About Knock Park
Knock Park is a recreational area, nestled above the west coast village of Lochaline on the beautiful Morvern Peninsula. Overlooking the hills of Mull and Morvern it's home to one of the most scenic Highland Games in Scotland.
During the pandemic, the Morvern Games & Gala Week committee conducted a survey to gauge interest in the idea of community ownership of Knock park and the surrounding land from Ardtornish Estate. The committee received a resounding “YES” from their community for a buyout of this historic sports ground and surrounding land with 219 responding to the survey. The questionnaire revealed 88% of respondees in favour (yes or possibly) of community acquisition of Knock Park, and 81% in favour of acquiring more land for income generation and other amenities.
The committee's primary reason for exploring the buyout is so that, as a landowner, the community can apply for grants to bring much needed improvements such as services (water, electricity etc) to the Games field and build a fully accessible clubhouse which will enable other sports and events such as Music festivals, triathalons etc to be held in Lochaline. With the popularity of ‘staycations’, the committee also wanted to look at the idea to generate income by developing a motorhome area with full facilities including a waste disposal area. Something we felt is becoming necessary in Morvern. The community also supported this suggestion with 73% in favour. This income will assist in the running cost of the clubhouse and benefit local businesses.
As well as an accessible clubhouse with more parking and larger area for events, other ideas being proposed if the acquisition goes ahead include lengthening the pitch to allow for multiple sports to be played, an outdoor and indoor gym, activity trails, native woodlands and creating a new footpath bringing Knock Park closer to the village and possible woodland crofts, workshops/storage areas and a small golf course.
The committee secured funding from the Scottish Land Fund to purchase Knock Park and surrounding land from Ardtornish Estate and after a long, emotional, at times, frustrating journey were delighted to finally share the news that as of June 2023 Knock Park was now in community ownership! An incredible achievement for a small group of volunteers passionate about the future of Morvern.
About Morvern Games and Gala Week
Morvern Games and Gala Week is an annual event held on the west coast of Scotland on the beautiful Morvern peninsula.
Highland Games and children’s sports have taken place at Knock Park for most of the last century. The late local legend that was Alistair Scoular would often talk about his times as a young lad travelling over from Oban to come over to the Morvern Games. The boat would be full of day trippers docking at the West pier and everyone would march along with the Pipe band up to the Games field. With a brief break, the Sporting Club of Lochaline instigated the revival of the Games in 1986, gaining quick support from the community and the Morvern Games and Gala Week committee was formed, organising their first Games Day held in 1987 with Scottish Rugby legend Gavin Hastings as Chieftain.
Many local clubs took part in the early years and with the support of Angie MacIntyre of the Lochaline Social Club and Eleanor Brown of the Lochaline Hotel proving to be invaluable in creating a viable week-long social event. From then on, the Games and Gala Week would be held annually starting on the second Saturday following the first Monday in July. Throughout the last 36 years since the revival, Morvern Games and Gala Week has grown with a number of Morvernites serving on the committee at some point. The week itself has seen more events added each year, with an increase in local groups and business around Morvern benefiting and all taking their turn to organise something as part of the weeks event. Historical walks, bowls, roller discos, quiz nights, live music, darts, regatta, clay pigeon shooting, wild water swimming, 10k runs and triathlons, bike rides, duck races, flower festivals, distillery and mine tours, fishing competitions, shinty, race nights just to name a few!
The Morvern Games itself continues to offer a chance for new and old friends to meet and memories to be made, with visitors from all over the world and those who have moved away to come home for summer. No matter what the weather, the support is second to none.
The Team Behind the Project