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 – 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.

The calendars are available at Stanley Store (thank you Stan and Morag) or you can drop us an email at contact@weststormontwoodlandgroup.scot to order yours. We ask for £2 postage per calendar if you wish it posted to you. Once the order is confirmed, payment can then be made through the donate button which can be found at the foot of each page on our website. Thank you if you would like to support the WSWG Project this way. And a huge thanks to Françoise for doing this for us.

What has WSWG been doing this month?

Hot on the heels of the FLS approval of the WSWG Wildwood Project-Taymount Wood at the end of October and with the big fundraising plan our main focus for the next 6-8 months, in mid-November, WSWG submitted its Stage Two funding bid to the Scottish Land Fund (SLF) for £974,000, including £40,000 towards the first two years’ start-up costs. Our application will be considered at their panel meeting in March 2024. All positive thoughts this way much appreciated! A big thank you to Elyn Zhang of SLF and Fiona Taylor of the Community Ownership Support Service (COSS) for their help and advice in this task.

Two WSWG Trustees have attended an excellent six-session, on-line course on Measuring Social Impact run by Just Enterprise and delivered by Social Value Lab. We will have a 1 to 1 session in January to complete the course. Thank you to Emma and Niamh for this very informative and enjoyable skills development training which will be extremely useful to WSWG going forward.

The WSWG AGM was held in Stanley Village Hall on 28 November at which the old Board stood down and the new Board was elected. WSWG founder members, Betty Abbott and Bob Talbot stepped down as trustees and did not stand for re-election. They were each presented with a small gift token to mark the huge contribution they have made to the WSWG project over the past five years. Betty also received a bouquet of flowers to take home for our dearest Mike, who took the very first step in the WSWG journey. (We will update you in the January Community Monthly Update on who is on the new Board, their roles and any co-opted trustees in addition, once this is agreed at the December Board meeting.) Meanwhile here are Mike and Betty leading the way for WSWG

The evening continued with a slide presentation on the Wildwood Project-Taymount Wood and then enjoying lots of great chat over a delicious finger buffet provided by Blairgowrie-based Alison’s Kitchen, with surplus food going the next day to the Skinnergate Shelter for homeless people in Perth who were delighted to receive it. Our cake competition only attracted two entries, but they were both absolutely delicious and their bakers, Frances and David, very worthy prize winners on the night. Some people ordered WSWG Wildflowers and Friends calendars and others went home with a Wizzy-Owl or two, with donations mounting up nicely from this. Thank you to everyone who came along and contributed to a very pleasant evening.

On 6 December, we showed our slide presentation on the Wildwood Project-Taymount Wood to Dunkeld & Birnam Climate Café and enjoyed loads of lovely chat and questions with them over festive drinks and mince pies to celebrate the approval of the WSWG plan to bring Taymount Wood into community ownership. There will be another chance to hear about the Wildwood Project-Taymount Wood on Friday 15th December at the Dunkeld and Birnam Christmas Gathering at the Co-working space, Lagmhor, Dunkeld. PH8 0AD.  This event will take place between 11am – 3pm and anyone is welcome to drop in for a cuppa and a mince pie.

If you could do with a few spare minutes of calm in the run-up to Christmas, do have a look at this short but inspirational Food Forest video www.agroforestry.co.uk/about_us/media/ about a site in Devon. This is the sort of thing WSWG proposes for the Food Forest site in the Wildwood Project-Taymount Wood.

Another food forest in the Netherlands

Word of the Month

Centaurée et syrphe: This is “black knapweed and hoverfly” in French as seen in Françoise’s beautiful “Wildflowers and Friends” Calendar 2024 to help raise funds for WSWG. The calendar will also give you the opportunity to learn not only the English names but also the French and Latin ones for other featured wildflowers and their insect friends in Taymount Wood. A lovely Christmas present for someone.

What’s coming up next?

A WSWG application to the PKC Green Living Fund for our Wizzy-WARP24 Project as part of the WSWG Wellbeing and Resilience Programme 2024 where we aim to encourage a wide range of groups supporting people living with particular challenges to different events to find out what they can gain from spending time in Taymount and Five Mile Woods. Please look out for our project and vote for us in the Participatory Budgeting community voting phase in February.

Christmas! Have a very happy one and a wonderful Hogmanay too. See you next year.

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Previous Articles

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.

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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.

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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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