Three lochs challenge to help save outdoor centre

A canoe from the outdoor centre on Coire Lochan before the pandemic stopped activities.

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Staff at the Lochranza Centre CIC are to take on a tough loch challenge to raise money to try and help save the much loved outdoor centre which is struggling to survive as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Taking place this weekend or next, depending on the weather, the team will take on the ‘The 3 Lochs Challenge’ walking between the Coire Lochan, Loch Tanna and Loch Iorsa canoeing their lengths with an inflatable canoe.

The Lochranza centre has been operating as an outdoor education centre in the village  for over 45 years. Based in the old village school and church they provide educational studies and adventure activities for people of all ages.

The centre is a key part of the local community providing employment and a place to hold meetings and events. Through the Covid-19 emergency they have been operating as a community hub, delivering meals, picking up shopping and assisting people with their gardens.

Director Chris Traill outlined the crisis now facing the centre. He told the Banner: ‘Although we can run local activity camps at the centre and provide accommodation for B&B guests the bulk of our work is from residential school groups. All UK governments will not permit schools to go on overnight residentials at this time.

‘Across Scotland some outdoor centres have already closed and will not reopen. Others have begun redundancy with staff or put them onto retainer salaries to return to work at some point in 2021. There is a real danger we could lose all outdoor residential centre’s in Scotland without additional support.

‘At Lochranza Centre CIC we think we can steer a path through until Easter, or possibly even September, but it will be difficult. Some local authorities in Scotland have already told their schools not to travel anywhere for the whole of 2021.

‘We have received some government support for the centre and the local Northend and Arran communities have been fantastic in their support. However the staff want to do something in line with what we generally do – therefore ‘The 3 Lochs Challenge’. The toughest will possibly be Loch Tanna which I don’t believe has had a boat on it before and it sits at about 300m in altitude.’

‘We would be grateful for any donations. This could be a ‘one off’ amount or over a period of months,’ Chris added.

To donate go to and search lochranzacentre3lochschallenge