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Ardvourlie Update

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May 1st saw a good turn out of local residents at the Scaladale Centre. The Trust is working on a number of initiatives in the area and this was an opportunity to share its plans. A number of staff and directors were present to give details and collect feedback and and concerns.

Projects discussed on the night were:

  1. The Ardvourlie Housing Project – Affordable Homes for rent
  2. Ardvourlie Woodland Observatory
  3. Ardvourlie/Bowglas Mountain Bike Trails
  4. Visitor Facilities/Cafe at the Ardvourlie Woodland car park
  5. Enquiry for land for business use

The meeting was generally very positive about the developments being discussed. It’s acknowledged that the Ardvourlie Woodland is an overlooked community asset that more could be made of.

Funding has been secured for the Woodland Observatory. Work is due to start in July.

The Mountain Bike Trails are still at a Feasibility stage, so work will now need to be done to investigate how it could be funded.

Both developments will bring additional visitors to this quieter corner of Harris. The need for visitor facilities like additional parking was raised as a concern and will be addressed as the projects develop.

It is hoped that these individual initiatives will together make a positive impact on the local economy. Local businesses will benefit from the extra footfall and Harris as a whole will benefit form the redistribution of visitor numbers.

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New North Harris Ranger

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An exciting Monday at NHT today as we welcome our new Ranger, Michael Hunter to the team. Michael is quickly finding his feet and will be out and about in community in the coming days and weeks so if you see him be sure to say hello. Michael can be contacted on ranger@north-harris.org  We would like to take this opportunity to welcome Michael and wish him all the best.

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We need more housing

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Our Housing Needs Survey has now closed. Thank you to all those that took the time to respond. We received 62 responses, which gives us some good evidence to prove to funders that we need more homes in North Harris and Scalpay.

The old Scalpay Care Unit – now two family homes

We want to build on the success of the Scalpay Care Unit project to build homes that will retain young people and families in the community. The survey highlighted the need for starter homes for young people looking to move out of the family home. There were also those with growing families that need more space.

In addition to meeting the needs of the local community, we aim to attract new people to the area. 55% of respondents were from outside the estate, with surveys returned from South Harris and Lewis as well as over the Minch.

One interesting fact was the number of people looking for rental property that had not registered with HHP – the local social landlord. A large portion of these were from the young people looking for first homes. These responses contributed to 60% of surveys requesting 2 bed properties. 20% of preferences were for 3 bed properties.

The survey also highlighted the two big issues facing people looking for housing. The housing market is Harris is limited, with little availability or choice. Secondly, cost is the most common barrier stated. Whilst prices are still low here compared to the mainland, wages are also low meaning that many properties are not affordable to the local community.

The data gained from this survey will now be fed into the Feasibility Study that is underway to develop a number of houses at Ardvourlie. We hope to have the results of that study in April. Should this be favourable, we hope to submit a full bid to the Rural Housing Fund to secure a slice of their £25M for affordable homes in rural Scotland.

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Job Opportunity: Ranger

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Busy Week at NHT!!

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It has been a busy week here at NHT so far with our AGM on Monday night and a helicopter deer count taking place across the Estate. Fortunately the weather held out just long enough for us to successfully carry out the count. Thanks are due to PDG Aviation Services and Scottish Natural Heritage for their assistance and expertise in helping us get a good picture size of the Red Deer Herd. Below are a few pictures captured during the flights.

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Picture 1 of 16

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North Harris Trust & Trading Company AGM 25th February 2019

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North Harris Trust 2019 Guided Walks Programme

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We are pleased to release our progamme of guided walks for the 2019 season which will begin on 7th April with walks of all levels there is something for everyone.

We hope that you will be able to join our Ranger Daryll at some point over the season to enjoy spectacular landscape of North Harris.

North Harris Trust 2019 Guided Walks Programme

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2 Bedroom Property Available for Rent in Tarbert

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We are now accepting applications for the tenancy of Flat 2 Tigh An Urrais, a 2-bedroom property above our office in Tarbert. The monthly rental for the flat is £273.15 (exclusive of rates and utilities).

Application forms can be downloaded from the link below or obtained from the North Harris Trust office. Completed applications must be returned to the North Harris Trust or emailed to info@north-harris.org no later than 5pm on Friday 8th March 2019

 

North Harris Trust Tenancy Application, Flat 2 Tigh an Urrais, Tarbert

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AGM Notice 25th February 2019

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Biking trails?

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The North Harris Trust is proposing to build some mountain biking trails in a few locations around North Harris. The trails will be purpose-built for mountain biking and will be graded for difficulty like ski runs.

Mountain biking is extremely popular in the UK with Scotland rated as one of the best destinations in the world for the sport. Mountain biking is worth millions of pounds to Scotland’s economy annually and has helped small scale regeneration of some local economies.

There are numerous riders on Harris and Lewis both young and old. This number swells during the summer months. Traditionally people have ridden the estate paths until the mountain bike trails in Lews Castle grounds were built in 2014. These trails have proven to be a great success with local cyclists and are frequently used by local activity centres and schools to deliver P.E lessons.

Building mountain bike trails in North Harris would be beneficial in many ways including;

  • It would give the local school a new facility to deliver National Curriculum P.E lessons.
  • It would encourage cycling and a healthy lifestyle amongst the local population
  • Provide a boost to local business
  • Be a tourist attraction
  • Take pressure (and potential damage) away from walking paths
  • Potentially create employment
  • Be a venue to hold competitions
  • Provide opportunities for people to develop, progress and achieve success at their chosen level of the sport

We are right at the beginning of this project and we need to find out how much local support there would be for such a project. Please could you spare a couple of minutes to complete the survey  below.

ttps://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/JT8QV3R

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