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Friday, 4 January, 2002, 17:34 GMT
Locals aim to buy mountain
Neighbouring Schehallion has also been purchased
A Highland community is aiming to buy a mountain and turn it into native woodland.

People living near Dun Coilich, near Aberfeldy, Perthshire, want to raise 170,000 to buy the rugged landscape, which was put on the market last year.

A community land trust has already been set up to channel support from 12,500 residents.

The trust plans to apply for a grant from the Scottish Land Trust to cover 75% of the sale price, which comes to about 130,000. The site is currently run as a deer park.

Gigha island
Gigha residents bought their island
Local people hope to emulate other successful community buyout schemes such as those on the islands of Eigg and Gigha.

The Highland Perthshire Community Land Trust steering group, which was set up in November, believes that the 1,100 acre Dun Coilich site has the potential to be converted into a beauty spot which could attract tourists.

The group already has the support of the John Muir Trust, which owns the neighbouring mountain of Schiehallion and two years ago paid 1m for the 4,185 acre Ben Nevis estate.

Steering group spokeswoman Wendy Mattingley said: "At the moment Dun Coilich is overgrazed and overbrowsed and we would like to see it regenerated with native trees.

'Lot of potential'

"It was part of a deer farm and the hill ground was used for stalking. There are about 80 red deer on it and a few sheep which are fenced in.

"It is a nice piece of hill ground with a gorge and some lovely craggy areas. It has a lot of potential.

"The plan is for some of the planting to be done by schoolchildren, so in the future they will be able to take their grandchildren to see the trees which they planted."

Mrs Mattingley added that the trust would aim to raise money for more land purchases in the area if its bid proved successful.

See also:

31 Oct 01 | Scotland
Islanders face 1m bill
30 Oct 01 | Scotland
Islanders win battle for Gigha
30 Oct 01 | Scotland
God's mild Scottish island
12 Oct 01 | Scotland
Islanders back buy-out bid
10 Aug 01 | Scotland
Isle be yours - for 3.85m
16 Jul 01 | Scotland
Land reform warning to ministers
29 Sep 00 | Scotland
Man of many jobs retires
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