West Stormont Woodland Group

West Stormont
Woodland Group

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) SC051682

Join us today to bring Taymount Wood and Five Mile Wood into community ownership

West Stormont Woodland Group is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) formed with the specific aim of bringing Taymount Wood and Five Mile Wood into Community Ownership.

This excitingly achievable goal is being pursued under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 Part 5 through the auspices of the Community Asset Transfer Scheme (CATS) operated by Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS). The woods, Taymount Wood at 155ha, and Five Mile Wood at 134ha, are currently in public ownership and managed for the Scottish Government by FLS. 

“Community Wellbeing and Resilience through Eco-forestry for the Planet and Forest Diversification for People.”

Community Ownership - Our Phased Approach

In 2022, WSWG submitted a CATS Proposal for both woods with an ambitious programme of improvements and facilities for community benefit, including the Taymount Hub Flagship Project and the Five Mile Wood Woodland Observatory educational Flagship Project.

As part of the CATS process, during 2023, WSWG agreed a Phased Approach to acquiring the woods and a reduced community benefit programme.

Our revised Wildwood Project – Taymount Wood was approved by FLS on 31 October 2023. FLS will hold onto Five Mile Wood for up to 5 years from the date of purchase of Taymount Wood during which time WSWG will have the option to acquire Five Mile Wood too. Our Flagship Projects are therefore on hold at present but very much waiting in the wings as the WSWG Project would be much strengthened by their reintroduction.

West Stormont Woodland Group

Wildwood Project - Taymount Wood - Summary

Wildwood Project

Woodland Management Plan for Nature Recovery

  • Living Forest – 80% of woodland area
  • Sustainable timber under LISS – 20% of woodland area

Year-Round Activities Programmes and budgets

  • themed around 6 categories of the WSWG Window on the Woods Vision
  • developed through staff-supported Community Working Groups (CWGs), rising from one or   two groups (eg Paths and Nature Group and Community Wellbeing Group) to potentially a group for each theme.

Access and information improvements

  • seating, signage and community transport

Employment – 3 paid roles

  • Forestry, Ecology and Site Manager (3 days per week)
  • Living Forest Enterprise Developer (1 day per week)
  • Office Manager/Fundraiser (1 day per week)

Income Generation

Woodland Enterprises

  • Living Forest enterprises
  • Sustainable Timber enterprises

Community Enterprises

  • CWG Pop-up enterprises
  • Ecotourism enterprise: Burmieston in the Trees 

Wildwood Project - Benefits

Woodland Management Programme

Environmental Wellbeing and Resilience benefits. Ecosystem benefits from Ecoforestry for the Planet:

  • rapid Nature Recovery incorporated with
  • increasing Carbon storage and sequestration

Community Wellbeing Programme

Human Wellbeing and Resilience benefits. Community Benefits through wide-ranging Forest Diversification for People:

  • staff-supported, Year-Round Activities programmes
  • improving access and information
  • ecotourism – tree tents (local business investor) 
  • 1 full time job equivalent (WSWG) 
  • additional employment in ecotourism business
  • project income /self-sufficient baseline programme

Community benefits in 100 and 200 years’ time:

  • a thriving woodland of veteran trees, rich wildlife and a much appreciated, deep-rooted sense of place and wellbeing. 

Fundraising for the WSWG Project in 2024

Thank you to the huge number of people who have supported and contributed to the WSWG Project in a wide variety of ways since 2018.

About 90% of the effort to date has been in developing a Proposal which was supported by the local community and approved by FLS and 10% of our effort in delivering community events in the woods. We are now looking forward so much to a time when 90% of our effort will be in the delivery of our promised community benefit programme for our members and wider community and 10% on background admin.

But before then, our focus is now on raising the funds to buy Taymount Wood in the first instance and Five Mile Wood thereafter.

Wildwood Project - Purchase of Taymount Wood

Our biggest fundraising challenge is to secure £1.85 million to buy Taymount Wood, rising to £2m when we include 2-year start-up costs to shift from a fully volunteer-based project to a staffed organisation with an on-site presence.

We are pursuing and evolving our fundraising strategy in pursuit of that priority goal. This is necessarily a process of building up pledges and promises from prospective funders and donors, whose combined commitments will in due course lead to the total sum required.

That might range from contributions from diverse sources such as the public Scottish Land Fund, charitable trusts and foundations, corporate donors, philanthropists, lottery funding, crowdfunding and potentially nature-based finance.

How are we doing (updated weekly)

WSWG - Current Operating Costs

We have been very successful in raising dedicated funding for developing the WSWG Project and Proposal and diverse grants for community events and activities thanks to a different range of funders and other donors including many kind and generous members and supporters who have offered money, time and contributions-in-kind, without which the WSWG Project would not be what it is today.


