LOCAL people in Assynt, the heartland of the community land-ownership movement, are about to take over the 3000-acre Little Assynt estate. The Lochinver-based Culag Community Woodland Trust has been awarded #124,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund towards total purchase costs of #244,000, an HLF spokesman has confirmed. Highlands and Islands Enterprise's community land unit has also pledged #100,000, with Scottish Natural Heritage providing the #20,000 balance for the fast-track application.

''We have received a confirmation letter from the Heritage Lottery Fund,'' Culag trust secretary Claire Belshaw said. ''The estate agent accepted our offer on the closing date (October 12) on condition funds became available. We have an entry date of November 30. It's too early to say what our plans are. We will have to have a public meeting. Our main aim is to see 3000 acres of forest.