­lot­ments, a com­mu­nity gar­den with or­chard, two large poly­tun­nels, an api­ary run by the Ar­ran Bee Group, larger crop grow­ing ar­eas, graz­ing lets for lo­cal pony own­ers, a com­pass course for teach­ing map read­ing skills, an en­dan­gered Ar­ran White­beam tree plan­ta­tion and walk­ing paths. For the past two years, there have been twice-weekly vis­its by lo­cal pri­mary and high schools and North Ayr­shire Schools via the Ar­ran Out­door Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre, and the chil­dren have helped to start plant­ing up dif­fer­ent ar­eas of the site. There are now many users with reg­u­lar dog walk­ers, run­ners, moun­tain bik­ers, school and out­door cen­tre groups, Duke of Ed­in­burgh par­tic­i­pants, vol­un­teer gar­den­ers and al­lot­ment hold­ers. The aim for this year is to build on re­cent suc­cesses, in par­tic­u­lar, ed­u­cat­ing chil­dren about where their food comes from and healthy eat­ing op­tions. They have a strong team of trustees and gar­den­ers with con­sid­er­able char­ity and busi­ness acu­men who have a pas­sion to fur­ther the aims of the project, in par­tic­u­lar, pro­vid­ing fur­ther hor­ti­cul­tural and out­door skills train­ing for all ages. The proud­est achieve­ment of the Ar­ran Com­mu­nity Land Ini­tia­tive is get­ting an in­fra­struc­ture de­signed and put in place which in­cludes a hub build­ing, com­post­ing toi­let and poly­tun­nels. With­out these, it would have been hard to ac­com­mo­date year-round learn­ers and vis­i­tors to the site.

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