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

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.

Some of the happy band of picnickers in Taymount Wood

What has WSWG been doing this month?

En route, we recorded the flowering plant species along the verges. We identified a total of 78 flowering plants, plus 21 tree, shrub and other plant species. In itself, the number and abundance of wildflowers proved the value of the gorse mulch raking work WSWG volunteers have done this year, while bare patches highlighted the severe suppression of vegetation where no raking has yet taken place and the gorse mulch has capped to form an impenetrable layer. We also recorded incidental sightings of birds, amphibians and insects. So many tiny juvenile toads (and a few frogs) all over the place and a wonderful array of butterflies, beetles, hoverflies, damselflies, dragonflies and bees, some of which have made it into the images below. From our observations on the walk, we contributed records to Tayside Biodiversity Partnership’s Mini Bioblitz for common carder bumble bee, ragged robin and ox-eye daisy, three of the top ten target species in this survey. (Harebell will be added as another target species which is to be found on verges in the wood, just not seen on the route we took that day.) A small group of us branched off to do some gorse raking along the forest tracks and then, for those who could stay on longer, we spent a further hour or so protecting naturally regenerated oak and rowan saplings from deer browsing with tree tubes. Thank you to everyone for a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging afternoon.

Wildflower mix on verge in Taymount Wood in July where gorse mulch had been raked off

Verges in Taymount Wood in July where gorse debris has not been raked off

The photographs below are a selection from WSWG Wildflowers PhotosByFrancoise taken during the picnic walk, for which many thanks.

There are still a couple of days left for you to participate in the TBP Mini Bioblitz which runs until 13 August. Look here to see if your village is one of the participating communities – Biodiversity Village Communities Mini Bioblitz · iNaturalist then sign up to iNaturalist here https://uk.inaturalist.org/signup to be able to record your sightings.

WSWG has continued its involvement in the PKC Big Place Conversation underway in Highland and Strathtay during July and August, including the in-person discussion at Birnam Arts on 5 August. We’re keen to see WSWG and West Stormont Connect be part of future planning for the area. There are further in-person conversations in Pitlochry and Aberfeldy on 19 and 26 August respectively. Find out more here: www.pkc.gov.uk/www.pkc.gov.uk/article/23023/Big-Place-Conversation-Highland-Events You can do the on-line survey until 31 August: www.pkc.gov.uk/bigplaceconversation

We had a further very useful meeting with Forestry and Land Scotland on 24 July and through the Third Sector Interface Perth and Kinross have also met with the Business Gateway Perth and Kinross, FirstPort and the PKC CATS officer. We have also met again with the Perth and Kinross Health and Social Care Partnership during a drop-in at Bankfoot Church Centre consulting on what health and wellbeing services local people want going forward. We see great opportunity for WSWG and HSCP working together for community benefit under the Healthy Living theme of WSWG’s Window on the Woods Vision.

WSWG - Window on the Woods Vision

Our recent application to the Gannochy Trust for a capital contribution towards the purchase of Taymount Wood was unsuccessful, but the Trust has encouraged us to apply for funding towards our operational start-up costs.

Word of the Month

Wild angelica: Angelica sylvestris or wild angelica is a species of flowering plant native to Europe and central Asia. Described variously as an annual, biennial or short-lived perennial, growing to a maximum of 2.5 metres (8.2 ft), it has erect purplish stems and rounded umbels of minuscule white or pale pink flowers in mid to late summer which provide a valuable feeding source for a wide range of insect species. Wild and garden varieties of angelica have a long history of medicinal, culinary and dyeing uses. Angelica is common in Taymount and Five Mile Woods and has no reported toxicity to birds, cats, dogs, horses, livestock or people. Please do not confuse it with giant hogweed which is toxic but is not present in Taymount or Five Mile Woods. (Sources: Wikipedia, Gardeners’ World, Naturescape.)

What’s coming up next?

We are planning some more gorse mulch raking sessions in Taymount and/or Five Mile Wood after the summer holidays – dates tbc soon.

Monday 25 September 7.30pm Stanley Village Hall: talk by Christopher Dingwall on history of Taymount & Five Mile Woods; Wednesday 27 September 11am: guided walk in Taymount Wood with Christopher and WSWG.  



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 – 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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Community Monthly Update – May 2023

This month has truly shown us the wide and widening reach and appeal of the WSWG Project to bring Taymount and Five Mile Woods into community ownership. We have carried out volunteer action for nature and walkers in both woods, engaged with the Highland and Strathtay Stronger Communities Network, participated in an Earth Day event staged by Perth and Kinross Council’s Climate Change and Sustainable Development Team, hosted a student visit from SRUC Edinburgh and Aberdeen and received a further annual donation from the Community Fund of a local community hydro scheme. Read on to find out a bit more about these and other WSWG activities of late.

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