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 – 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!

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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.

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Community Monthly Update – September 2023

Given the distinctly seasonal change in the weather of late, we thought we would bring our Word of the Month up to the top of our September update. Psithurism: (Noun) The sound of wind in the trees and rustling of leaves, from “psithuros”, the Greek word for whispering. Enjoy your woods this autumn!

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Community Monthly Update – August 2023

This month we really want to share with you a wonderful event we had – the joint woodland picnic on 22 July with Tayside Woodland Partnerships (TWP). We pitched our gazebos in a lovely grassy glade in Taymount Wood and set out a delicious picnic spread courtesy of Alison’s Kitchen in Blairgowrie – quiches, sausage rolls and cakes galore – on portable tables kindly lent to us by Stanley Village Hall. More food and home-baking was brought by the picnickers themselves. Despite weather forecasts to the contrary, it was a beautiful day with not a drop of rain or drizzle. After lots of great chat and good food, we heard a little about each of our organisations’ respective projects and then took a walk up the main track to King’s Myre Loch.

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Community Monthly Update – July 2023

First up this month is for us to say a big thank you to a lovely group of young people from Ochil Tower School in Auchterarder who had come on a mini-bus trip to visit Taymount Wood on 21 June … and just did a litter-pick whilst they were there!! What a great example of being good citizens – enjoying the environment and taking care of it together.

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Community Monthly Update – June 2023

We want to start with a big thank you to all WSWG volunteers who helped in the Wildflower and Mining Bee Rescue Mission this spring. Many times more wildflowers have come through along the various stretches of raked verge than would have been the case had they remained swamped by gorse mulch and, as seen in the photo here, mining bees have successfully emerged where the track surfaces were cleared to help them out too. And of course the cleared sections of track make for more comfortable going again for walkers and dogs. Lots more areas still need attention, and we will keep doing what we can when we can, but thank you again to everyone who helped make a difference for nature this spring.

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