The loch was once well used by the local community and there is rare historic images depicting how actively used the Loch was by the local community.
The Loch was also used as a water skiing area up until the late 80s, early 90s. Since then, the Loch declined in usage and accessibility.
Over the years, the Loch has gradually regenerated it’s natural beauty and provided better support for a thriving variety of bird species, bats, and other entomology, and more can be made of this beautiful area.
By working in partnership with individuals and local non profits, we would like to create a project that will rejuvenate areas of Gelly Loch, including making it more accessible to the general public, and provide an area for educational and environmental usage.
We would like to create an eco friendly visitors centre which will double as an educational resource for local schools. Provide a friendly and accessible area for individuals and families, including creating pathways around the Gelly Loch.
The centre would be built using only natural and environmentally friendly sustainable materials.
Education will consist of allowing school visits with a specialised tutor/ranger that will be able to provide educational information on environmental issues, renewable technologies, local wildlife and other biodiversity habitats.
Ideally this would be a community led initiative with individuals taking control and creating a proper legal non profit organisation to develop the ideas, under the guidance of a trust, made up of local community groups, that will provide their time, knowledge, expertise and support to help develop the project as a valuable and educational resource for the local community.
The Loch can be turned back into a community asset with many social benefits for the people of Lochgelly, and this article is just one idea of how we can achieve something positive, but only if we work together as a community, individuals and non profits sharing their skills, expertise, and knowledge.
Since Lochgelly derives its name from the local Loch, we believe that the area needs to be protected and turned into a positive community asset for the entire community to share.
We are working in partnership with the Lochgelly Community Development Forum and spoken with a small group of individuals to see if they would like to help or support the project. From the feedback we have received so far, everyone is in support of the project.
The area we want to focus on regenerating, is where the boathouse is located (see the map above and images below) which has been left to decline in appearance and through a suggestion by the Lochgelly Community Development Forum, create an improved pathway between the boathouse and the small parking facility at the roundabout for the bypass to provide a suitable access point for those walking.[scrollGallery id=58]
This will be a long term project and could possibly take up to 3 years before any of the development work begins or is completed. There will also be some issues along the way, such as would we be able to buy the land or lease the land from the owners, getting planning permission, and securing funding.
However, those bridges can be crossed when we come to them.
Firstly, we need to find out if this project will be widely supported in the community. If it is, it will make the job easier of obtaining necessary funds and permissions, so please take the time to vote on the poll at the end of the article and leave a comment.
Secondly we need to form a committee from local individuals and other non profit groups, that is fully constituted and will be responsible for the day to day organisation of taking the project forward. We are currently calling the project ‘The Gelly Trust‘ as a working title.
Thirdly, will be the creation of a business plan, we created a very basic draft of the proposal, which is in the process of being modified, this will be shared online shortly, and again we will ask the local community, what aspects of the proposal they think should be kept, and what parts should be removed. We will keep doing this until there is a fully refined proposal for the Loch with a Business Plan.
After that, it will be a case of getting permission from the landowners to either lease or buy the land, and obtain building permission, secure funding etc.
The project will be a long term plan and at times will require a lot of work, but by pulling our resources and skills as individuals and utilising the networks of some of the local non profits that may get involved, we feel that it can be pulled off, which will provide a positive development for the Lochgelly area.
Please take a moment to complete the poll below, and feel free to leave your comments and suggestions, thanks.