And a great evening it was. The weather was very kind to us – dry, calm and chilly but only enough for us to start feeling the cold towards the end of our hour of singing. Eighteen adults, four children and two very well-behaved dogs came along, a lovely group size in itself and for being covid-aware. In our circle of torchlight, we began with Margaret Lear giving us an introduction to what the Solstice is, winter and summer, then listened in the still dark woods to the first public rendition of a song written specially for this event by WSWG member John Kendal, called “This Tender Land”. We then sang all twelve carols we had printed on the song sheet, and nearly all the verses, a capella, with two ladies contributing wonderful impromptu descant value along the way. A really lovely evening in the run-up to Christmas 2021. We hope you had a really good festive season and wish you a very happy 2022.
What else has WSWG been doing this month?
- Control of vegetation encroaching on paths in both woods which was planned for December was postponed to the new year due to Storm Arwen taking all Forestry and Land Scotland teams to emergency work across the region. Some work has started which will involve heavy equipment and machinery and will inevitably be disruptive for members of the public using the woods. Please be patient and take heed of the safety signage which goes up and follow any instructions closely to ensure both your safety and that of others too. Thank you.
- Planning for further WSWG winter events – hopefully community tree planting and tube protection of natural broadleaf regeneration in Taymount Wood in February or March. More details soon.
- Ongoing work by the Shadow Board members to pull together the WSWG Business Plan and CATS Application.
“This Tender Land” by John Kendal
WSWG has received a very special gift this year from one of its members. John Kendal has written a song for us, called “This Tender Land”, inspired by the nature, land and environment of Taymount Wood which is a very special place for him and his family. He is a great supporter of WSWG’s goal to bring Taymount and Five Mile Woods into community ownership to be used for wide-ranging individual and collective community benefit. Although written to be first performed at WSWG’s first carol singing event, the words mean it is timeless and can be enjoyed at any time of the year. We hope you enjoy the song. John’s advice is to read the lyrics whilst listening, for the first time at least, as the electronic voice brings some unusual pronunciation and intonation at times. Still a lovely sound, in our view. And a huge thank you to John for this wonderful contribution to the WSWG project.
Word of the Month
Red Squirrel: Scotland is home to around 75% of the UK red squirrel population, meaning you stand a better chance of seeing them here than almost anywhere else in the country. And lucky for us, that includes both Taymount and Five Mile Woods. Both woods are part of the Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels nation-wide volunteer survey scheme which tracks where red and grey squirrels are found and how their distribution changes over time. If you see a squirrel, red or grey, in either wood, dead or hopefully alive, do submit a squirrel sighting record on the SSRS website.
What’s coming up next?
- Perth City Leadership Forum on-line conference on Nature and Biodiversity 21 January 2022. WSWG is participating in a workshop run by Perthshire Nature Connections Partnership. More information and free event registration on this link: EVENT: What do nature and biodiversity mean to Perth? – Most Sustainable City
- For the third year running, WSWG is giving away free tree saplings to local community groups, schools or individuals who would like to plant trees in their local areas as part of the Big Climate Fightback. An ambitious project partnership between energy company OVO Energy and The Conservation Volunteers, with over 1 Million Trees planted so far. It is hoped some of the trees will also be planted in Five Mile Wood and Taymount Wood. Any group or individual that wants some trees, please email Alan at – email@example.com Tree species include Hawthorn, Rowan, Bird Cherry, Oak, Downy Birch, Field Maple and Goat Willow.