THE group behind a bid to transform a neglected Helensburgh woodland into a community resource for all has revealed more detail on its plans for the future of the green space.

As reported last month by the Advertiser, the Helensburgh Community Woodlands Group (HCWG) has been awarded a £117,000 grant from the Scottish Land Fund (SLF) to secure the purchase of Castle Woods, to the west of the town, having reached agreement over the transfer of the land with the current owners.

The SLF award made up 95 per cent of the required total to complete the deal, and HCWG members have now successfully raised the rest of the money needed.

READ MORE: Community group gets £117,000 grant to buy Helensburgh woodland

Attention is now turning to improving the natural state of the woodland to benefit local people of all ages.

HCWG convener Andy Donald said: “The members of the group have donated over £5,000 between them to help get the purchase completed.

“The trustees wish to express their sincere thanks to all the members that have contributed to raising the balance of the purchase funds.

“This really is incredibly generous of them and we are delighted that we should now be able to move forward to complete the purchase.

“Our key goals for the future of the woodland are to make it available to all abilities, including wheelchair users; involve local primary and nursery schools to make it an educational asset; promote the health and wellbeing of our community through activity; promote biodiversity and wildlife; promote bonds in our community by helping people get involved and by improving their natural surroundings.

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“In 2021 we intend to carry out tree safety works and then encourage the local community to get involved in clearing the woodland of rubbish and fly-tipping and to start removing the invasive rhododendron and laurel that prevents regrowth of the woodland floor.

“We know many people are keen to make a difference on behalf of their community and it’s really important that we grow this community spirit. We will communicate further through the Advertiser, social media and newsletter delivery in the local area to let people know how and when they can join in.”

The group is hoping to launch a crowdfunding campaign in the coming weeks to support future efforts. For more information, visit or email to find out how you can get involved by volunteering.

READ MORE: Helensburgh group breaks new ground with woodland buy-out bid

Andy added: "Another key objective for next year is to improve the water management in the woodland. Water logging is having an adverse effect on the stability of tree roots and it’s essential we improve this situation in order to ensure the long-term survival and growth of the woodland.

"Water run-off is also a significant concern for local residents and it would be great if we can work together to improve this.

"Our goals for 2022-2023 are then focused on the transformation of the woodland to make it accessible to everyone by the installation of an all-abilities pathway that will allow wheelchair users to enjoy the woodland and take part in activities.

"We will also involve the local community and schools in encouraging wildlife habitats to promote biodiversity and planting native trees to ensure a stronger woodland structure.

"We obviously require significant further funding to achieve these goals and we will continue to work hard to raise this.

"We can’t express our thanks enough to all the public for their support."

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