On Friday 6th March we were delighted to welcome 45 attendees from across the Strathard community, public bodies, local businesses, landowners and relevant groups to share their visions for Strathard as part of the new Strathard Framework.
Thanks to everyone who spared their time to share their ideas on Strathard’s future. Here is a short update on discussions and outputs from the workshop.
Background work and research was displayed on maps around the room, including all the land use and development information that has arisen from documents like the Local Development Plan, the Outdoor Recreation Plan and the Strathard Initiative.
This framework will also build on the focussed community engagement work undertaken by the Strathard Community Council and the resultant Community Life Plans.
Julia Frost, from PAS, led the discussions throughout the day along with Heather from Architecture & Design Scotland. The audience highlighted the best things about Strathard, including the amazing natural capital – scenery, landscape, wildlife, clean air, tranquillity but also the social capital – the community spirit and vibrancy and the created capital – the steamship, the shops and facilities in Aberfoyle and the paths and tracks that allowed opportunities to walk, horse ride and cycle.
There was a desire in the room for increased connectivity via broadband, mobile and roads. Improved public transport that is more sustainable / lower carbon also continued to be one of the most talked about issues, alongside flooding and the local economy. Another matter which there was consensus on was the development of Aberfoyle as the hub for the area and creating a better sense of place in the centre of Aberfoyle.
Aberfoyle main street
One workshop activity considered two possible futures for Strathard by 2050 and emphasised the need to keep climate change as a central theme throughout the Strathard Framework.
However discussions were not solely about planning. In terms of land use, the main opportunities highlighted were deer and wild goat management to improve the quality of the woodland; connection of native woodland; peatland restoration; and the creation of more farms. These were, again, important components in supporting a more climate and carbon responsive landscape.
A follow-up workshop to build a further consensus on the issues to be included in the Framework was scheduled for Wednesday 25th March has now unfortunately been postponed due to the current guidelines on the Covid-19/Coronavirus outbreak. We hope this can be rescheduled later in the year and will keep everyone informed.
If you have any questions about the Strtahard Framework and would like to be involved in its development, please let us know by emailing Rob Piggot (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you are a resident of Strathard and would like to be involved then please speak to the Community Council at email@example.com.