It was with great excitement we opened an email from the Planning Department telling us we had our planning permission for the cabins/pods in Gartmore which is in the middle of the beautiful Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
Our pods will have a double bed and en-suite and will be hidden in the woods. They will be very rustic and have a decking for people to sit and watch the wildlife with a settee, table and chairs and an outdoor bath. There will be no internet, solar powered twinkling lights and composting toilets (very nice ones indeed!).
We have a passion for wildlife and conservation and we worked with the Planning Department to ensure we sited the pods (cabins will come later) where there would be no damage to native woodland. In fact, as part of our development, we will be planting more native species trees to encourage more wildlife into the woods – a percentage of our profits will also go to conservation and I will keep you up to date on the projects we are working on. We intend to be as eco-friendly as we possibly can.
The Pods will have a wildlife theme –Badger’s Sett, Fox’s Den, Jay’s Nest and Red Squirrel’s Dray. We have all of these animals/birds close by. Our overall name will be Dreamcatcher Cabins. We are taking part in a project with Scottish Wildlife Trust at present to identify family groupings of the red squirrels we have visiting our garden and woods. This is done by gathering hair samples of the squirrels and also the other animals they are sharing their habitat with.
We are very keen to work with the community. We are in discussion with Green Routes (a charity working with adults with additional support needs building their work skills) as to how we can offer work experience opportunities and we are hoping they will build our bird and squirrel boxes for us. We are keen to develop links with other groups and schools locally too.
We have started on site with the pegging out of the dimensions of the pods (cover photo shows the first peg going in), Brian has started the process of putting in the paths, car park and bases for the pods etc. He was hoping to have that completed for mid-March. However, the snow has come and stopped progress as you can see!
Brian puts in the first peg
We start to peg out the carpark
And then we start to peg out the pods
And then the paths
and Brian starts removing some carefully chosen trees (non native to be replaced by native)
Our forest management plan is to have replaced 20% of the non-native trees with native. It has to be done very carefully and slowly so as not to compromise the stability of the forest.
We started the cabin bases
…………………. and then it snowed.
……………….and then it melted and rained!
Back on track