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CrowdFunding promotion Isle of Arran Community Land Project

posted Feb 9, 2015, 11:28 PM by J Shaw   [ updated Feb 9, 2015, 11:37 PM ]   Discount code for 40% off

YouTube Video

Help transform abandoned land on our Scottish Island into a fun and safe place for our community.

Arran Community Land Initiative is a Scottish charity based on the Isle of Arran. We have managed to acquire 80 acres of disused farmland in Whiting Bay and now, with your help, we now want to transform the land into a healthy, active space. We will be  growing local fresh food using wildlife-friendly farming methods and creating a wide range of recreational and educational resources and opportunities for the community and visitors.

We pitched our idea to the Scottish Land Fund and were awarded £181,500 to buy the land and kick-start the project. The purchase went through on 18th December 2014 and now the hard work begins! 

We have some big plans for this big piece of land, including...

Community Allotments

Currently, the majority of food consumed in Arran is brought in by ferry. Being cut off from the mainland means it is less easy to buy organic, locally grown produce. We would like to prepare parts of the land to support crops of our own that could be sold on the island for regular consumption.

Recreational Activity

Living on an island is a unique way of life. Many islanders say they feel safe knowing they are part of a close community with low crime levels. We hope that activities for families, young people and adventurers will not only boost Arran's tourism but may even grow its population. New mountain bike trails, walking paths and community gardens are all possible. 

Community Gardens

This will be a place for Island community groups to care for plants and crops. The gardens would be open to the public and the local schools would be able to use the land to build on their delivery of curriculum studies and further the quality of education for youth on the island. 

Saving the Arran Whitebeam

The Arran Whitebeam is one of the most endangered trees in the world and is found only on the Isle of Arran. The tree is very difficult to grow from seed, and needs to germinate in particular conditions. Local tree expert, Henry Murdo, has devised a system to germinate the seeds but there is currently nowhere to plant the saplings that is easily accessible to the public. Once our land has been transformed, specific planting areas will be constructed to protect young trees from vole and deer. The Arran whitebeam could become more prolific on Arran and easily cared for by locals. You can sponsor the planting of an Arran Whitebeam by purchasing our 'Save A Tree' perk. 

Learn more about Henry's germination method in the video below. 

YouTube Video

What We Need & What We Can Offer You

We need to raise £6000 to start using the land as a community space. These costs cover the following:

  • £2,000 to create a community garden – buying timber for building raised beds, buying in weed suppressant, sheeting and tools.
  • £2,000 to improving access points for all – getting hard-core delivered to 4 key entry points to prevent erosion of the land allow people to get onto it!
  • £2,000 for basic visitor facilities – putting two compost toilets in place and a shed which includes hand-washing facility using harvested rainwater for gardening volunteers and the first intake of horticultural students
In return for your donation you can choose from some amazing perks! In true Arran style, many businesses on the island have pulled together to donate goods and services for us to offer as perks (thanks guys). 
You can choose from a selection of five stunning photography prints from local artist Andrew Surridge - or just buy them all!

(Images above by Andrew Surridge, and available as prints - see the perks list)
There is also the chance to have two nights in the chic boutique retreat The Douglas Hotel.

Or if action and adventure is more your thing than peace and relaxation, you can opt for the activity package, courtesy of Arran Outdoor Education Centre. Find out more about them in the video below.

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There are lots more perks on offer including thank yous, t-shirts and walking tours, so please have a good browse through the list.

In Our Wildest Dreams!

If we're lucky enough to over-shoot our target, we would be able to do so much more on the land:

+£500 – purchase of fruit trees (plum and apple mostly Scottish heritage varieties)

+£1000 – walkers' signage so they can navigate their way across the land without getting lost

+£2000 – upgrade two old caravans to provide living accommodation for two/three seasonal farm volunteers

Risks & Challenges

We have a strong, active board of members and tons of passion for this project. We've been working away on this for years, and have already purchased the land and have carried out an in-depth feasibility study outlining our plans for the land. Everything is in place for us to now raise this last piece of funding to start transforming the land. Everything we raise will help develop the area - the more we raise the more we can do. 

If we do not meet our target, we won't be able to set up all the provisions listed, and will have to select what is most important to us. We really do hope that everyone who loves Arran will donate at least a little to help create this much-needed resource, and even help us over-shoot our target so that the community can have fruit trees and signage.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you cannot contribute a donation to our campaign it doesn't mean you cannot help. Use Indiegogo's share tools to tell everyone you know and generate as much interest as you can. We are grateful of all input and effort and really appreciate every single share or comment. 

Thanks for taking a look and helping us to reach our goal!