Blarbuie woodland is a beautiful, inspiring, tranquil, healing and accessible woodland in the grounds of Lochgilphead's former Argyll and Bute Hospital. The woodland has all abilities access, outdoor exercise facilities, sculptures and other art work and is planted with a mix of native and exotic trees. The woodland is open to all and provides a sanctuary for exercise, relaxation and socialising within the heart of Argyll.

Woodland restoration

The woodland has been lovingly restored and maintained under the guidance of Blarbuie Woodland Enterprise (BWE). Over the years the small charitable group has provided supervised and sheltered employment for users of mental health services and has engaged in many health and well-being projects and activities that have involved people from throughout the local community. Staff and volunteers have worked hard to maintain this community resource and to keep it accessible for all. 

Some of the outdoor gym equipment Blarbuie sky walk

ACT in the woods

Now that the Argyll and Bute Hospital is closed and there has been less of a need to provide sheltered employment the role of the woodland as a community asset is becoming more and more apparent. To preserve the woodland as a community resource an expression of interest has been lodged with NHS Highland to bring the woodland in to community ownership. As an organisation, BWE is too small to acquire and manage the woodland and so the charity has amalgamated with ACT. The health and wellbeing aims and initiatives of both organisations are closely aligned and so it is hoped that the merger will enable the woodland, and activities within it, to flourish.

The future of Blarbuie woodland

As a group, Blarbuie Woodland Enterprise have achieved an enormous amount at Blarbuie. ACT will build upon the legacy and strong community links that BWE have established and will create opportunities for more projects, activities and community involvement at the site.

ACT already works with Argyll and Bute Council's Community Learning team to deliver Moving On sessions and we have plans to deliver Branching Out sessions at Blarbuie too. Our new climate change awareness project, ACT Now, will be based in the woodland and so once it is up and running there will be lots of opportunities for the local community to get involved. We are keen to welcome groups of all ages to the woodland and to provide the chance for everyone to experience the joy and tranquility that comes from spending time at Blarbuie.    

One of the Blarbuie picnic areas Bluebells In Blarbuie woodland

Project contact

For more information email: [email protected]