A supportive comment recently received from an Eddleston resident:
As a local resident I would like to submit a letter of support for the above appeal of the planning application 19/01256/FUL.
I have recently become aware of the proposal and as a local resident of Eddleston I am in full support of this endeavour within our community. I feel this proposal would help the local ecology, environment, businesses and have the potential to educate and improve the health and wellbeing of those involved.
Reviewing the original applications supporting document 19_01256_FUL-KEY_PLAN-3336373.pdf which gives an overview of the site, showing the numerous large industrial and metal constructed farm buildings, occupying a huge footprint in the landscape. I feel the request to build a series of small huts, built from sustainable materials, each occupying a small footprint and of minimal height, would be a welcomed attraction within the landscape, and a sense that the people using these spaces are focused on engaging, encouraging and supporting the local ecology and helping it to thrive and increase its diversification.
The community of Eddleston have recently been asked to take part in a survey of what matters for them in the community and identify priorities of action. It was clear from the results that the community were in favour of a shop, and the proposal could further support the possibilities of a shop opening within the village.
As an educator I can only see positives coming from the proposal, the opportunity to engage both the young and old alike, informing and educating, and given that the site is less than 15 miles from some of the lowest Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD 1, 2 & 3). The proposal, which offers a designates one of the huts to a Charity, can only be a positive move not only for the people of the Scottish Borders but of the surrounding Authorities, engaging those who may not have the opportunity to visit such spaces and locations.
To conclude, I would prefer to have part of the local environment being micro-managed and invested in, by people who wish to ‘care for’ the environment and to be ‘in’ the landscape, encouraging its local ecology to flourish, which in turn could sustain better yields for farmers, educate and support local businesses (especially during and constructions stage and continued maintenance) and return part of the environment back to its natural state.
Questions & answers about the proposed hutting site:
- Why huts?
Because huts among the trees at North Cloich will drive woodland regeneration on this difficult land. Huts will provide shelter, allowing people to devote more time to the woodland, become more deeply rooted, better care for their trees, improve their woodland management skills, create more value, encourage more wildlife, sequester more carbon, harvest more non-timber forest products, contribute more meaningfully to local community, and discover more joy in doing so.
- Why here?
Because this is the only place offering to connect people intimately with woodland and tree growing through direct individual ownership of the land, in a collaborative project to re-establish a native broadleaf woodland. The ancient wildwood here was cleared long ago, but this particular location proved to be inappropriate for commercial forestry. Today North Cloich Woodland needs people to help restore its natural landscape and its true sense of place by planting more native trees. Uniquely, this land's owner is willing to share the re-establishment of the semi-natural woodland by selling affordable woodland parcels to committed people willing to invest time and resources planting and caring for their own native trees. A hut as a simple weathertight refuge within each woodland parcel would support the regular attention required to establish and maintain the new native trees.
- Why now?
The climate crisis has already arrived. Tree-planting is right now the best available tool to decarbonise the atmosphere. Over centuries rural landscapes have been changed by people, adapting their environment to serve immediate needs. A longer perspective could have delivered a more sustainable outcome. Perhaps our species is not yet too late to redress the carbon problem we have created. Failure to seize today's chance to mitigate unwanted climate change would be an important opportunity wasted. In North Cloich Woodland more trees need to be planted, and people are needed to commit to this work without further delay.
- More questions or comments?
Please let us know your thoughts on any of this. To express your support or your doubts about the proposed hutting site, please leave a comment on this page, get in touch via the contact page, or comment on the North Cloich Woodland Facebook page. We would genuinely be pleased to hear from you. Thank you for your interest.