Founder of Bat's Wood and main contact. A teacher at Levenmouth Academy presently studying for an M.Sc in Learning for Sustainability at The University of Edinburgh. A former pupil of Buckhaven High School, Duncan is as aware as anyone else for the need to create community assets. Duncan says: one of the many ways to help people living in deprived areas is to make those areas less deprived.
I am a community activist, founder member of CLEAR and one of the founder members of the successful Levenmouth Rail Campaign. I am a family man with a keen passion for active travel including cycling and believe that we need to provide as much opportunity for affordable activities to all of the community, be it bike track, decent walking path and/or cycling paths.
Iricka is a mental health nurse working in Fife. She lived and worked in Levenmouth for many years and now lives in Kirkcaldy. She enjoys gardening and the outdoors. She is interested in the mental well-being dimension of this project.
Sam, an architect by training, works at local charity CLEAR and runs his own business designing and building natural playparks. As part of his work for CLEAR he has developed a new community garden in Methil with massive help from the local community. Sam is fairly new to Fife but he and his family are settling in and loving it. 'The people I have met in the area are friendly, kind and generous, the area has fallen on hard times but I am optimistic we can make changes that will have a positive impact for a better future.'
Planting trees and gardening are pretty low cost activities but we do need some and in order to build a bike track we will need a lot! That's why we've created a 'Tree Friendship' scheme, a 'back the track' scheme and a line of Bat's Wood clothing.
Until 2018 the site didn't have a name and it was school playing field land. There were plans for selling the land off for houses but locals were able to object because there were bats living in the trees and bats are protected by law. That's why we call the place Bat's Wood. Also, bats are pretty cool animals!
Over the short time we've been going, we've had groups of pupils working at Bat's Wood to get John Muir Awards and Rural Skills National 4 Awards. There have been about 30 pupils getting John Muir Awards and 6 pupils this year will (should!) get Rural Skills N4.
On tree planting days we have adults coming to help and over 40 adults have taken part so far.