Culag Woods

Submitted by Owen McCafferty on Sat, 2009-11-28

These are community woodlands and they offer laid out trails from the Tree Trail, where you can learn the names of the different types of trees in a sort of tree hunt for the numbered trees, to Doire Dhariaich (Place of the Oaks) and the shore where if you are very quiet you may see an otter or seal!

The woodlands are run by a Trust which was set up in 1992 to manage them on a 50 year lease from Assynt Estate and Highland Council. The Trust is a Charity and survives by donations and membership, if you would like to find out more about what they do, or become a member or make a donation then contact Claire Belshaw (Secretary).

There is a very good leaflet available from the Car Park or the Tourist Information. This provides a map of the paths and lots of information about the different creatures and wildlife that you might see.

More about Culag Woods
The Culag wood stands on the edge of Lochinver, between the village and the sea, and the wood consists of 36 hectares of mixed conifer plantation with pockets of broadleaves. It is owned by the Assynt estate, except for a small part at the north end amounting to about eight per cent of the total area, which is owned by Highland Regional Council (HRC). It is one of the largest woods in Assynt, an area of some 500 square miles in North-West Sutherland with a widely scattered community of about 1,000 people.

Culag Community Woodland Trust (CCWT) was formed in 1995 to manage Culag Wood under a fifty-year lease from the owners, Assynt Estates and Highland Council. CCWT owns the Little Assynt Estate, which it bought in November 2000. In July 2003 CCWT purchased an office to facilitate the smooth running of administration and communication with local residents, visitors and other organisations.

The Culag wood is stocked with conifers interspersed with pockets of native trees – rowan, aspen, oak, holly, hazel, downy birch and willows. It was first planted by the Duke of Sutherland in 1847, and has long been valued by the local community, for it gives the village some shelter and has pleasant walks which lead to a rocky shore with quiet coves.

CCWT exists for the benefit of the local people in the parish of Assynt, Sutherland and for all the visitors to the area. Lochinver is the biggest centre of population but the parish stretches from Kylesku to Elphin and Culkein Stoer to Inverkirkaig and members come from all over the parish with a few from further afield in Scotland. The woods are a particularly good place to see local plants, birds and insects. There is a large heronry from which live pictures are broadcast onto a screen in the Assynt Visitors Centre in the summer.

Culag Community Woodland Trust (CCWT) Woody Group Dates 2009 – 2010
Like the idea of fresh air and exercise? Why not join the Woody Group, a happy band of volunteers who meet fortnightly on Wednesday afternoons to undertake maintenance work in Culag Woods.

Sessions start at 1pm and usually last a couple of hours—refreshments are provided. For More Information Contact Mel Chapman on 844424

Contact Culag Community Woodland Trust (CCWT) Tel: 01571 844368, 01571 844337 Fax 01571 855240 or sha…

Further read: A brief summary Of Culag Wood, Lochinver, Sutherland

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