A local trust in Caithness hopes to buy a popular woodland after acquiring it in a community asset transfer agreement with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).
Dunnet Forestry Trust (DFT) already manages Dunnet Forest, a recreational area with sheltered footpaths, under lease from from SNH.
DFT is now applying for a Scottish Land Fund grant to buy the land.
The trust has been restoring natural habitats and selling firewood from the 105 acre forest, part of the Dunnet Links Site of Special Scientific Interest.
It is now working on a five year plan, which includes visitor improvements, all-abilities access, a children’s play area, vegetable plots and a small sawmill.
Woodland enhancement will continue as a core activity.
David Glass, Vice Chairman of the Dunnet Forestry Trust, said the trust was delighted with the transfer.
He said: “We look forward to taking ownership of this important community asset in Caithness and are now awaiting the results of our Stage 2 application to the Scottish Land Fund which was submitted in March.”
Sally Thomas, SNH’s director of people and nature, said: “The trust has put a lot of work into managing the forest under a lease agreement with us for the past 18 years.
“We believe that community ownership will allow them to increase their work in the forest, leading to many new initiatives and public benefits.”