Scheduled Monument Consent – eek!

According to Scottish Canals the single most difficult part of establishing new moorings will be Scheduled Monument Consent (SMC) from Historic Environment Scotland (HES – they felt the need to put another word in the middle, they were called Historic Scotland). This is because seemingly all monuments that fall into this category have the same level of protection. So in effect adding a pontoon to the canal follows a similar process to trying to build an extension on Edinburgh Castle! More info is available on their website. Also from page 16-22 in this .pdf document. So tricky times ahead on this one as it appears that the vibrancy of the canals and moving boats matters less to HES than the canals looking like they used to ‘back in the day’. In 1979 the canals were adopted as Scheduled Ancient Monuments by Historic Scotland. In order to make any changes to the canals, … Continue reading

Getting the right deal with Scottish Canals

So below you’ll find the text from the first outline proposal sent to Scottish Canals which should be negotiated through and hopefully come out with something that works for both parties (but especially for us). Katie Hughes requested a simple document that outlined the vision and the trading proposal, she didn’t require any complex detail or business plans at this stage, so that is what she got. The document aims to clarify the idea, outline its benefits and put in place an argument which will hopefully end with a deal in our favour. The main goals in terms of the ‘deal’ from my perspective are as follows: Terms which are as long as possible so we have a clear future to plan Fees based on a % of moorings fees (rather than a flat fee) to help with our cash-flow A % fee as low as possible to reflect the … Continue reading

A little Inspiration from the ‘Hutting’ movement

There are some real parallels between what we are seeking to achieve with Community Moorings and the ‘hutting’ movement. Check out http://www.thousandhuts.org/ for more information about this. Scandinavians know hutting very very well, and indeed it has been a part of Scottish culture since the creation of mountain bothies and in particular since the industrial revolution where small communities of huts were created in the countryside surrounding cities as a get-away from working-class urban life. Hutters have had similar challenges to ourselves. From the problems with their landlord at the biggest hutting site at Carbeth, to the challenges of creating new sites and ensuring the public perception of their community is spot-on. They have also recently done some amazing work to revive and expand their cause. Including creating a handbook for creating new hutting sites – check it out. I would love to see us reach this stage with Community Moorings and create a … Continue reading

The field near Park Bistro (2 miles E of Linlithgow)

This is the potential site which has the most time and effort put into it thus far in terms of creating a location available for community moorings. Firstly some photos… 175m of canal frontage 4 acres of land Road access Water supply Electric connection 2 miles from Linlithgow Just tootled past on the boat: I bought this field in the winter after two years of cycling up and down the Union Canal looking for available land. Originally this was to facilitate the Greenspace project and also as a plot of land for my own interests, however as the intention was always to have moorings available for a number of boats as visitor moorings, my attention has now turned to creating this as one of the first Community Moorings sites. For those not familiar, the Lowlands Canals Greenspace Initiative was my first stab at a canal-side social enterprise. The premise being making … Continue reading

A snapshot of progress so far…

just a few bullet points to show how far we have got… – SC have agreed to support the project in principle: Katie Hughes, Richard Miller & Andrew Thin – There have been two positive meetings with SC directors to investigate the potential and identify potential sites – I have purchased a field with 175 of canal frontage near Linlithgow as a second ‘Greenspace’ site which is one of the potential sites for community moorings (more to come on that specific opportunity, it would have taken too long to go into that one fully) – Andy Carnduff came up with a low(er) cost wooden jetty design as a potential moorings options – Various Scottish Canals staff have been advising and helping e.g. Chris O’Connell on the Heritage side who will help try to get ‘scheduled monument consent’ from Historic Environment Scotland, Brian Macinally on the engineering side