Blairbeg Community Woodlands

Glen Urquhart – Community Woodland Ownership 2023

On the 8th Dec 2023 Glen Urquhart Rural Community Association were delighted to announce that the Scottish Land Fund had awarded the Trust funding of £135,936 to purchase 3 plots of land in the centre of Drumnadrochit and carry out some essential remedial work.

During 2021 an extensive consultation was carried out to test the aspirations for bringing the woodland into community ownership. Following negotiations with the current landowner, agreement was reached to sell 3 plots of land to the community.

1) Bradley Martin Garden (area in front of Glen Urquhart Public Hall) 2) Blairbeg Woods North (to the rear of the Hall)
3) Blairbeg Woods East (backing onto the graveyard)

Blairbeg Woods at the Centre of Drumnadrochit – with thanks to the Ordnance Survey.

There are a range of ideas about how the woodlands could be used by the community and a consultation event will be held in the new year to decide ultimately what these will be. Some of which include:

1) Use of the Bradley Martin Garden with the hall; it could then be used for erecting a marquee for functions, as well as providing somewhere for people to sit during walks around the village
2) To improve the woods’ bio-diversity to enrich the wildlife using the woodland (ecological surveys have already been carried out) 3) Potential for formal paths and links to a heritage trail project that’s already underway.
4) Disc gold facilities 5) Dementia-friendly woods to capitalise on the proximity of the Glenurquhart Care Project.

If you are interested in getting involved with developing and delivering any of these ideas,
please contact Dan Light, our Community Development Officer at

‘The area beside the Hall will help preserve the Bradley Martin Memorial an obelisk commemorating a little-known American who rented Balmacaan estate back before the first World War. It is interesting to note that Martin was an officer in the American army during the Civil War- and while other parts of Scotland have issues with memorials to slave owners, here we have a Memorial to someone who actively fought against slavery in the US

Fraser Mackenzie, GURCA Trustee – find out more on the 19th February

Key Documents