E.ON's Camster wind farm powering improvements for Caithness community
27th March 2018
Caithness residents are enjoying improved facilities thanks to the efforts of the Latheronwheel and Latheron Improvement Group, local volunteers and donations totalling £25,000 from the E.ON Camster Community Fund.
The funding has contributed to the refurbishment of the children's playpark in Latheronwheel, providing wheelchair access and a range of outdoor play equipment, as well as a woodland path network - the Burn Walk - which has been upgraded and had overgrown vegetation removed to make it suitable for visitors of all ages.
The Latheronwheel and Latheron Improvement Group was established in 2016 by local people who had identified a number of projects to make the villages better places to live. The group successfully applied to the E.ON Camster Community Fund in 2016 and 2017 and received £9,120 initially to improve the Burn Walk, followed by £16,000 to revamp the play area.
Billy Keith, who is a member of the Latheronwheel and Latheron Improvement Group committee said: "Over the years, the playground had fallen into disrepair, it was badly overgrown and there was nowhere for local children to play. The total cost of the new playpark was £65,000, which the £16,000 received from the E.ON Camster Community Fund really helped with and the new play area is now used by more than 100 children.
"The Burn Walk was originally developed in the 1970s, but had become overgrown and was barely passable until volunteers cleared back the undergrowth. This made it passable, but a poor surface, erosion and bad drainage meant it remained inaccessible to many. Thanks to the funding, we were able to buy in materials and specialist labour to work with our volunteers, improving the path and replacing 70 steps. Part of the Burn Walk is now suitable for wheelchair users."
Nick Taylor and Vicki Harrison, who work for E.ON's renewable energy business, met volunteers from the Latheronwheel and Latheron Improvement Group on a visit to the improved Burn Walk and the new playpark.
Nick said: "It's been really heartening to meet members of the community improvement group, whose drive and commitment to bettering local facilities, together with the support of the E.ON Camster Community Fund, has resulted in the refurbishment of these two important places. This has really been a united community effort, with the improvement group, volunteers, E.ON as the operators of the local wind farm and Foundation Scotland all playing a role in these projects.
“This is about local people deciding how they feel the fund should be used best to benefit the whole community, and we’re grateful to Foundation Scotland for managing the fund on behalf of E.ON and our Camster wind farm, and to the volunteers who determine which projects to support."
Go to eonenergy.com/generation to find out more about E.ON’s wind farms and their associated community funds. Visit eonenergy.com for more information about E.ON products and services.
Nick Taylor of E.ON (left) with Billy and Lorna Keith.