Well attended and successful AGM

April 2014 - direct action replanting
At a well-attended Annual General Meeting held on Monday 28 April, HCWG members voted unanimously to step up the Group’s campaign to save Castle Woods and ensure the land at Cumberland Avenue is fully restored and re-opened to public access

The meeting began with a fascinating and wonderfully illustrated talk from local archaeologist Fiona Baker about the history of Clan MacAulay and how Ardencaple Castle along with its surrounding Clan lands in the Helensburgh area had evolved from the thirteenth century until the Castle was finally demolished by the Navy in the late 1950s. Fiona explained just how important the wooded areas around the Castle had been to its setting and showed how many key features remain or can be discerned in the landscape even today.

After a short break, David Adams, HCWG’s Convenor, reported that the membership of the Group had increased by 40% in 2013 to a total of 90 and that income for the year had more than doubled. On Cumberland Avenue, the meeting strongly backed the direct action taken by Argyll and Bute Council to enforce the Tree Replacement Notice. Members expressed their determination to see the removal of the unauthorised building materials stored on the site as well as the unauthorised boundary fence on to Cumberland Avenue. They also called on Argyll and Bute Council to take action under Section 179 of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997 to require all logs, tree stumps etc and other remnants from the 2011 felling to be removed from the site.

The meeting further called on Mrs Osborne and Mr Paterson, owners of Castle Woods, to grant HCWG a 12 month option to purchase the land at Open Market Value and invited local councillors, businesses and residents to support this request.

For more information, see the reports at:
For Argyll: With membership up by 40% in 2013 Helensburgh Community Woodland Group ups the ante and invokes Section 179
Lochside Press: Woodlands group calls for further legal action

Direct action taken by Council to replant trees

police van  replanting on 24 April

On 15 April 2014, following the continued failure of Margery Osborne and Thomas Paterson, the owners of the land at Cumberland Avenue to comply with the official Tree Replacement Notice, Council contractors moved on to the site land at around 8.30 a.m., escorted by police, to implement the notice directly. The contractors concentrated initially on clearing logs and debris from the areas identified for replanting. The following week they returned and planted the 28 trees specified in the Tree Replacement Notice.

For further information, see the reports at:
For Argyll: Cumberland Avenue Helensburgh 8.30am this morning – in go council contractors under police escort
Lochside Press
Council takes action at Cumberland Avenue
Tree planting complete at Cumberland Avenue