Proposed community garden plan for the area previously used as a “visitor toilet”

An area of ​​Crianlarich once ravaged by visitors leaving human waste may soon be turned into a community garden.

The Strathfillan Community Development Trust has submitted a change-of-use request to Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park planners for land at Lower Station Yard, Meadow Grove and land northwest of Glenbruar House.

The trust leased the two-part Lower Station Yard site for several years, with the most recent lease signed in 2015 and due to end in 2025.

The proposed community garden has been assigned to a triangular site to the east.

However, in recent years the trust has struggled to deal with issues of anti-social behavior on the ground.

In a submission with the request, the trust said the problem was “with people failing in the brush area north of the parking lot.”

They added: “It has been very frustrating for the local residents and the Trust. In 2018, we held a meeting with the National Park and the Stirling Council to discuss how to improve the situation. It was agreed that we should work in partnership to develop the site, purchase the site through a community asset transfer, install toilets and improve parking.

“However, it became clear in 2019 that this was going to become extremely difficult as Stirling council was now actively reviewing the lower station yard with a view to building houses. A meeting in mid-2020 with the council’s housing department de Stirling has confirmed that it is highly unlikely that we will be granted approval to purchase or develop the western site.

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The good news, however, was that the council felt that building on the triangular area would not be profitable and that part could therefore be developed by the Trust.

In 2019, the Trust began to develop a gardening group. One of the proposals discussed and supported was the creation of a community tunnel.

The bid submission added: “With the pandemic and the lockdown in 2020, these plans have been put on the back burner. Nonetheless, as the lockdown progressed, we began to get anecdotal evidence that residents were talking about community allocations or a polytunnel as a ‘future-proof’ means of food supply in the village. .

“The containment underscored how vulnerable the community could be to external shocks. The Trust is therefore now seeking to further develop this idea, with a view to creating a community garden and a tunnel. This will not only allow the community to provide fruit and vegetables, but will also be an easily accessible, quiet and pleasant space where people can safely socialize, take the time to enjoy nature and immerse themselves in the beautiful surrounding landscape.

The first part of the project would see the clearing of the main hard ground and the construction of the 10ft x 24ft polytunnel and other elements.

The project also aims to develop raised beds; a wooden garden shed and a storage shed / garage; plantation of orchards; two potting tables; two or three park benches; the clearing of a concrete area of ​​weeds and saplings; and to clear a path along the old railway line.

The local school and nursery will be invited to get involved and, over the course of the project, the Trust hopes to develop strong links with the Orchy Community Polytunnel bridge, leading to exchanges of seeds and experiences and to develop a inter-community network.

Park planners are expected to make a recommendation on the application in due course.

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