HCWG is actively engaged with the local community and with key decision-makers within Argyll and Bute, seeking to broaden support for keeping and enhancing natural woodlands within the urban area of Helensburgh. Since April 2012, for example, we have:
- contacted all candidates standing for local elections for Argyll and Bute Council within the Helensburgh and Lomond wards and published their individual views on the future of Castle Woods and the Cumberland Avenue land. You can download this leaflet here
- gathered over 300 individuals objections to the proposed housing development at Castle Woods, which we passed on Argyll and Bute Council
- collected over 250 signatures on a petition urging the Council to use all necessary powers to ensure the reinstatement of the Cumberland Avenue site as an amenity area with suitable replanting and presented it personally to Councillor Roddy McCuish, then Leader of Argyll and Bute Council
- campaigned against activities undertaken on designated open space land without any planning permission, including unlawful storage of building materials and unlawful erection of a high fence
- organised seven separate meetings with senior planning officers from Argyll and Bute Council
- prepared our own management plan for Castle Woods, and held a successful public meeting to enable local people to comment on it and submitted a £241,000 funding application to the Armed Forces Community Covenant Fund to enable this to be implemented. Although the application was deemed ‘excellent’ by the Board, it was turned down as we had not by then been able to secure ownership control of the land.
- met and talked to politicians from across the political spectrum, including Alan Reid MP, Jackie Baillie MSP, and local councillors Maurice Corry, George Freeman, Gary Mulvaney, Aileen Morton, Ellen Morton and James Robb
- made representations to the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament on the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill.