We’ve started work on a Feasibility Study for a community land buy out at Great Bernera in the Western Isles. The project is for the Great Bernera Community Trust and is led by Calum Macleod, who is currently completing a similar study at the nearby Barvas Estate (http://www.calummacleod.info/).
The Great Bernera Estate includes Little Bernera and amounts to around 5200 acres. It’s officially part of Lewis although it has a distinctive sense of its own place. Most of the land is in crofting tenure, there’s a pier in active use for business and leisure and a good range of local services located in the centre of the island.
Bostahd Beach, at the north of the island, sits in front of an iron age settlement which was exposed by storms in 1993. One of the houses has been rebuilt as a heritage attraction. Even on a day scoured by the remnants of Hurricane Gonzalo, it was easy to see the attraction of this beautiful place to our predecessors.
The proposed buy out is an amicable arrangement between the two parties and a good example of how the growth of community land ownership can proceed towards the Scottish Government’s target of 1 million acres by 2020. The study is scheduled for completion in January 2015. Updates to follow….