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Bute Community Forest to develop the former Shalunt Quarry Site as a new ‘Welcome Hub’

It’s been a busy summer behind the scenes for the Bute Community Forest team and we are thrilled to announce that we are now the proud owners of the former Shalunt Quarry site! This has only been possible due to the support of the Scottish Land Fund which has provided funding for project development, acquisition and staff support and Mount Stuart Trust who has generously sold this site to the Bute Community Forest.

The former Shalunt Quarry is an overgrown area, just off the A866 halfway between the main Moss Wood entrance and the Charcoal Huts. It is the perfect spot to deliver a new ‘Welcome Hub’ to serve as a base for community events and develop Bute Forest as a responsible nature-based destination on the Isle of Bute. We are working with a variety of funders including Argyll and Bute Council and Visit Scotland to deliver a project that includes up to 15 car parking spaces, a new bus stop, cycle parking, pedestrian crossing and linked pathways throughout Moss Wood and the soon-to-be newly replanted areas.

We also plan to install a small ‘Welcome Hut’ for event management and public toilets and showers to support our successful off-grid Huts. Bute Community Forest Chair, Richard Whitcomb, notes “…this project is the first stage in ensuring our woodland has the infrastructure capacity to meet the ongoing community and visitor access needs and we are excited to move forward towards delivery in 2024!”.

Sophie Crichton Stuart, Chair of Mount Stuart Trust comments “the sale of Shalunt Quarry to the Bute Community Forest is a great example of what can be achieved when communities and organisations engage with one another constructively and work towards a common goal that will benefit a whole community. We look forward to seeing the development of the site coming to life over the coming months and wish Bute Community Forest all the very best with this project.

There will be further community engagement as proposals continue to be developed over the coming months but you can contact Project Officer, Shelley Gould [email protected] if you would like any further information.