01687 462242

Minutes of Knoydart Foundation Board Meeting, Monday 12th June 2023,

Knoydart Community Hall, 6pm

Attending: Lachie Robinson, Davie Newton, Sam Gardener, Jo Firminger
Also Attending: Craig Dunn, Corinna Calder, Rhona Miller, Liz Tibbets, Drew McNaughton
Attending via Zoom: Stephanie Harris, John Cocker, Helen Evemy, Richard Williams, Jim
Brown, Grant Holroyd, Sara Donald, Jacqui Wallace (18.23), Richard Williams (18.33)
Andrew Baldrey
Declarations of Interest
Minutes of Previous Meetings inc. single item agenda meetings
May Board Meeting minutes – Approved
Matters arising
Actions from Last Meeting – Action list circulated and updated list attached
SG to take up point 2
DN to take forward a follow up action to action point 21


  1. Knoydart Climate Action Group – No Update
  2. Deer Management Update –
    Jim Brown provided a Black Hills project update via email prior to the meeting and gave a verbal
    update to support the email during the meeting.
    Key points:
    ● Deer Culls ahead due to compensatory cull but income for carcasses not in line with this.
    ● Jim has some queries with costs in his budgets not matching up with Xero which he is
    going to look into further.
    ● There is a need to find funds to cover additional fencing and staff costs. This has been
    highlighted with the NRF.
    ● Black Hills Project is on track for completion.
  3. Ranger Service Update –
    A written update from the Ranger Service had not been provided, but Drew McNaughton gave a
    short verbal update.
    Key points:
    ● New ranger Juliette De Banzie appointed for 2 days per week.
    ● Income looks healthy in accounts ranger income streams are ahead of budget. JF noted
    that some of the income (e.g. £4K for camping) was for future bookings May –
    September and this may impact on future income.
  4. Knoydart Trading Update –
    A written update from Knoydart Trading had not been provided, but since various people
    present had attended the Trading board meeting earlier in the afternoon, a short verbal update
    was given.
    Key points:
    ● All businesses performed well in April and May.
    ● However, KT is still showing a £22K loss year to date overall and there are major items
    in the budget which are still to be incurred. This means that there can be no confidence
    in the size of any possible donation to KF currently.
    ● JF has been tasked in her capacity as KT director to look at KT overheads to form a
    view on reserves needed before a KF donation can be made.
    Items for decision
  5. New Chair confirmation
    DN agreed to stand as chair until the next AGM in September. JF agreed to take up the
    treasurer position instead of Davie.
  6. Confirmation of Jo’s Directorship
    Since the last KF Board meeting, DTAS have confirmed that article 35 of the KF articles of
    association permits an elected community director to step down and be replaced by another
    willing member until the next AGM, and for the replacement community director to still count
    towards quorate.
    Therefore, it was agreed that Jo Firminger has joined the board as a replacement community
    director, not a co-opted director, and as such will have to stand for election at the next AGM to
    continue to be on the board.
  7. Applications for Membership
    Both applications approved subject to KF receiving a copy of confirmation that the two
    applicants are registered to vote on Knoydart. It was also noted by Grant Holroyd that the
    former 9-month residency requirement was removed under Scottish Land Fund guidance when
    the constitution was last rewritten and approved.
  8. RHB Scheme – application
    Single item agenda meeting arranged for Tuesday 20th June for the board to discuss and make
    a decision.
  9. Bailey Bridge Use by KFT – approval confirmed
  10. FGS Application proposal confirmed – approval confirmed
  11. Accommodation Project Officer report
    Sara had produced a written report, which she also delivered verbally.
    Key points:
    ● The report was well received.
    ● Sara reported that a timeline for the Millburn Cottage development had been put
    together by the architects, and that she would forward this to the board for their
    ○ SD to forward further timeline detail
    ● Sara reported discussing potential heating options for new accommodation at Millburn. It
    was noted that it can be beneficial for properties on Knoydart to have a backup energy
    source as well as electricity (i.e. heat pumps) in case of power outages, and that wood
    fuel may be a suitable choice for this. On discussing how this might affect the homes’
    EPC rating, Lachie mentioned that the KCAG’s Household Carbon Survey project
    produced some potentially useful energy efficiency / carbon foot printing information, and
    he offered to send this to Sara.
    ○ LR to send upshots from KCAG HCS project to SD.
    ● Sara reported engaging with an HIE representative on a recent visit to Knoydart, and
    that they might potentially be amenable to extending the funding for Sara’s post beyond
    its initial time frame. This may be pertinent due to unavoidable delays to project
    timelines. RW suggested that Sara create a report to HIE on the first year anniversary of
    her appointment, showing the progress and achievements to date as well as how these
    will likely affect the future of the role.
  12. Operations Manager report
    Craig had produced a written report, which he also delivered verbally.
    The report was well received. The key points surrounded topics covered elsewhere in this
    Items for discussion
  13. Replacing Jane Hollowood –
    The board found itself one member short of five community directors since Jane Hollowood
    stepped down in May. As such, it was discussed and agreed to invite Corinna Calder to join the
    board as a replacement community director, and she accepted. As such, Corinna has a place
    as a KF community director until the next AGM, at which point she will have to stand for election
    to continue the post.
  14. Finance
    Minuted responsibility for JF:
    Using her experience in finance, Jo has been reviewing the KF financial information to better
    facilitate understanding and identify potential improvements; to increase capacity; to help
    identify/mitigate/avoid potential financial risks for the KF; and to help the board better fulfil its
    obligations. In practical terms, this also includes reviewing the reserves policy and actual
    reserves available and whether these are unrestricted or designated and ensuring that the
    board has up to date information about the KF’s finances, cash flow and obligations. Jo’s
    actions were fully endorsed by the board, and it was agreed that she should continue on that
    basis in her capacity as treasurer.
