Welcome to
Laide & Aultbea Community Wood


Located in the West Highlands, Laide & Aultbea Community Woodland (LACW), including two inland lochs, extends to 86.6 hectares (214 acres). It was originally owned and planted with mostly conifers by the Forestry Commission between 1963-67. Little management was carried out and the woodland was sold in 1993 and then changed hands several more times before being purchased by the community in 2003 when LACW was established.

Since 2003, trails have been created, bridges built, a bird hide constructed and over 62,000 (mostly) new broadleaf trees planted. A new 1.4km trail was completed in 2020 and a fully accessible picnic area developed in 2021.

The woodland is run by Trustees/Directors drawn from the local community and has an enthusiastic volunteer team and active membership, all of whom help to achieve our key charitable objectives:

To manage access to LACW, provide opportunities for recreation and conserve, regenerate and preserve the woodland 

To encourage community involvement in the management of the woodland

Everyone is welcome at LACW and we hope you enjoy your visit

Latest News

Bridge Replacement Programme 

With funding from the People’s Postcode Trust we have an ongoing bridge replacement programme for the five bridges on the main trails.  We are using larch timber purchased from, and milled at, the National Trust for Scotland at Inverewe. Three bridges are complete and we will replace the remaining bridges during 2022. Temporary closures of some paths may be necessary so we ask for your patience.

Covid 19

Trustees take the health of our volunteers and forest visitors seriously. Please observe current guidance on social distancing particularly in the car park and during log sales

Your Woodland

There are three main trails in the woodland, two lochans, a cascade and a hide overlooking Loch Na Creige where you are very welcome to record your wildlife sightings. Seats are located throughout the woodland along the trails and there are picnic tables by Loch na Cathrach Duibhe and at the start of the Heather trail.

Laide and Aultbea Community Woodland Map.jpg
Laide_and_ Aultbea_Community_Woodland_Map_info.jpg

Please click .HERE. to download a PDF map of LACW

Easier Access Trail

The 1.4 km "Heather Trail" starts from the car park near to the Old Smiddy B&B. You enter the "View For All" picnic area via an easy access self-closing gate and the trail runs down to Loch Na Creige.

The well-maintained trail is top-dressed with firm, well compacted fine gravel, and crosses Sand Burn in two places via bridges. Generally, it is 2 metres wide and whilst the gradient for most part is relatively accessible, there are a few moderately steep sections (1:8). The "View For All" area is level. The short distance to reach the first seat has an initial 1:9 gradient so this may be a good way to decide if the path is suitable for your abilities.

People using wheelchairs and mobility scooters use the trail to reach Loch Na Creige where there is a seat overlooking the lochan. 


Be responsible, Respect Others and Stay Safe

Laide health and safety icons.png
Follow the Scottish Outdoor Code & Leave No Trace
Scottish code.jpg

About Us

Trustees and volunteers carry out:
  • Forestry management and maintenance

  • Financial management including fund-raising

  • Legal compliance

  • Administration

  • Health & safety

  • Promotion & PR

  • Delivery of projects 

Volunteer Working Parties

Our working party days are held every Tuesday.  Hands-on work includes the construction of and maintenance of footpaths, fences and bridges as well as preparing logs for our firewood sales.  Other tasks include keeping paths weed-free, care of interpretation boards and anything needed to keep the wood safe for our visitors.  It is a great way to learn about forestry management, get plenty of exercise and enjoy the fresh air in the company of others.  We work throughout the year in rain, hail and shine. 

New working party volunteers are not just thrown in at the deep end! Induction training is given and help is always on hand from other volunteers.      


If you want to get involved or think you can contribute please click .HERE. to contact us and we will get back to you shortly.


Thank you to our recent grant funders

The Highland Council 800px.png
New GEB logo.png
Scotland Loves Local - MASTER copy.png
CWA Small winner 2021.png


2019 awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (the MBE for volunteer groups) in recognition of the work undertaken by volunteers. 

2021 winners of Scotland’s Finest Wood Award for Small Community Woodlands.  This prestigious award recognises the contribution our wood makes to the lives of local people and acknowledges the steps we are taking to ensure long term sustainability of the woodland.  


Support LACW

Firewood Laide and Aultbea Community Woodland

As a member you help to cover on-going running costs and you are kept up to date with what’s happening.  


Membership is great value and runs for 12 months from 1st September each year:

Full member over 18 years £5.00 

Family membership - 2 adults over 18 years and children £10.00

Organisation/business £10.00

Concession £2.50 


LACW is a Company Limited by Guarantee (without shareholders) and a Charity registered in Scotland. As a member you guarantee to contribute a maximum of £1.00 (one pound sterling) to any outstanding creditors should the company be wound down.


The easiest way to become a member is to complete the membership form and pay online by BACS.


Alternatively, you may wish to download the application form .HERE  and then post your completed form with a cheque to the LACW Secretary (details on form).


LACW’s bank details are:

Bank: Bank of Scotland

Account name: Laide & Aultbea Community Woodland

Sort code: 80-06-87

Account no. 00439360


Please consider setting up a standing order to be paid on 1st September each year. Thank you.


LACW is run entirely by volunteers so there are no salary or administrative costs.  Every penny donated is used for developing new initiatives at the woodland.  


Gift Aid

If you’re a UK taxpayer, you can boost the value of your membership or donation through Gift Aid so LACW will be able to claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give. It will not cost you any extra.  


If you are eligible, please tick the Gift Aid box on your donation form.


We operate a firewood club selling seasoned logs from September - March. We usually have bags of logs for sale in the main car park.

Firewood sales are our main source of income.
If you are interested in purchasing logs


We also sell firewood in 'honesty bags' from the main car park. Please pay for these using the donation post.

Log splitter.jpg