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

“Ambushed by Birdsong in Taymount Wood”

“Much laid plans” and all that. I knew exactly what I was going to write about in my second post for West Stormont Woodland Group. It involved walking quickly and without distraction to King’s Myre in Taymount Wood. But on this sunny, yet briskly chilly morning in March, the birds had other plans for us. We hadn’t got far when the dog was infuriated by an ear-piercing whistling made, apparently, by a bush.
West Stormont Woodland Group

Eventually a tiny bit of the bush detached itself and was revealed as the smallest bird with the loudest voice – the wren, bustling ahead of us from twig to twig. The dog hates wrens. They scold, scoff, and shout at him, warning everyone he’s about.

We dawdled on. Taymount contains a fair variety of tree species for a plantation. Tall Scots Pines lifted their crowns to the sun. Here and there, where selective felling had left a pine with elbow room, the narrow confines of its growth could be seen morphing into the mighty spread of the Caledonian pines. Larger clearings now host dense, self-seeded birch, through which a flock of greenfinches scurried.

Brown bracken, unusual in this wood, lay beneath, thick enough to bed a herd of beasts. We were on the cusp of spring. Robins proclaimed territories sweetly, compellingly, from field walls. We saw and heard shrill blue-tits, piping long-tails, busy coal-tits, always on the go. Great tits were most strident, high in the trees. “I’m yours! Look at me!” they seemed to cry in their repetitive, compulsive mating calls.

Gazing up focused my attention on the trees, too, as silver firs soared into the blue sky. We fantasised about crested tits, one day, coming here.

We came to some Sitka Spruce which had evaded felling. Sitka is a splendid, statuesque tree when grown as a specimen. If it has no place in the Scottish ecosystem, tell that to the coal- tits. These spruces were laden with dangling ginger cones and coal tits moved systematically from branch to branch, eating the seeds. Then a spotted woodpecker, who’d been ever- present with his drumming, exploded out of hiding and passed right over our heads, a massive spruce cone gripped in his bill.

By the time we got to King’s Myre, we just enjoyed the sunshine by the loch. Another day for that tale!



Previous Articles

Community Monthly Update – March 2024

It is a disappointing thing to have to do, but a surprisingly rewarding thing to have done. We are talking about picking up someone else’s litter. We all know Taymount Wood car park occasionally suffers from fly tipping, but it is regular littering which is more of a chronic problem, clogging the ditches, being strewn around the verges, blown into the brambles and nettles, overgrown by rank grass, buried in the soil, or crushed by vehicles if not removed regularly.

Read More »

Community Monthly Update – February 2024

First up this month, a big thank you to the Community Payback Team from Westbank in Perth who very kindly made an impromptu stop when passing to remove the worst of some fly tipping they spotted in the Taymount Wood car park in January. A heap of black bin-bags full of spent growing medium and general rubbish had been dumped near the entrance gate a few days earlier. They were unable to clear it all up in one go but are going to come back to complete the task for us. Moreover, they have offered to keep a watching eye on the site in future and clear up what they can. That will be such a help.

Read More »

Community Monthly Update – January 2024

Unusually, we’re starting this Monthly Update with a “What’s Coming Up Next” item! This message is principally for people in the Stanley and District community but we’d love to suggest all villages in the West Stormont area follow suit with their own aim of becoming a Biodiversity Village.

Read More »

Community Monthly Update – December 2023

It’s another year end and this time WSWG member Françoise from Stanley has created an exquisite 2024 calendar of “Wildflowers and Friends” she photographed in Taymount Wood this year to help raise funds for WSWG. Having gone for a print run of 50, these gorgeous calendars are available on a first-come, first-served basis for a donation of £10 (or a bit more if you wish!) with net proceeds going towards the purchase of the woods.

Read More »

Community Monthly Update – November 2023

We are really thrilled to let you know that Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) has approved WSWG’s Revised Wildwood Proposal and Business Plan for Taymount Wood. This is the first big goal achieved in our Community Asset Transfer Process to bring Taymount and Five Mile Woods into community ownership!

Read More »

Community Monthly Update – October 2023

A highlight for the WSWG Project this month has been the timely teaming up of a group of employees from Aviva in Perth with some unexpectedly lovely autumn weather for a day of corporate volunteering. On 2 October, five enthusiastic Aviva colleagues spent the day with WSWG in the middle of Taymount Wood on a range of interesting and very useful tasks, quite a contrast to their usual office based working environment.

Read More »