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Lairg & District Community Initiatives

Church Hill Woodland

The Church Hill Woodland is a small community owned woodland in the centre of Lairg that is available for use by both locals and tourists - as a place to walk, relax in nature, picnic or meet up with friends.

LDCI has a Church Hill Woods Management plan to ensure that the carvings, picnic benches, handrails and the information plaques are maintained and aims to make further improvements to the area.

In 2022 funding was received from the Sustrans Art Roots Fund to allow LDCI to install a bike repair station (pictured above) as the Church Hill woods picnic area is a popular stop off for cyclists doing the National Cycle Route 1.

Further funding was secured from the Communities Recovery Fund 2 and from the Highland Council Ward Discretionary fund to build a shelter that can be used by community groups such as the Lairg Learning Centre to run outdoor classes or as a covered meeting space/ picnic area.

Church Hill Woodland - History

In 2009 Lairg & District Community Initiatives was asked on behalf of the War Memorial Committee to purchase Church Hill Woodland using funds which had been previously raised for this purpose. 

Following a community consultation and public presentation LDCI proceeded with the plans to upgrade the existing path network.

The total cost of the project exceeded £18,000 which was raised through grants from the Scottish Community Foundation, Comic Relief, the People’s Postcode Lottery and Scottish Rural Priorities. They were also assisted and advised by the Forestry Commission, the Scottish Government, the Sutherland Partnership and the North Highland Forest Trust.

The winding pathways through the trees to the war memorial and the church were constructed by Mackie Ross from Rogart, stone work and bench installation was carried out by Shane Brayshaw from Shinness, new fences and gates by John Sutherland from Rosskeen and interpretation panels designed by Marlyn Price from Lairg.

Although steep, the view from the path above the War Memorial is magnificent, stretching right across Little Loch Shin, and there is a conveniently placed bench upon which to sit and rest awhile.

Church Hill Woodland was officially re-opened on Tuesday 27th September 2011 by Mrs Jeanette Johnston.

Click here for a link to the North Highland Forest Trust