The Sculpture Workshops are designed to introduce secondary school pupils and adults to this Scottish Sculptor and create their own work, in the very place where Hew Lorimer had his own sculpture studio. But we require funding for them to go ahead each year.
Over the past few years local secondary school pupils have enjoyed this really unique opportunity to benefit from working with a professional Sculptor, Kenny Munro. Kenny has been actively working as a sculptor and educator for over 20 years.
However, the adjacent orchard and woodland garden areas require development to give us the opportunity to create a much more wildlife friendly environment for a whole range of bees, bats and insects.
With the assistance of the local community, we plan to sow a wildflower meadow in the orchard and plant 35 new fruit trees which will help the replacement of the ageing trees in the long term. We will also plant 180 metres of native hedging and add benches and a willow sculpture which can be used as an education area, enabling us to increase the number of schools visits.
We also wish to plant further native trees with underplantings of spring bulbs to make an attractive feature, refresh areas of planting in the main borders and restore the herb garden with bee friendly planting.
In 2013 Iona celebrates the life of Columba who arrived in 563AD. To mark this celebration and to provide for an increased number of visitors, the Trust wishes to provide information about the island by producing an interpretative panel at the pier and a leaflet which tell the history of the island. The interpretation will also show a map with suggested walks and many other things to see and do, to enhance the visitor experience of all that the island has to offer.
The Traditional Croft Management Scheme run by the Trust encourages the continuation of traditional crofting practices on the Balmacara Estate as a means of ensuring the protection and enhancement of the increasingly rare croft landscapes. Moreover, it encourages a diversity of species and habitats and reflects the strong cultural identity associated with the crofting and the landscape.
We have successfully supported traditional crofting agricultural practices at Balmacara for five years now and the TCMS has been praised by crofting bodies and others as a model scheme. Furthermore, it has fostered good community relations with an increasing number of crofters taking part each year and was highly commended under the recent Scottish Landscape Awards.
For the past five years, funding subsidies have been available but in the current economic climate these are now being cut and the Trust is in danger of being unable to support the crofting activity on its estate.
We are urgently seeking funding to help us to continue these crofting practices, otherwise, once lost, it is unlikely that it will ever be possible to be replace them in the future. To support crafting at Balmacara, £15,000 is needed each year.