Whilst Membership of West Stormont Woodland Group is FREE and always will be, fundraising is a major objective in our journey to bring this woodland under community ownership. Please consider making a donation, however small, to keep our bid process on track. Thank you.

Our Aims and Ambitions

West Stormont was the name used in medieval times to cover the parishes of Auchtergaven, Kinclaven, Logiealmond, Moneydie, Redgorton (Stanley) and the Murthly portion of Little Dunkeld. West Stormont has been chosen as the most suitably inclusive title for the many communities connected to Taymount and Five Mile Woods today.

Our 25 Year Mission

“To achieve significant progress towards a thriving community living in a sustainable, healthy and enjoyable landscape in eastern Strathtay centred on the two rapidly naturalising Taymount Wood and Five Mile Wood. Substantially enhanced landscape ecology, improved and integrated access provision and a boosted local wellbeing economy.” West Stormont Woodland Group, WSWG, is seeking transformational change to address our climate and ecological emergencies, allowing the community to be the best it can be through careful management and long-term ownership of the woodlands for Nature Recovery. Many other communities have been successful in similar projects. With your help and involvement, we can also succeed.

Ecoforestry for the Planet

Most of our woods in Scotland exist for timber production. That means relatively few are allowed to age beyond 50-60 years. It is wonderful that we are planting new woodlands in Scotland to increase our woodland cover from 19 to 21% by 2032, but these will be young woods for decades to come and many will be scheduled for felling after 50 years. The greatest ecological and biodiversity value of trees happens after they are 80 years old. We need to gain old ecosystem – old growth and deadwood – by letting some suitable timber-purposed woods like Taymount Wood and Five Mile Wood grow old for nature instead, all over Scotland.

WSWG wants to naturalise Taymount Wood and then Five Mile Wood. We aim to do this through a positive management approach  – “Ecoforestry” – an even more ecological style of management than the current Low Impact Silvicultural System (LISS) operated by Forestry and Land Scotland, which will purposefully allow each woodland to grow to maturity and achieve its full ecological potential. We will remove blocks of non-native species like sitka spruce across the woodland to replace them with mixed native species of great biodiversity value – our 6 Nature Recovery Zones, one of which will be a commercial Food Forest. We will leave 20% for sustainable timber production under LISS and manage the rest to enrich and diversify what is there just now, which is mainly Scots pine and birch. And we will develop a range of income streams from the Living Forest to replace the timber income we are foregoing for nature.

It is a nature-based solution whereby existing woodlands are protected as intact ecosystems to foster continuous growth for maximal carbon storage and ecological and structural complexity. It is a powerful and immediate strategy that can address the global crises in climate and biodiversity.

We see action for the dual and interlinked Ecological and Climate Emergencies as one of the biggest community benefits of all.

Here you can find our Woodland Management Plan for Nature Recovery in Taymount Wood in Documents.

Forest Diversification for People

We are also seeking to manage the woodlands for community wellbeing under the following five headings:

If we can do what we have already being doing for community benefit without owning the woods, imagine how much more we could do for People and Planet when we own the woods.

For more detail on our Community Benefit plans, see our Revised Proposal and Business Plan pp 15-25

West Stormont Woodland Group Community

If you'd like to read the full documentation that supports these projects please follow the link.

Beyond The Woods - 'The Bigger Picture'

The West Stormont Woods are not alone. They stand in a landscape of farms, fields, myres, highways, animal and human activities. Our disparate communities do not exist alone. They are linked by physical routes, shared history – and perhaps shared dreams. We – humans – are not alone. We are part of an intricately-connected ecosystem and, yes, we are part of it – not above it or separate.

Taking woods into community use and management isn’t an aim that stands alone. It is part of a dream of a more sustainable future, where we can meet the challenges of climate and ecological emergencies more effectively by acting with determination and vision as joined-up communities.

Read more about the landscape-scale vision of West Stormont Connect, going into the future…

People we are Proud to be Working with

Perthshire Nature Connections Partnership
Stanley Development Trust
Tayside Biodiversity Partnership
Tayside Woodland Partnerships
Perth & Kinross Climate Action
Perth & Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership

Join Us

It’s FREE and will help us bring Taymount and Five Mile Woods into Community Ownership

West Stormont Woodland Group Area

Membership of West Stormont Woodland Group shows that you support what we are trying to achieve and Community Support for the project is fundamental to its success.

To become a member please fill out the form by clicking on the ‘Please Join Us’ button and we will keep you up to speed with developments.

If you live in the West Stormont area – Bankfoot, Stanley, Murthly, Kinclaven, Luncarty, Redgorton, Moneydie, Pitcairngreen, Logiealmond, Glenalmond, Waterloo, Dunkeld, Birnam, Caputh, Spittalfield – then you can become an Ordinary Member.

If you live outside this area please show your support by becoming an Associate.

Or if you would just like to keep in the loop, simply sign up to receive our Community Monthly Update using the form at the foot of the page.