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 – February 2022

There has been more windblow in both woods during the recent successive storms of early 2022. Although we have still come off relatively lightly, there appears to be a bit more damage in Five Mile Wood than Taymount, but it has added to the clearance work required already from Storm Arwen.

What has WSWG been doing this month?

The main track up from the car park at Five Mile Wood is scattered with storm debris but otherwise unimpeded. The path is free of windblow until the point it meets with the circular track round the north end of the wood. There are a few fallen trees at the south west corner of the circular track and a greater number across the track in the north east corner as shown in the photo above taken by Andrew Lear. We hear they are just passable with care and some kind individuals have done some handsaw work here and there to facilitate access past them. There are also some concentrated pockets of localised windblow within woodland compartments to the sides of the track, a bit of a mess in places, but nothing major in the grand scheme. Taymount Wood appears to have less new damage, although an additional windblown tree is blocking the core path at the east end of the wood and a few more trees are noticeably leaning.

Localised pocket of windblow in Five Mile Wood. Photo: Shonagh Moore

We are sussing out the extent and locations of recent additional windblow to report back to Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS), so if anyone can add to that in words or photos, please email us your observations. Take great care if walking in both woods at the moment, and with all the debris and leaning trees, best to keep out of the woods in very windy weather.

FLS have explained that the scheduled work on controlling encroaching gorse, self-seeded trees and windblow on paths in both Taymount and Five Mile Woods continues to be held up due to contractors still working elsewhere on emergency works following Storm Arwen and also staff shortages due to covid. Word is that work is imminent, so fingers crossed it will be done soon, before the bird breeding season. As per our previous notice, once work starts, please be patient and take heed of the safety signage which will be going up and follow any instructions closely to ensure both your safety and that of others too.

Beautiful self-seeded larch and gorse, but smothering the wildflower verges and rapidly encroaching on the track in Five Mile Wood. Photo: Shonagh Moore

21 January – participation in workshop in Perth City Leadership Forum’s on-line conference on Nature and Biodiversity run by Perthshire Nature Connections Partnership. Other contributors to the workshop were Highland Perthshire Communities Land Trust’s Dun Coillich project and SEPA’s LENs project (Landscape Enterprise Networks). The conference was PCLF’s first event in their 2022 Year of Action on Biodiversity.

25 January – short WSWG update presented to the covid-delayed, big on-line catch-up meeting of Tayside Biodiversity Partnership’s Joint Farmland, Upland & Woodland Working Group. Amazing to hear how much brilliant action is going on around Tayside for biodiversity. Much needed and so inspiring.

Prompted by the song This Tender Land recently written for the WSWG Project by member John Kendal, we’ve been working on a new Community page being set up on the WSWG website to showcase your creative expressions of support for the WSWG project which can in turn support our CATS Application. So far, we’ve uploaded examples from past WSWG events but hopefully we’ll have many more proactive contributions coming from you all over the coming months. Really looking forward to how beautiful and diverse we can make this Community page become!

Word of the Month

Natural regeneration This is the process by which woodlands are restocked by trees that develop from seeds that fall and germinate in situ. For most of the last two or three centuries, foresters have restocked and created woodlands by using transplants grown in nurseries. (Source: Forest Research) WSWG loves natural regeneration … but so do the deer! Especially the native broadleaf trees.

What’s coming up next?

“Protect a Wild Tree” – our response to the deer eating too much of our deciduous natural regeneration! WSWG is organising two community events to protect naturally regenerating native broadleaf trees in Taymount Wood with tree tubes. These events will take place, weather and everything else permitting, at 10am-1pm on Friday 4 March and 10am-1pm on Sunday 13 March. Mark these dates in your diary if you’d like to come along and join in, and further details will be emailed to members and supporters soon.

One that got away for now – an oak sapling evades the deer by growing above ground level on the rootplate of a fallen tree in Taymount Wood. Photo: Alison Coutts

Free tree saplings are still available for local community groups, schools or individuals who would like to plant trees in their local patch as part of the Big Climate Fightback. This is an ambitious project partnership between energy company OVO Energy and The Conservation Volunteers, with over 1 million Trees planted so far.  Any group or individual that wants some trees, please email Alan at wswgtrees@btinternet.com Tree species include Hawthorn, Rowan, Bird Cherry, Oak, Downy Birch, Field Maple and Goat Willow. (Please note new email address for contacting Alan.)

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