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 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.

What has WSWG been doing this month?

Another bit of very welcome news is that WSWG has been awarded PKC Green Living Funding for our WIzzyWARP24 Project (WARP for Wellbeing And Resilience Project!). Unlike all other parts of P&K, the budget for the Strathtay ward was not exceeded by the total of community bids submitted in the area. As all the Strathtay Green Living Fund applications have been accepted as eligible, they are able to go forward without the public voting phase. That is very helpful for WSWG as it means we can get down to firming up the programme of events the funding will support sooner than expected. See What’s coming up next? below for more information on the WizzyWARP24 Project.

A snapshot of some past WSWG events – lots more to look forward to in 2024

The new Board of Trustees is very much enjoying working together to find out how to use everyone’s skills and interests to best effect as the WSWG Project navigates the final steps towards community ownership. One area being developed by the new trustees is WSWG’s social media presence. New skills on the WSWG board are also being applied to good effect in formalising key WSWG Policies to strengthen our governance and operational framework going forward. The Board’s ecological capacity has also grown in strength and depth.

Lots of fundraising activity is continuing towards purchasing Taymount Wood: funding meetings, appeal letters, Expressions of Interest and funding applications to potential charity, philanthropic and other donors and funders, including the Heritage Lottery Fund and soon, the Community Ownership Fund. A Crowdfunding Campaign is also being developed for launch soon. On 5 February, we had a very constructive meeting with our new funding adviser, Jamie McCaw, who is assessing our Scottish Land Fund application for half the purchase cost and a contribution towards development costs once the woodland is in community ownership.

On 16 January we had our final 1-1 session in the Measuring Social Impact course run by Just Enterprise and Social Value Lab. This course has provided extremely valuable training which will help WSWG in optimising its approach to both fundraising and donor feedback.

We had an excellent meeting on 26 January with Brian Martin of PKC regarding WSWG use of PKC Community Minibuses and MiDAS training for volunteer drivers. WSWG ticks the eligibility boxes and is now to apply for a Section 19 Permit so our registration with PKC can go ahead. We look forward to being able to offer free community transport to groups coming to WizzyWARP24 events in the first instance and then more widely in our WSWG events programme as a more sustainable alternative to car travel, in line with the WSWG Travel Plan for the Wildwood Project – Taymount Wood. Link to Appendix RP9 Travel Plan.

The WSWG Travel Zones around Taymount and Five Mile Woods

Our aim is to establish a WSWG pool of MiDAS-trained volunteer drivers to help out with this. In the first instance, however, if anyone can put us in touch with drivers in the local area who already hold MiDAS certification and who might be willing to do some volunteer minibus driving for WSWG during 2024, that would be great. Please email us about this at contact@weststormontwoodlandgroup.scot .

WSWG is participating in an inspiring initiative being led by NHS Tayside and RSPB to produce a Nature Prescribing Calendar for Perth and Kinross as a resource for enabling health practitioners to include nature-based activities when tailoring prescriptions for people’s recovery and wellbeing. Taymount and Five Mile Woods along with WSWG’s woodland management for nature recovery and community benefit would provide an ideal resource for supporting nature prescribing.

On 27 January, we carried out a recce of the core path between Stanley and Taymount Wood to assess its access and biodiversity value ahead of the Biodiversity Village Mapping event the next day. We would love more people to be able to use that route to get to Taymount Wood. Anyone who knows the route will realise that whilst a lovely walk for many, some sections are currently challenging even for basic walking let alone for less mobile people or cycles, buggies or wheelchairs. This is the sort of improvement project which would help address Active Travel needs locally. In terms of biodiversity along the core path route, it offers considerable value as a habitat corridor between the village and the woodland already, as well as presenting a few lovely opportunities for further enhancement, perhaps as Biodiversity Village projects, where landowners are willing.

On Sunday afternoon 28 January, WSWG participated in the excellent Stanley Biodiversity Village Mapping Session run by Tayside Biodiversity Partnership in Stanley Village Hall. About 35 people came along to this first step in what is going to be a hugely exciting and valuable project for the whole Stanley community. Do keep an eye out for invitations to get involved in future events and activities. WSWG will keep you posted too.

Words of the Month

Collective nouns for wildlife: There are huge numbers of words used to describe groups of wildlife. Here are a few regarding different bird species to whet your appetite to find out more. We’ll do animals another time. Do get back to us with any other names you know for these and other species.

                   

What’s coming up next?

The WSWG Board will be working on improving our social media presence for use in fundraising, promotional networking and also general communications around events and membership issues.

WizzyWARP24 – our PKC Green Living Fund project from April to November this year to bring groups of people living with specific challenges to the woods for wellbeing, woodland activities and learning about climate and biodiversity action in the WSWG Project and what they can do in their own lives. Would you like to help out? If so, please get in touch to let us know.

Our plan for members and wider community is to have a regular monthly walk in Taymount or Five Mile Woods. Sometimes it will just be a group walk and chat, sometimes we will incorporate additional activities, such as a butterfly count, bird watching, tree-tubing of natural regeneration, gorse mulch raking, litter picking, foraging, picnicking or a treasure hunt. We might even walk the core path from Stanley to Taymount Wood one month. We have decided it will be better to vary the times and whether weekdays or weekends so there is something to suit everyone, and will set out the dates for the rest of the year shortly so you can pencil them in your diary well ahead if you’d like to come along.

Share:

Facebook
Email
Twitter
LinkedIn
Print

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 – 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 »

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!

Read More »