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On Saturday 27th November, my pal Iain found it, among other crofts; on the Land Register of Scotland and texted the link to me. ‘It wasn’t there on Friday’ he said.

This means that since notice was placed in the Oban times on the 25th August, the land court have had no standing objections filed and have pinged the application back to the crofting commission, who have in turn pinged the application to the Land Registry; who have in turn said a massive legal ‘Yep’ to the crofting commission.

Since our woodland croft proposal was accepted by Kilfinan Community Forest Company in September of 2019, the slow turning wheel of registration has revolved & is now complete. Our croft now exists and we are so excited, along with the rest of the KCFC crofting group to have sight of our leases in the next few weeks. This has been years in the waiting. We shall probably have to wait a little longer than next week as there is an EGM/AGM to vote on new board members, and they shall have to find the where the different drawers are in the filing cabinet.

EDIT: The EGM/AGM scheduled for the beginning of December has now been rescheduled for January 2023 to make way for another EGM; so we have to sit and be patient.

Its on, and thankfully; it’s not on like Donkey Kong. It’s winter in South West Cowal, no time to be scrambling around removing stumps or trying to terrace a hillside.

As we pause, my daughter and i are taking the time to sand the bench that the late Frank Gamwell milled for her mother; and finish it with Osmo oil before we carry it up the big hill to a place of reflection on our soon to be croft.

In this betwixt and between period, i also took the time to visit Morayshire and engage in discussion with Icelandic sculptor and engineer Alex Gardensson reignite our long standing plan to make & install some of the flowforms developed by John Wilkes together. With Alex’s skill and my aptitude for making the tea and ensuring curious participants have an excellent lunch; we hope to create a complete set of formers from existing ones to make the flowforms. Hydrology will be the singular most important step for us in tending this land and, as P A Yeomans has it, the single most permanent intervention humans can make on the landscape; so it’s worth taking the time to do it well!

On our return, we were happy to be the good home someone was looking for, & picked up the second batch of reclaimed fencing posts alongside some line wire from a rewilding project that were removing them from their land on the Rothiemurcus estate.

Once this pause for reflection is over, the signing over of the lease to us & our fellow tenants will be a landmark moment in the history of woodland crofting in Scotland. Our parish will host the single biggest woodland crofting settlement in the nation and a sets a positive precedent in a country already taking bold and necessary steps in Land Reform. Well done Kilfinan Community Forest. We’ve had a lot of faith in you.

Here’s a wee gallery of activity we undertook as tenants-in-waiting in 2022 and working FT jobs. What a year of doing nutting!


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