Community ownership of a forest near Ullapool will move a step closer with a trust awarded funding to develop a business case.
Ullapool Community Trust (UCT) has received stage one funding from the Scottish Land Fund to develop proposals for the land at Lael Forest, near Ullapool.
Plans for the forest are yet to be developed, but they may include walkways and forest leisure activities.
Lael Forest, renowned as being the woodland in the shadow of the red mountain, Ben Dearg, already has pleasant walking routes, with superb views across the west coast.
UCT confirmed it is in the process of commissioning a feasibility study for the land and an options appraisal and business plan to develop a detailed submission to the Scottish Land Fund (SLF) and Forestry and Land Scotland which will allow the community to take ownership of part, or all, of the forest, which has been under the ownership of Forestry and Land Scotland since 1926.
A spokesman for the UCT said: “We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded Stage One funding from the Scottish Land Fund to develop feasibility plans for Lael Forest on behalf of the community.
“We are keen to hear the views of community on the taking on of Lael Forest as an asset for the community.
“We would ask resiodents interested in our community, its health and wellbeing and the environment and out forests to attend the full community consultations.
“These will be split into two events and held over two evenings at the beginning of September. Both consultations will be the same format, so residents can choose the one closest to you, or that best fits your diary.”
The consultations are scheduled to take place on Monday, September 2 at Braemore Hall between 7.30pm and 9.30pm and on Tuesday, September 3 at Ullapool Village Hall in the same timeframe.
UCT aims to develop and deliver projects that offer social, economic and environmental benefits to the community and local people.
It has already helped nurture a number of initiatives, including BroomPower community hydro, which officially began generating electricity in November, 2017.