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 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.

On Sunday 28 January, from 1.30-3.30pm in Stanley Village Hall, Cath Lloyd of the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership is leading the initial Stanley Biodiversity Village Mapping Session. This is a hugely exciting project for the whole Stanley community to get behind and WSWG is participating too. From bird feeders in your garden to nature recovery in Taymount and Five Mile Woods, we can all do our bit for nature going forward, individually and collectively. We’ve got the big hall for the event, so if you live in the Stanley and District area, do please come along to this free event to learn more about the Biodiversity Villages initiative and help map what you know about our local biodiversity (good and bad) and what you think we could do to protect and enhance nature in the Stanley area. Free refreshments will be provided too. Click here for the poster for this event and please forward to anyone you think might be interested in joining in.

Hopefully this month’s photo focus on biodiversity in the Stanley area in recent years will entice you to come along. And perhaps act as some light relief to the essential other focus in this update …. the major fundraising goal we have ahead in 2024!

What has WSWG been doing this month?

Having a lovely Christmas break. Happy New Year to all WSWG members and supporters and here’s to us successfully raising the funding needed to purchase Taymount Wood in 2024! A big task indeed but totally achievable with the positive support of our local community!

A lovely festive showcase opportunity for the WSWG Project at the Climate Action Hub Christmas Gathering on 15 December at the Co-Working in Dunkeld and Birnam. Thank you to Jess and Lindsey for a really great day. 

Application submitted on 15 December to PKC Green Living Fund to enable WSWG to host diverse community groups and organisations at events with climate action and learning in mind. Please look out for community voting which starts in early February to give our Wizzy-WARP 2024 Project as much support as you can. See link for a closer look. Participatory budgeting (communitychoices.scot)

Pine marten at SWT squirrel feeder in Taymount Wood

Our popular and beautiful WSWG Wildflowers and Friends 2024 calendar has sold really well and we now only have a few left. Support WSWG and brighten your walls by buying one of our calendars for a small donation of £10 (plus £2 postage if required).  Lovely for your own home or workplace, a great New Year’s gift for anyone who slipped your Christmas list or has a birthday soon! Please email us to order yours to help us maximise the proceeds going towards our shared goal of bringing Taymount and Five Mile Woods into community ownership.  Thank you in anticipation of your much needed and valued support here.

12 stunning images in the 2024 WSWG Calendar taken in Taymount Wood in 2023 by Françoise

On 16 December, the old board members took the new board members for a guided walk around Taymount Wood to highlight the key aspects of the Woodland Management Plan for nature recovery and community benefit on the ground, giving a great opportunity for free-flowing discussion around fundraising and other urgent matters for the WSWG project in 2024. It is great to have new ideas and energy coming into the mix at this critical stage.

Swift and bat bricks installed in the new Muir Homes as a planning condition

Your new WSWG board of Trustees now includes: Shonagh Moore, Elspeth Coutts, Peter Hemmings, Nicole Connelly, Murray Gauld, Alan Ross and Hannah Esdaile. Roles and responsibilities are still being worked out between us so we will update you on this through the Meet the Teams page on our website in due course.

Exploratory Teams meeting on 9 January with Nicki Souter Associates to review possible role for professional fundraising as part of WSWG’s 2024 Fundraising Strategy.

Brown long-eared bat rescued locally with a torn wing preventing it fly properly

On 11 January, WSWG participated in an NHS Tayside Teams meeting on Nature Prescribing in Perth and Kinross and will be contributing to the development of a Nature Prescribing Calendar for Perth and Kinross.

On 11 January, we attended a meeting with Tayside Woodland Partnerships in Blairgowrie and with whom we are planning another a joint community picnic in Taymount Wood in May. More details in due course.

16 January saw our final 1 to 1 session to complete our attendance at the Measuring Social Impact course run by Just Enterprise and Social Value Lab. A very valuable learning exercise for us to take forward in practice.

Family of mute swans at Old England

Word of the Month

Rock: A term used in American financial-speak for a million dollars. WSWG needs to raise 2.5 rocks during 2024 to purchase Taymount Wood and run the Wildwood Project for the first two years. Hopefully 1.2 rocks will come from the Scottish Land Fund (fingers crossed) and a further 0.1 is on the table from a very generous anonymous donation. 1.2 more rocks to go! All help welcome.

What’s coming up next?

A major focus on fundraising, fundraising and more fundraising.

On 21 January, weather permitting, WSWG trustees plan to recce the core path from Shielhill in Stanley to Taymount Wood south entrance to assess accessibility issues along its length and see its potential as a biodiversity corridor. If anyone would like to join us, please get in touch.

And of course …. Sunday 28 January 1.30-3.30pm – Tayside Biodiversity Partnership is hosting the initial Stanley Biodiversity Village Mapping Session in Stanley Village Hall. All welcome.

And Finally …

A single swallow reminding us of the summer which lies ahead of us.

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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.

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!

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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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