In 2019 Cambusbarron Community Development Trust purchased 64 hectares of Polmaise Wood. This will allow the community to have an active role in protecting, managing and developing the Hill.
On behalf of the local community, Cambusbarron Community Development Trust (CCDT) has purchased a large area of woodland on the Gillies Hill from Drygrange Estates Company Limited. Following a negotiation period which started in 2013, we have purchased 64 hectares on the north-east side of the hill including the ruins of Polmaise Castle, the curling ponds, the walled garden and the Dark Wids. It does not include the area affected by the quarrying planning application or the community woodland, which is owned by Stirling Council.
With funding from the Scottish Land Fund, Cambusbarron Community Fund together with a substantial donation from FES Ltd and our Crowdfunding campaign we have purchased this fantastic environmental resource for future generations. We are very grateful to everyone who has given their money, time and support and we now look forward to protecting and managing the woodland. We would welcome people with relevant skills or an interest in being involved from the community and beyond to step forward to support the entirely volunteer led project.
To date activities on the hill have included obtaining funds to make the woods more accessible and major work by volunteers removing the non-native invasive rhododendron ponticum and improving pathways.
The trust has held regular events to introduce villagers old and new to the beauty of the Gillies Hill woods. These included Easter Egg Hunts at Polmaise Castle ruins, an introduction to Geocaching and walks focusing on the range of wildlife which live on the hill, such as Palmate Newts and Red Squirrels.
Quote on behalf of CCDT Ann Finlayson. “This has taken a long time but we are delighted to make this announcement to the community that the future of Gillies Hill is secure.”
Quote on behalf of the community council and the residents of Cambusbarron “I am delighted to congratulate CCDT and their supporters on the acquisition of 64 hectares of Gillies Hill as a community resource. The process was a long and, at times difficult, but their perseverance has brought an amazing result. We can all look forward to many more generations enjoying the Hill and walking in the steps of those in the past. It will be a privilege to work with CCDT towards creating an environment for all: Cambusbarron is lucky to have this resource.”
Marion MacAllister, chair Cambusbarron Community Council