The new Carnock Hutters Group have been busy working on the next steps for transforming a corner of Carnock Woods into Scotland’s latest hut site. Reforesting Scotland, together with Forest Enterprise Scotland initiated this pilot hut site project, and the formation of this new group of prospective hutters is the latest step in a long process which began with the selection of a prospective site several years ago.
Due to the huge demand for hut sites, it was decided that the fairest way to allocate the available site was run a series of events to ensure that people were as well-informed as possible before applying, then invite those still committed to the project to enter a ballot. The ballot for 12 hut sites at Carnock Wood was drawn by Reforesting Scotland’s Auditors in early July, using a random number generator. The lucky group of people selected get the chance to be able to take up the offer of renting a hut site at the Forest Enterprise managed Carnock Wood. Several meetings of the Carnock Woods Hutters group have happened and the next one is coming up soon. The Thousand Huts campaign is working closely with this group of 12 to form a constituted group and negotiate a lease with Forest Enterprise Scotland through the Community Asset Transfer Scheme process.
Most of the wood is pine plantation of various ages but the hutting site is surrounded by broadleaves and is growing a healthy crop of bracken at present. It looks out to the west and south.
The huts will be owned by individual hutters who will look after them and pay an affordable ground rent to FES. This figure hasn’t yet been negotiated. There is room for 12 huts on the site, including 2 which will be made available to local people. There will also be a school hut or outdoor classroom for the use of schools in the local area. The huts will look similar to each other with a timber finish but will vary in size and roof type. There will be a forestry road ending in a car park at the edge of the site but after that everything will need to be carried or wheeled in by wheelbarrow. The site will not be connected to mains services and there will be no rubbish removal. There may be a water supply to stand pipes. No Council Tax will need to be paid, as we understand it.
When the constituted group of hutters is formed with various rules and regulations to protect the hutters and the site, they will then enter into a lease agreement with FES. The Thousand Huts campaign are on hand to guide the hutters through both processes.