A Brief History of LFT
1950s & 60s - 34 local men were employed directly by the Forestry Commission on planting and other work within the Strathmashie Forest
Early 1980s - only one man, employed part time, working in the Strathmashie Forest
1992 - the Laggan Forestry Initiative (LFI) formed with the aim of buying the forest, in order to safeguard local jobs, but was unable to raise £1.75 million, the estimated value of the Forest
1992 to 1996 - LFI engaged in a number of activities designed to secure its objective of managing the forest
1996 - the Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Forsyth, announced his support for Laggan’s project
1998 - Laggan Forest Trust (LFT) set up and the Laggan Forest Partnership established with Forest Enterprise (FE), enabling the community to play an active part in the management of the Strathmashie Forest. Laggan Forest Trust Forestry Company (LFTFC) set up, as the commercial arm of LFT
2003 - a new, 25 year, partnership agreed between the Forestry Commission and LFT
2004 - the Wolftrax mountain biking centre opened by the Forestry Commission, at Strathmashie, with Base Camp providing a cafe and bike hire (until 2012). LFT moved into a portacabin on site.
2007 - Laggan Forest Trust purchased 3 parcels of land, a total of 19 hectares, in the Strathmashie Forest, with funding from the Scottish Land Fund
2008 to 2010 - trails at Wolftrax extended by the Forestry Commission
2011 to 2013 - Laggan Forest Trust organised educational activities in the forest, including nature study, music and theatre, with assistance from the Bank of Scotland Foundation
2012 to 2014 - a substantial grant from the Enterprise Growth Fund was used by LFTFC to support the development of a wood-fuel business
2014 to 2015 - funding to build a Centre at Wolftrax is finally obtained, from the Cairngorm National Park Authority, building work starts in August 2014 and is completed in March 2015
3rd April 2015 - the Laggan Wolftrax Centre opened just in time for Easter. A lovely, light, airy building with a cafe providing a range of hot and cold food and drinks and facilities including a learning space for courses and meetings, plus toilets and showers. The Centre also houses the LFT office and a bike shop operated by Wee Bike Hub.