Restoration and Regeneration

When the Glencruitten Cathedral of Trees (SCIO) was set up in February 2016, it was hard to know where to begin.   There was so much to do.  The paths were weedy and uneven, the ground was boggy  and sour and many of the trees and hedges had died back.  In Winter, the site had become a frost pocket with the surrounding conifers almost completely blocking out any sunlight. 

And yet the enduring mystery of the place remained.

 View into the cloisters 

View into the cloisters 

With funding from The Oban Common Good Fund, we were able to invite Jane Kelly, Artist and Garden Designer (www.guildingthelily.info) to visit and evaluate our plans for restoration and for developing the Cathedral as a resource for the local community.  She came along one chilly day early in March 2017

Her report confirmed the priorities we had identified, namely :-

  • The reinstatement of the drainage system
  • Restoration of the paths - the surfaces and the reducing the steep gradient at the entrance
  • Felling of the mature conifers surrounding the site currently blocking out the light
  • SLOWLY  begin to replant alongside and in tune with the natural regeneration of the existing plants.

These are the main PROJECTS which we continue to work on - seeking funding, making grant applications and identifying local sources for materials etc.   

 Central path before restoration

Central path before restoration

Early in 2018 we were successful in a grant application to Historic Environment Scotland and this has enabled us redirect the water away from the entrance to the site, build French drains either side of the central path in the Nave and reduce the gradient at the Cathedral entrance.  Thanks to Ian McCuish Landscaping for this work.

 Path after restoration

Path after restoration

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Another central aim of the Charity is to develop the Cathedral as a resource for the local community of Oban and for all who come into the area