Celebrating 20 years of volunteering


CWA members: (back row, left to right) Neil MacInnes, Duncan MacDonald, Alan Bell, Eric Wylie, Ian McWhirr; and (front row, left to right) Hilary Holland, Jan Bell, Gordon Watson, John MacDonald, Peter Wilkes


A small but dedicated community group of outdoor enthusiasts is celebrating 20 years of improving their local woodland.

Since 1996 the members of the Craigmonie Woodland Association have maintained and improved the waymarked trails in Forest Enterprise Scotland’s Craigmonie Woodland at the edge of Drumnadrochit.

The trails are part of a network that includes Woodland Trust Scotland’s Balmacaan Wood, the ‘Glen Coiltie Loop’ and the ‘Affric Kintail Way’.

Sandra Reid, for Forest Enterprise Scotland’s team in Inverness, Ross & Skye said;

“They’re a fantastic bunch of people and great to work with. Some of the original members are still very involved with the group – which is great going seeing as many of them were already retired when they started the group!

“Their work has improved access for many locals and visitors including the local schools and nursery. Dog walkers, runners, cyclists and horse riders have all benefited, too.

“It’s a great testament to the benefits of healthy living and getting active in the outdoors!”

The group has also carried out other projects such as tree planting, clearing, siting bird boxes and bat boxes, interpretation materials, supplying Christmas logs for pensioners and clearing rhododendrons.

To help mark the 20th anniversary, Jan Bell, one of the founding members, has composed a song celebrating some of the personnel and the groups achievements over the years. Other original members who are still with the group include Alan Bell (MBE for service to the Glen Urquhart community) who has been Chair for 20 years, Sandra Bardwell (Secretary and Treasurer) and Duncan MacDonald.

In 2002, along with Woodland Trust Scotland, the Group received a Small Woods Commended Award from the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland at the Highland Show at Ingliston.

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry Commission Scotland is part of the Scottish Government's Environment and Forestry Directorate.
  2. Forest Enterprise Scotland is an agency of Forestry Commission Scotland and manages the National Forest Estate on behalf of Scottish Ministers.
  3. Tha Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba na phàirt de Bhuidheann-Stiùiridh na h-Àrainneachd is Coilltearachd aig Riaghaltas na h-Alba. Tha e an urra ri riaghladh agus cumail maoineachadh is comhairle ri coilltearachd ann an Alba. Tha Iomairt Choilltean na h-Alba na fo-bhuidheann aig Coimisean na Coilltearachd Alba a tha a’ ruith Oighreachd na Coille Nàiseanta.
  4. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Forestry Commission Scotland press office, 0300 067 6507 / 07785 527590 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.