Moray Finch likes to say yes. As general manager of the Mull and Iona Community Trust (MICT) he has backed all sorts of projects over the years. A new hydro scheme? Yes. More affordable housing? Yes. Community transport services? Yes! However, when the community were offered the option to buy 201 hectares of woodland, he was initially minded to say no. Buying a woodland wasn’t part of the trust’s strategic plans and they had no experience of forest management. It felt like too big a risk, both financially and reputationally, with many unknowns. The whole idea took him out of his comfort zone.
“Luckily, one of our board members pushed us to explore the potential of the purchase,” reflects Moray, speaking to me from his Craignure office. “If they hadn’t, we might have really missed out.”