Let’s breathe new life into lochside land ...

The proposed site for the new Ecology Centre, community orchard and woodland burial area
The proposed site for the new Ecology Centre, community orchard and woodland burial area

Ambitious plans which would give a new lease of life to a rundown site at the edge of Kinghorn Loch have been unveiled.

The proposals, including a new, purpose-built Ecology Centre, a woodland burial site and a community orchard, are being proposed by Kinghorn Community Land Association (KCLA), a group set up to ensure a sustainable future for land around Kinghorn Loch.

The group is on the verge of sealing an historic deal that will bring 15 acres of land between the village and Kinghorn Loch into community ownership.

The move, led by KCLA and the Ecology Centre, would also secure the popular centre’s future at a new location on the east shore of the loch, after its lease runs out in November, and lead to the establishment of a multi-faith woodland burial site and a community orchard.

In early 2013 the owners of the site, Kinghorn Developments, went into administration and the administrators have offered to sell to the community.

Richard Brewster, chairman of KCLA, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the people of Kinghorn to do positive things with land that is largely derelict.

“We used the Scottish Land Reform legislation to stake a claim for community ownership in case the landowners decided to sell. That time is now.

“Last month we sent the word out within Kinghorn that community ownership might be on the cards, and the response has been terrific. We’ve had over 200 pledges of support.

“There’s still a long way to go, but we’ve done a lot of work to show these proposals can work and have applied to the Lottery and other funders to raise over £100,000 to buy the land and start putting these plans into action.

“We hope to hear if our funding applications have been successful within the next few months.”

Julie Samuel, general manager of the Ecology Centre, added: “The lease on the land is now secure and we hope to purchase the land in the next few months. The revised plan is for a much smaller building that can be extended in future.

“We’re very excited by this as it would give us a permanent base and working with KCLA will bring lasting benefits for Kinghorn such as jobs, training and social opportunities.”