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 – January 2022

We had our first ever WSWG Carol Singing event to celebrate the winter solstice in Taymount Wood on 21 December.

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.

Scotland’s Red Squirrels – Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels (scottishsquirrels.org.uk)

Red Squirrel in Taymount Wood – note the ear tufts they grow in winter

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 – rossr27@yahoo.com  Tree species include Hawthorn, Rowan, Bird Cherry, Oak, Downy Birch, Field Maple and Goat Willow.

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Previous Articles

Community Monthly Update – June 2024

Our main focus this month has been collaboration with all sorts of people and organisations in our ongoing programme of events in Taymount Wood and outreach activity for the WSWG Project. Each and every event has been a source of real joy at seeing so many people benefitting in so many ways from spending and sharing time in our lovely woodlands on a diverse range of activities. Whilst we cannot claim to have beaten the record set in 2019 for our oldest participant at a WSWG event (she was an amazing 96 years old!), at only 5 weeks old a little treasure beat the record of our youngest attendee to date by a whole 11 weeks! How cool is that? Read on to find out more about these wonderful, moving and uplifting events.

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Community Monthly Update – May 2024

We are really delighted this month to start with the announcement that the winner of the WSWG April Photography Competition in the Children’s category is Dougie from Highland Perthshire. His stunning and clever photograph was taken at the head of Loch Rannoch, looking west, on Saturday 20 April. Such a beautiful, calm scene in our precious Perthshire countryside, but just look at the perfect capture of the beautiful splash effect at its heart. A truly super photo.

Congratulations, Dougie. Thank you very much for taking part in this competition and your well-deserved prize will be making its way to you very soon.

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Community Monthly Update – April 2024

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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.

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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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