The summary profile below is taken from the Buchanan Community Action Plan published in 2007.
The Action Plan was informed by the Buchanan Community Profile published in 2007.
LocationBuchanan lies in a very special part of the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park on the east shore of Loch Lomond, in the extreme west of Stirlingshire. Buchanan Community Council area connects a number of communities; Rowardennan in the north of the community with Balmaha, Milton of Buchanan, Buchanan Smithy and Buchanan Castle Estate to the south.
PopulationBuchanan has had a stable population for a number of years with a population of 621 in 1991 and a population of 630 in 2001. Buchanan has a higher proportion of the 44-64 age range than the National Park as a whole or Stirling Council. The school roll fell dramatically in the late 1990’s .
HousingThere are 245 house-holds with residents in Buchanan, with 69% of these being owner occupied. Only 8% of houses are homes for social rent compared to a Scottish average of 28%. The remainder of properties are a mixture of privately rented or ‘tied’ houses. Census data, backed up by local knowledge shows that there has been an increase in the number of second homes and holidays homes in Buchanan.
Employment and The Local Economy69% of people aged 16 to 74 in Buchanan are economically active, with 34% in full time employment, 10% part time and 21% self employed. Buchanan has three times as many self-employed people when compared to the Stirling area or the national average.
The main employment within Buchanan comes from tourism, Glasgow University (who have a research facility at Rowardennan) and the National Park. Agriculture plays a role, but to a much lesser degree than historically. The tourist industry employs a mix of domiciled residents, residential economic migrants, and workers from outwith the area.
The B837 connects the different Buchanan settlements between Balmaha and Drymen to the national road network at Drymen. For the 6 miles north of Balmaha it is a narrow unclassified road. This road is a clearway, therefore parking and stopping is not allowed. As the only road - one way in and one way out - it is under intense pressure at certain times. The road and verges are currently in an extremely poor condition.
Bus services are limited to a two hourly service to Alexandria. This is neither coordinated with the bus connection to Stirling at Drymen nor the train service from Balloch to Glasgow. There is no public transport north of Balmaha. There is no community transport as such. The closest taxi service is in Drymen.
Community Organisations and FacilitiesThriving Community organisations that make Buchanan special include: Buchanan Community Council; Buchanan Community Partnership; the School Board; Memorial Hall Committee; Flower Show; Buchanan Castle Estate Residents Committee; The Buchanan Voice community newsletter; a fortnightly mobile library service and a library in Drymen; play areas in Buchanan Smithy, Milton of Buchanan and the new and beautiful Balmaha Playscape. The nearest fuel services are over 10 miles away in Buchlyvie, Gartocharn and Balfron, with the nearest grocery shop and Post Office in Drymen.
EducationPrimary education is provided at Buchanan Primary School in Milton of Buchanan. The current school role is 30; this has risen from a low of 16 in 2005/06. High School education is provided at Balfron High School. There are no preschool facilities in Buchanan. The closest nursery is in Croftamie and the nearest play group is in Drymen.
Health and Care ServicesThe nearest services are: GPs in Drymen, Killearn and Balfron; hospitals in Stirling and Glasgow; dentists in Alexandria and Balfron. The closest dispensing pharmacies are over 10 miles away in Killearn and Balfron although Drymen Health Centre dispenses their own prescriptions.
EnvironmentBuchanan forms an important part of a larger area encompassing and surrounding Loch Lomond which has been designated a National Scenic Area. It is notable for a range of specially designated conservation sites such as the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve, the East Loch Lomond oak woodlands and the wetland area around the mouth of the Endrick.
HeritageThere are Scheduled Ancient Monuments listed by Historic Scotland in the area, for example the crannogs off the shore of Mill of Ross and the church on Inchcailloch island.
Whilst none of the Buchanan settlements have conservation status there are a large number of individual buildings listed by Historic Scotland including Buchanan Church, Buchanan Castle, the old school house in Milton of Buchanan and the old mill house.
A project has been undertaken by Buchanan Community Council to produce a book called “Buchanan Remembered” that is available locally. The Buchanan Community Profile is also available locally.