Findhorn Dunes Ownership and Management
See link below for map of Findhorn Hinterland, (be patient it’s a large file and will take a few moments to open).
There were questions about the dunes and who owns and manages what that came up at the land celebration ceremony on the 9th of December. I said I would see what I could do to shed some light on the situation, which is why I have copied the new land boundaries map above. I do not know how well it will show up especially if it is in black and white but it shows the rough areas.
The land to the north was gifted by Duneland Ltd to the local area in 2000 and is owned and managed by a charity, the Findhorn Dunes Trust (FDT) with Trustees from the village and Park community. The area in the middle is the land purchased from Duneland Ltd and now owned by the Findhorn Foundation. It is the shape that it is as the FDT did not want at the time to take on responsibility of a lot of management such as the woodland area and large areas of gorse, Duneland wished to retain the turbines with their revenue on their land and the area to the west was enlarged as there had been talk about the green burial being out there as a joint resource between the village and Park community. Duneland Ltd now owns three pockets of land, that north of East Whins was retained to allow access to further development up to the high dune ridge and fire protection, that to the east of the Foundation land as it was the most contaminated and the Foundation did not want to take on that potential liability and a small area in the north east that was retained as there was at one time talk of a potential retreat space being created out on the edge of the firth. The land to the west of the map, where ‘Findhorn” is, is at present owned by Novar Estates although a group from the village have set up the Findhorn Village Conservation Company and are involved in trying to bring about a community buy out. The Findhorn Hinterland Group is a community group that does not own land but was set up nine years ago to manage land on the Findhorn Peninsula for conservation and educational purposes working with landowners to provide help and support as wished and/or needed. At present the FHG has a written management agreement with Duneland Ltd and soon there will be one with the Foundation. It works with the Dunes Trust on a project-by-project basis. At present it gains revenue from the green burial site it runs, pony grazing in the fields, some wood from Wilkies Wood, grants for specific projects and donations from the public. It is looking to change its management structure to a charity in the near future and, after further public consultation, to put together a new management plan for the area that tries to integrate good management of a fabulous local resource with a complicated land ownership structure.
I trust that the above helps clarify things a bit. Do ask me if you want to know more and I am sure there will be an opportunity as the Findhorn Hinterland Group goes out to consult the public, to put together a more in depth presentation about this and other aspects of the land which borders on to where we live.
Jonathan Caddy, Convenor, Findhorn Hinterland Group