Home   News   Article

Carbisdale Castle owner’s legal threat to volunteers clearing woodland paths

By Caroline McMorran

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!

Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) was forced to intervene after the owner of Carbisdale Castle clashed with volunteers planning to clear paths in public woodland near the historic building, it has emerged.

More than 30 friends of Culrain and District Hall turned up on March 16 to help clear paths at Carbisdale Wood.
More than 30 friends of Culrain and District Hall turned up on March 16 to help clear paths at Carbisdale Wood.

Culrain and District Community Hall committee held a paths maintenance day in a bid to cut back overgrown vegetation on the trails in Carbisdale Wood to ensure that they remain accessible.

The hall has an agreement with FLS, which owns the wood, to maintain the paths.

A popular amenity area, Carbisdale Wood is well used by walkers, horse riders and cyclists.

The trails and paths day took place on Saturday, March 16 with a call for volunteers posted on social media beforehand.

However, after the notice was posted online, Carbisdale Castle owner Samantha Kane, a barrister, contacted two members of the hall committee by email claiming the event was simply a “pretext” to intimidate her.

She went on to threaten legal action should volunteers enter her land.

She wrote: “On social media you are inviting volunteers with ‘loppers’ and other instruments to intimidate me and attack my land on the pretext of clearing paths.”

Ms Kane claimed that the committee had not informed her of which paths would be cleared and had not provided a copy of the agreement with FLS – saying the work was being done under the excuse of an agreement with FLS.

In a second email, she wrote: “It appears that you wish to continue with your threat to abuse me and my land using this excuse.

“This will leave me with no other alternative than to issue a writ against the Culrain Hall Committee and its members.”

A spokesperson for Forestry and Land Scotland said: “We are aware that there have been some misunderstandings over the weekend and we will clarify for all concerned the current arrangements that are in place with the community volunteers.

“Working with community groups is a big part of our role across the country and we appreciate their efforts to help with general maintenance on trails and paths that are local to them. As well as being of benefit to the volunteers and to us, the work they carry out is also of benefit to others in the community.”

Culrain Hall committee chairman Graham Charge said: “The support of the wider community is fantastic. To know that people are prepared to travel and give up their Saturday morning to help our community is great. It is a real shame that Samantha Kane sought to stop the event going ahead rather than supporting us.”

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More