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Funding boost for Assynt projects

By Alison Cameron

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There is £5000 for the Glencanisp Walled Garden project.
There is £5000 for the Glencanisp Walled Garden project.

Ten heritage projects within Coigach and Assynt have been awarded a total of £31,869 through the Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape Partnership (CALLP) Community Grant Scheme.

Projects benefiting from funding include supporting the repair of the historic stone wall around Glencanisp Walled Garden, a revamp of the community archive and seaweed surveys.

Over the last four years that the Community Grants Scheme has been running, grants totalling more than £103,000 have been awarded across 12 individuals and 26 local organisations. The grants are boosted by in-kind contributions, volunteer time, and match funding, giving the projects a combined total worth of more than £394,000, allowing these projects to have significant impact on the area’s heritage.

Boyd Alexander, Coigach and Assynt Living Landscape Partnership Scheme manager, said: “The Community Grant Scheme allows us to reach out to local projects that complement and enrich our work, as well as the wider communities and the area's heritage. It’s inspiring to see the wide range of projects that individuals and groups in Coigach and Assynt want to implement, and I've been delighted to see the impact that our support has had over the past four years."

David Haines from Assynt Field Club said: "The Community Grant Scheme was a great opportunity for the field club to achieve a goal we had been discussing for almost two years but simply didn’t have the funds to accomplish.

“Our website is, by necessity, a very visual resource with text about and images of Assynt’s magnificent wildlife and landscape. Our goal is to record some of the sounds of that wildlife and landscape and make the recordings available on our website. The hope is that this will enable those with visual impairment, or that were perhaps housebound, to access a part of the natural world that may have been lost to them.

"The benefits of listening to the sounds of our natural world are well documented. We hope therefore that this project can add not only another dimension to our website but also be of benefit to the wider community."

The CALLP Community Grants Scheme offers grants to community projects that complement those taking place through the wider Landscape Partnership Scheme and provide benefit to people living within the project area. Grants of up to £5000 are available to organisations and £1000 to individuals. Grants are awarded up to a maximum of 75 per cent of the total project cost.

These grants are made possible with thanks to players of the National Lottery through the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Scottish Natural Heritage.

The awards are:

Duncan MacColl – £1000 for the purchase of a mobile sheep handling system which can be towed behind a vehicle or tractor.

Elphin, Ledmore & Knockan Community Association Ltd – £5000 to make Elphin Village Hall watertight and repairing damage caused by water leakage, ensuring the integrity of the hall.

High Life Highland – £3434 to go towards Highland Mammals, a citizen science project that provides courses aimed at increasing awareness, knowledge and recording of mammals, with emphasis on the Coigach and Lochbroom area.

Tim Hamlet – £1000 for instructor training to increase the capacity of the community to train first aid providers.

John Muir Trust – £3400 for the Quinag Wildlife Project, working in partnership with Assynt Field Club to promote interest in the landscape and wildlife of Quinag Estate and gather all available information into a common digital format.

Assynt Foundation – £5000 for Glencanisp Walled Garden wall repair.A professional repair of a 15m section of the19th Century lime mortared wall surrounding the Glencanisp Walled Garden in Lochinver, and a training course.

Loch Inver Rowing Club – £3105 for boat equipment, ensuring the boat goes back into the water in a safe condition so that the club can engage as many members of the community as possible.

Ullapool Sea Savers – £2930 for intertidal seaweed surveys using the Natural History Museum’s Big Seaweed Survey format, and focusing on the five MarClim station locations within the CALLP area. USS will conduct ten surveys per year.

Assynt Crofters Trust – £2000 to revamp the Assynt Community Archive and relocate to the ACT office.

Assynt Field Club – £5000 for Sounds of Nature: purchase of sound recording equipment, sound recording training, collection of sound recording of local nature and an audio-visual exhibit in Assynt.

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