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 – July 2022

Our big thing this month was the first General Meeting of the WSWG SCIO, involving the retiral of the three interim trustees and the election of a new Board of Trustees to take WSWG forward as a charity. We had sent out a “GM Pack” to keep our WSWG membership informed, invite them to the GM and seek nominations for WSWG Members willing to become Trustees. The meeting was held at the Tayside Hotel in Stanley on 20 June with the formal proceedings followed by the opportunity to chat together over a cup of tea.

Red admiral butterfly sunning on birch, Five Mile Wood July 2022

What has WSWG been doing this month?    

Five Members were elected on the night and one Associate co-opted as a Trustee at the first SCIO Board meeting on 29 June, with roles allocated as follows:

  • Simon Yearsley                 Chair
  • Shonagh Moore               Vice Chair
  • Andrew Lear                     Secretary
  • Elspeth Coutts                  Membership Secretary
  • Betty Abbott                     Trustee
  • Alan Ross                          Trustee (co-opted)
  • Vacancy                             Treasurer    

We are currently looking for someone to fill the position of Treasurer, so if any WSWG Members or Associates would be interested in that role on the Board of Trustees, please do get in touch.

Thank you very much indeed to everyone who helped organise or who attended the GM; to Jane Wilkinson of Growbiz for coming along in support; and to Jo Hardy for hosting us so well at the Tayside Hotel.

Another big achievement this month was the submission of a funding application to the Scottish Government’s Investing in Communities Fund Round 2. We have sought significant funding towards staff and project costs within our proposed Community Benefit Programme which, if successful, would provide invaluable support for the WSWG Project between 2023 and 2026. We will hear in December 2022 if we have been successful. Wish us luck and fingers crossed!!

On 28 June, we attended an eye-opening and thought-provoking on-line training workshop on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, delivered by Diversity Scotland and hosted by Perth & Kinross Council.

And of course, we have been busy with ongoing work on the costed final WSWG Proposal and Business Plan. (NB. We are getting there!)

But in between the hard work, we have been enjoying nature’s seasonal delights in both Taymount and Five Mile Woods and hope you have been too. In addition to red admiral butterflies sunning themselves and defending territories, one walk in Five Mile Wood delivered sightings of dozens of ringlet butterflies, a variety of day flying moths, numerous damselflies and a few dragonflies, various birds including willow warbler, song thrush and coal tit, and discovery of solitary bee holes, pine marten scat and carpets of seed and cone debris where red squirrels have been feeding. Even two freshly killed shrews lying openly on the track – not eaten because a toxic gland in them makes them unpalatable to anything that catches them! And so much more. A magical and sometimes mystery tour of wildlife and its footprint, learning to read the signs whether the creatures are seen on not. And the wildflowers – tormentil, eyebright, selfheal, bird’s-foot trefoil, sneezewort, black medick, black knapweed about to flower in profusion, and densely flowering brambles promising berries in abundance before too long. And with the weather we’re having just now, all with the added pleasure of the sun on your face and cooling breeze in your hair. If you can get into the woods to enjoy it yourself, maybe you could contribute 15 minutes of your walk to the national Big Butterfly Count which in running from 15 July to 7 August. Big Butterfly Count (butterfly-conservation.org)

Word of the Month

Shining fungus beetle: (Scaphidium quadrimaculatum.) Found in Taymount Wood in July 2022, there are only 4 other recorded locations in Scotland for this unusual beetle which has not previously been recorded in Tayside. Having this summer found several insect species in the woods which have not been recorded in Tayside, we are beginning to get really excited about what living treasures Taymount and Five Mile Woods hold.

Shining fungus beetle in Taymount Wood July 2022

What’s coming up next?

  • Look out for the next blog coming soon from the Barefoot Woodland Wanderer!
  • WSWG Volunteer Days over the summer – dates and activities will be coming soon hopefully to suit people’s different interests and availabilities.
  • A frequent and regular schedule for SCIO Board meetings in the run-up to the CATS Application.
  • Business advice from Growbiz.
  • Progress meeting on 27 July with Forestry and Land Scotland and the Scottish Land Fund.
  • Planning for the Community Consultation on the final WSWG Proposal in late September.

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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.

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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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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.

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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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