Page last updated at 13:03 GMT, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 14:03 UK

Community hopes of woods buy-out

Strathtay
Villagers want to buy 25 acres of land by the Tay

Residents of a village in Perthshire are hoping to purchase 25 acres of land for the community - if it ever comes on the market.

Locals in Strathtay have registered their interest in obtaining the land with Scottish ministers, using right to buy legislation.

Residents would like to encourage woodland wildlife, establish paths and create a canoe-viewing platform.

The area is already home to protected red squirrels and bats.

Roger Graham, chairman of the Strathtay Community Company, said: "We have a particularly attractive place here in Strathtay and it's been fortunately relatively untouched by development.

It can be seen across Scotland that towns and villages reach their full potential when they have effective community organisations, ensuring things actually get done
John Swinney
North Tayside MSP

"But of course there will be development and the idea of this is to have some word in the way this is conducted.

"It's simply a community attempting to really see that one of the nicer parts of Scotland doesn't change its character entirely. It isn't against change, it's more the nature of the change."

He added that about 80% of locals supported the idea of a community buyout.

John Swinney, MSP for North Tayside, said: "I am very pleased at the success of the Strathtay Community Company in its efforts in engaging the local community, both in its efforts to register a community interest in the land and its conservation proposals.

"It can be seen across Scotland that towns and villages reach their full potential when they have effective community organisations, ensuring things actually get done for the local area.

"In Strathtay we have that and it is excellent news for locals and visitors alike."




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