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Strathdearn Community Website

Strathdearn Community News


Tomatin and District Gardening Club meets at 7:30PM on the third Monday of each month at Strathdearn Community Hall. The aims of the Club are to improve our enjoyment and understanding of gardening under the rather special conditions prevailing in Strathdearn.
The Gardening Club is the organising body for the annual Strathdearn Flower Show.


Gardening in Strathdearn is constrained by climate (frost and wind rather than rainfall), acid soils and the ravages of rabbits and roe deer. Nevertheless gardeners in Strathdearn manage to create a variety of gardens, from alpine, through woodland, with some, in the more favoured, sheltered spots even aspiring to the cottage garden. Some manage high class fruit and vegetables which leave the majority of us perplexed and full of envy.

photo1 photo2 alpines Alec's tomatoes At flower show











Strathdearn-art-clubArt in Strathdearn welcomes anyone in the community irrespective of their artistic talents. Our club offers possibilities to those who might be unsure of what to do with their days while either unemployed or retired or unwell. It allows the participants to rekindle that creative enjoyment we all experienced as children, and receiving the support of a likeminded group can not only provide a purpose but might also be unearthing unexpected talent.

At present we have 20 members and meet every Thursday afternoon at the village hall from 1.30 pm till 3.30 pm. Generally everyone does their own thing with regard to drawing or painting but occasionally a few members decide on a group project. It is entirely up to the individual what they want to do. We also organise a number of outings during the year and workshops with professional artists. These provide variety, new inspiration and support for the participants to improve and/or learn new skills. The painted glass panels in the entrance way of the hall as well as the local school art club run by a current member and the success of our annual exhibition are all testimony of our accomplishments and show the benefit of such a thriving and productive club.

Thanks to those who came along to the site visit this morning - unfortunately most of the Cllrs who came today were not for interacting with the community, unlike those on the September visit.

I'm afraid the substation was approved by 19 votes to 4 with one abstention. Not a good result. No cognisance was given to the community's objection and all the issues raised by objectors were brushed aside.

It's disappointing to find so few are concerned about protection of the heritage and culture of the strath - but then the majority had never been here before and probably won't be here again.

Much was made by the planning officer and SSE of the wonderful screening the trees will provide. Unfortunately SSE has no control over the commercial woodland and it is likely to be felled at any time.

Visuals showing the powerlines carrying the 275kV line over the hill to the substation confirm the impact the monster pylons will have (up to 55.5m high).

garbole meetingLooking for some positives - at least this ugly complex will not be right beside the Garbole Bridge and construction traffic will come in via the Farr wind farm haul road. (Operational traffic will use the Glen road.)

SSE's response to the criticism of its poor environmental survey and failure to identify over 40 protected species found at site 5 by our ecologist, had the cheek to say they would use Dr Jones's report to inform their future survey work. Maybe they would like to contribute to his fee!

One Cllr. said SSE and locals should form a Community Liaison Group so that the community could have some influence on what happens. For what it's worth this has been added as a condition of planning approval.

It's all very disappointing - another beautiful, peaceful place in the Highlands despoiled by an industrial development. It was a done deal today - SSE desperate to get approval in order to start work and be up and running by 2018 and Highland Council not wanting to fight another appeal if the application was refused. Sadly, it appears democracy is dead in the water at present.

Thanks to everyone who has helped fight this development over the last three years. Time now for me to take a break.



Site visit by councillors. Come along on 8 November at 10.00am. Click "Read More" to view the poster. (UPDATE: Meeting time brought forward to 10.00am and route map added).

Gather glen


Garbole map

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