Newsletter 9

The new community newsletter is being circulated to all members and associate members.

We hope you enjoy.

Please feed back any thoughts or comments to any of the Directors.

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Crofting Consultation

We intend to hold a number of consultation exercises with the crofters over the next few months, in order that we can develop a common and shared development plan for the estate and its management.

The first consultation however is more mundane and relates to croft rent.

Crofters will receive a document in the next few days, and we would appreciate it if comments are returned by the 30th of September.

 

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Mobile Post Office

Following the sad closure of the Post Office previously run by Kenny Dan Mackenzie at 7a Keose, the community was left without this local facility for the first time in over a century. Perhaps we thought that this had gone for good…but this might not quite be the case.

We have been approached by the Post Office in relation to a new mobile service that they hope to set up in the next couple of months.

Operated by the Postmaster in Tarbert, a van would visit the village each week, and would provide a wide range of services, from car tax; cash deposits and withdrawals to nearly all banks; currency; benefit and pension payments; and of course taking mail and many more – perhaps even a Paypoint facility for the payment of all sorts of bills.

Obviously, this will only work if there is local demand for the service, and things like the time and day of the stop here will be important. We will also need to decide on an appropriate location in the village for the stop – a good mobile phone signal or internet connection is required there however.

The Post Office is willing to install an appropriate phone line – it would be housed in a green metal box which the Postmaster would open up and plug in a data cable so that he can do his transactions…but this means that the stop location would have to be in the same place each week.

Your thoughts and comments on the proposed service, and ideas for the best location would be most welcome.

 

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Opening up the Estate

Upgrade work on 790m of road into the estate has now been completed with new surfacing and ancillary drainage..

This is now a fantastic asset to the community and will hopefully be a stepping stone to further development.

It gives all-weather access for both vehicles and walkers, and provides a parking and turning area at its end.

We would like to thank the contractor, AMK Plant & Tipper Hire Ltd for a job well done.

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Moorings

Since the Keose Glebe Community acquired ownership of the foreshore around the estate, including the majority of the bay at Port na Caraigh (up to the Carrington’s Garages), there have been a number of requests or expressions of interest from people looking to obtain a mooring for their boats here.

The existing moorings around Tavay are in limited supply, but the tidal nature of the bay, together with general access and other difficulties, makes short term or ‘easy’ expansion problematic.

Moorings in deeper waters are still governed by the Crown Estate (who we hope to meet this month)

We are, however, keen to see what expertise and advice can be brought to the matter, and what funding can be obtained to improve matters and access for all would-be users (without any detriment to the current mooring holders). Initially therefore, we would like to (informally at this stage):

Draw up a register of the current moorings, their locations and holders;

  • Assess the demand for additional moorings and facilities – initially from the inhabitants of the villages of Keose and Keose Glebe, but from further afield also;
  • To get some initial thoughts and comments from any interested party – both on what could and needs to be done around the bay and harbour, and any negative issues that affect use and enjoyment at the present time.

Please contact us with your information, views and expressions of interest.

 

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Donations

We would very much like to thank Alec John Mackenzie of AMK for his donation of office furniture to the estate; and to Lochs Motor Transport for the donation of box profile sheeting.

These will all be put to good use as we continue to develop our infrastructure, administration and various projects.

We are always happy to discuss, consider, receive and acknowledge any donations, whatever form they may be in – goods, services, time or whatever.

 

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Finding the Lost Glebe [1] – The Walled River

Keose Glebe was not always the empty moorland we see today…it was the location of farms (Miavaig, Swordale and Keose), villages (Streangal and Bailenacile(?)) and was traversed by all sorts of cairns and boundarys – both stone and turf.

These walls and dykes were not always constructed with directly paid labour however. The tenants of Keose were forced to collect and transport stone and materials from far and wide, not just for the village wall, but also to build and maintain the boundaries for the farms of Keose and Croigarry.

This was in addition to the rent they paid for their crofts, and the threat of eviction was always present if they failed to comply.

Continue reading “Finding the Lost Glebe [1] – The Walled River”

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Developing a Pathway Network

As was highlighted in our buyout feasibility study last year, walking is an activity with many health and other benefits, both for residents and visitors alike…perhaps fortunately for us – in both good and bad weather(!)

While there is a general right to roam here, as long as damage or disturbance is not being caused – difficulties arising from the terrain itself, access through fields and fences, and general underfoot conditions, makes walking around the villages perhaps more arduous than we would like.

This means that we often miss out on the best routes and views that the place can offer, and other historic or interesting places.

Without any designated routes, choice of pathways, age and ability and ‘all year round’ options, we are primarily left with only the main road into the villages – not ideal from a safety point of view, or for generating ongoing interest or supporting the formation of good and interesting habits.

We would therefore like to investigate the development of a paths network – both on the Keose Glebe estate itself, and linked to and around the village of Keose.

A number of (unsurfaced) historic paths and rights of ways exist, although these have fallen out of general use in recent years, and there are also a number of moor roads and tracks that could possibly link together and form part of this network (see below)

Landowner, Grazings and individual crofter permissions would have to be sought here as appropriate, and the necessary gates, fences etc erected and installed…but it could all be done in a way that would be of benefit to all.

Again, your thoughts, comments and ideas here would be welcome.

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Moor Road Improvement

Upgrade and improvement works to the moor access track have now begun. The work is being carried out by AMK.

This will hopefully allow greater use of the land for crofting, development and other social and recreational activities.

We also hope to develop turning and parking areas to encourage this use, and to make vehicular access easier.

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