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Torwood Community Woodland Group
Torwood Community Woodland Group was established in 2003 as a response to concerns about the future of the woodland around the village of Torwood in Central Scotland. These concerns originated from the news that a local developer had purchased the woodland on either side of the Castle Loan some time in 2002 and planned to develop the lower half of the woodland. An area of mixed woodland adjacent to Glen Road was illegally felled in September of that year and the developer was prosecuted for this by The Forestry Commission. A petition against the illegal felling and the subsequent dumping of demolition waste on the site was signed by half of Torwood’s residents in the summer of 2003 and passed to Falkirk Council, The Forestry Commission and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. Since then, the developer has felled the remainder of the lower woodland this time with a licence and has made several attempts to pursue development projects. To date a small reservoir has been constructed on the pretext of it being a ‘wetland area’ for wildlife. This has included a tarmac road and large garage facility, all sanctioned by Falkirk Council. Additionally approaches have been made to the Woodland Group to offer the upper woodland in exchange for support for development in the lower woodland. The Group was successful in obtaining funding from the Scottish Land Fund for the purchase of the upper woodland. However, sadly, the owner was not willing to negotiate with us unless we offered support for his proposed developments. Needless to say, the Group has refused to become involved in any such deals, viewing the woodland as a whole as a precious asset that requires protection. In addition, it would not be proper constitutionally for the Group to negotiate in this way. At the end of 2003 the owner sold on the upper woodland to another local developer, who has also tried to use it as a bargaining chip in order to pursue their own development plans. The future of the woodland therefore remains uncertain as development activity in the Torwood area has increased significantly and pressure for more building land increases. Torwood’s woodland is listed on Scottish Natural Heritage’s list of ancient woodland.
In 2009, in response to another application by the owner to build 5 houses on the same site that was illegally felled in 2002, the Woodland Group collected 450 signatures to protest at the application and to ask Falkirk Council to protect the ancient Woodland of Torwood.
In 2003 the Woodland Group became an incorporated entity, Torwood Community Woodlands Ltd, with its registered office at "Willowdene", Glen Road, Torwood, Larbert, FK5 4SN.
Chairperson : Joanna Stevenson
Company Secretary : David Neilson
Membership Secretary : Lyndsay Pettigrew
Minutes Secretary : Isobel Paton