    Jo also communicated the importance of prioritising finance moving forward.
    Outputs from meeting with JF/CD/LC
    Jo met with Craig and Louise during the week beginning 5th June 2023 to discuss finance.
    Davie also attended this meeting.
    Key points:
    ● A list of possible improvements to how financial information is presented to the board
    has been made, and it is hoped that delivering on these will help streamline board
    decisions on finance in the future.
    ● Jo’s preliminary findings from reviewing the financial situation suggest that KF may be
    facing a significant loss at the end of this year (potentially upwards of £70k). This is to be
    queried with the KF accountants.
  15. Strategy update
    Discussion on a slight change in the wording of our mission statement from “Climate change” to
    “Climate Action.” It was determined that, since this constitutes merely a cosmetic change, it
    could be decided without reviewing the strategy. As such, the amendment was agreed.
    Discussion on monitoring progress against the current mission. It was felt that the current
    financial forecast suggests that the ‘sustainable financial model’ part of the mission statement
    may require further consideration/development. It was also noted that part of sustainability is
    ensuring that the wellbeing of the people involved is not being compromised.
    Discussion on reviewing the strategy and identifying next steps ahead of time. Rationale: many
    deliverables in the current strategy are either underway, completed or in the pipeline. The
    current strategy was made to go until 2024, so it may be beneficial to determine any new
    potential strategic directions before then. It was noted that any review of the strategy should
    engage the community first and foremost, and that as such it would be good to set a date to
    discuss the KF strategy with the members and collect viewpoints beforehand.
    It was proposed that a discussion on the strategy with the members could coincide with the next
    AGM. This was well-received.
    Lachie offered to put together materials on the current strategy – including items that are
    already completed/underway/planned – to engage the membership in the strategy discussion at
    the AGM and gather initial viewpoints.
    LR draft and distribute to the KF membership materials on the current strategy and the
    viewpoint-gathering exercise.
  16. Media Collaboration Policy
    After a brief discussion, it was agreed that the policy should be on the agenda ‘for decision’ at
    the next KF board meeting.
  17. Subsidiary Check-in
    Discussion on Knoydart Renewables updates. It was noted that there was no standing KF
    agenda item for KR updates, where there was one for KT. It was felt that KR already provides
    regular updates to the community, and as such we might avoid increasing their workload by
    considering those wider community updates in a fixed point on our agenda, rather than
    requesting a separate update or attendance at our meetings by a representative. This could
    also be an opportunity for the KF board to note questions for KR that can then be raised.
    Therefore, it was decided to include ‘KR update’ as a heading under updates in KF board
    meeting agendas moving forward so that reports will be considered when available.
    Discussion on availability of subsidiary board meeting minutes. It was raised that the KF and KT
    board meeting minutes are stored in an accessible digital location, but that this does not
    currently appear to be the case for the KR board meeting minutes. Davie offered to reach out to
    the KR board to ascertain whether it might be possible for the KR board meeting minutes to be
    made more accessible, as is the case for KF and KT.
    DN: enquire with KR about the possibility of making KR board meeting minutes more
    widely available to the rest of the KF Group.
    Discussion on inter-organisational relations and mutual accountability within the KF Group. A
    brief discussion was had about how the three organisations in the KF Group could best work
    together to achieve their respective goals, meet their respective requirements, and/or ensure
    some degree of overarching strategic cohesion within the KF Group as a whole. Grant Holroyd
    raised the idea that an annual target setting, and mutual evaluation exercise could potentially be
    done between the three boards. In response to this, the concept of an annual meeting between
    the three chairs of the KF Group was re-visited (this having been done on a few occasions
    previously). This concept was well received as a starting point. It was suggested that this could
    take place sometime after the AGMs; however, no specific date was set.
  18. Community event on future housing
    Criag Dunn wished to raise the idea of holding a community consultation event around future
    housing and other challenges currency faced by the KF. However, on getting to this point in the
    agenda, Craig intimated that the main themes of this suggestion had in fact already been
    covered elsewhere.
    Items for information only
    There were no items for information only.
    SRN Update:
    DN advised receipt of Gateley Hamer email re SRN Masts. It was felt that a written response to
    our community position statement would be preferable as opposed to engaging in open
    consultations. It was also suggested that, should KF agree to enter consultations, that we could
    potentially consider charging consultation fees for our time. Davie agreed to draft a response on
    behalf of the KF board and proposed to circulate it to the community for comments.
    DN: Draft a response on behalf of the KF board to Gately Hamer and arrange for it to be
    circulated to the community for comments.
    25th Anniversary Preparations:
    KF’s 25th Anniversary is next year (2024) – Steph Harris communicated that the Isle of Eigg
    Heritage Trust’s 20th anniversary included celebrations and extensive community survey that
    included demographics and community priorities to inform future plans and strategy, and that
    we might want to do something similar for our 25th. This concept was well received, but no
    specific follow up actions were agreed.
    Volunteer Director Networking Event:
    LR brought details of a proposed volunteer director networking event by Ian Philip of
    Strengthening Communities – Lochaber, Skye, and Wester Ross. Initial interest-gathering video
    calls are to take place on Tuesday 13th June.
    JF, CC and LR: try and arrange attendance to one of these initial sessions.
    Possibility of Water Shortages due to Dry Spell:
    SH raised concerns re water availability due to drought in the East End of the village. John
    Cocker agreed to measure flow rates and report back.