As part of a national programme of events marking Community Land Week, Ulva School Community Association (USCA) and Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT) held a celebratory event at Ulva Ferry last Friday. Blessed with sunny weather after a week of rain, community members gathered at a plot at Oskamull, recently purchased by MICT on behalf of the Ulva Ferry community. Local children planted tree saplings and wildflower seed bombs, made at Ulva Primary the previous day and buried a time capsule full of local memories, mementoes and pictures, and not to be opened until 2050. The day was rounded off with a family ceilidh at the school, with local musicians and a bar-b-que.
Grateful thanks are extended to everyone who helped make it a special day: Lucy from Lip na Cloiche Garden for donating the tree saplings, Iain MacKay for carrying out the fencing, pupils and staff Ulva Primary School for all their help and enthusiasm, the Mimi Spence Ceilidh Band for the excellent music, Alan Jack for MC duties and Còisir Òg Mhuile for lovely singing. Particular thanks go to the extremely hardworking USCA committee for all their organisational efforts.
As USCA Secretary Anna Hogan commented, ‘’The warmth and joy of this event were utterly beautiful. The tree planting was about the children and their future, which is, of course, what the affordable housing plans are all about. It was great to see so many children and their families, young and old joining in, to help and to have great fun! Thanks to everyone who played a part, including Community Land Scotland.’ MICT General Manager, Moray Finch, added, ‘It’s a privilege to be able to support our local community and to see the hard work of so many people coming to fruition. The results are there for all to see with so many children helping plant the time capsule. There is more work to do though; in the time taken for us to build the first 2 houses, another 4 homes at Ulva Ferry are now self-catering or second homes’.
USCA and MICT have ambitious plans to build four more houses at Ulva Ferry, to meet the ongoing demand for affordable, long-term rental houses in the area. The land at Oskamull was purchased, via the Scottish Land Fund, to build these houses on, and it is hoped work will start in spring 2020. As with any community project, a great deal of fundraising and grant applications are required to secure the development funding for the build costs. A fundraising appeal has been launched, and any donations would be gratefully received, either online at: https://wonderful.org/appeal/ulvaferryaffordablehousing or by sending cheques payable to ‘Mull and Iona Community Trust’ to An Roth, Craignure, Isle of Mull, PA65 6AY. A total of £326.03 was raised at the celebration event, which is a fantastic start to the appeal.
For more details about the housing project, or if you are interested in renting one of the planned houses, please contact Helen MacDonald on 01680 812 900 or email email@example.com.