About the Common Ground Association

Common Ground Association is a not for profit company limited by guarantee which was incorporated in March 2012 (Company Number SC420832). The current Directors are Willie McGhee and Robin McLaren and, over the next few months, we will be building the membership and the governance of the organisation.

Robin and Willie have been involved in community initiatives since the 1990s.

Robin is Chairman of the Friends of Craiglockhart Woods and Nature Trail (FCWNT), a community group drawn from the local neighbourhood in the south side of Edinburgh. It boasts over 200 members and has a proven track record of fund raising for, and managing a Local Nature Reserve (LNR).

Areas of green space within cities like Edinburgh are essential for people and for biodiversity.

The potential development for housing of an area of woodland and grassland at Easter Craiglockhart Hill prompted the formation, in 1997, of the FCWNT and culminated in the designation of the area, in 2005, as a Local Nature Reserve (LNR).

Willie has served on two Forestry Commission Advisory Panels:- the Native Woodlands Advisory Panel and the Forestry for People Advisory Panel. He was Director of Borders Forest Trust from 1996 to 2011 and is currently Director of Bioclimate Research and Development Ltd., an organisation that works with communities in developing countries, assisting them to secure and manage areas of forest and customary land.

Willie worked with Borders Community Woodlands, owners of the first community woodland in the UK, Wooplaw Woods and helped to build Borders Forest Trust (BFT) into one of Scotland’s foremost community conservation organisations. He assisted a number of communities to secure management, control and ownership of local woodlands across the Borders. The Borders is currently home to many community woodlands and community woodland groups, who with the help of BFT, own, manage and are responsible for woodland and green space.