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 2023

First up this month is for us to say a big thank you to a lovely group of young people from Ochil Tower School in Auchterarder who had come on a mini-bus trip to visit Taymount Wood on 21 June … and just did a litter-pick whilst they were there!! What a great example of being good citizens – enjoying the environment and taking care of it together.

What has WSWG been doing this month?

On 21 June, two of the WSWG Trustees attended an on-line training event on the Roles and Responsibilities of Charity Trustees. Many thanks to the organiser, SCVO, and to Gavin McEwan, Partner and Head of Charities for Edinburgh-based legal firm Turcan Connell for the excellent and very informative presentation.

We’ve also been preparing for the community picnic in Taymount Wood on 22 July, a joint event with Tayside Woodland Partnerships, with an event notice sent out to WSWG and TWP members and the usual posters going up on noticeboards around the WSWG area. We’ve found the ideal grassy spot in the woods, not too far to walk in but away from the noise of the road. It’s a BYO picnic but there will be a few extras put on by WSWG too (cakes, juice, etc). And we’ve at last replaced the broken pop-up gazebo (sadly confirmed non-reparable by a TWP friend) so will have two or three shelter points if needed. So all we need is happy picnickers to come along and good weather on the day. See “What’s coming up next” below for more details and join us if you can. We’d love to see you there.

The Tayside Woodland Partnerships was registered as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCO 51345) in October 2021. It was formed with the objective of establishing and maintaining woodlands in Tayside for habitat restoration and sequestering carbon as a contribution to the Scottish Government’s target to achieve zero net emissions, and to play a part in addressing the climate and nature emergency. Find out more about what they do here.

We continue positive progress on the CATS process with Forestry and Land Scotland and local community business and funding advisers we have met through the Third Sector Interface Perth and Kinross. We have submitted an exploratory enquiry for capital funding towards the woodland acquisition with a local funder and will be continuing with our wider fundraising activity apace.

WSWG Trustee, Alan Ross, sidestepped from his usual Barefoot Woodland Wanderer Blogging to write an article for the Tayside Biodiversity Summer eNewsletter on the various rare invertebrates which have been found in Taymount Wood over the past year. Taymount Wood (and we believe Five Mile Wood too) are refugia, mainland islands, treasure troves harbouring remnants of what would once have been widespread insect life in the area. It is up to us to save and protect these precious populations so they can multiply and spread out into the wider area as part of our shared local action for nature recovery.

On 27 June, we participated in the Highland and Strathtay Stronger Communities Network on-line meeting. This will be a very valuable network for WSWG to help us contribute to local priorities and become as inclusive as we can be in our future programmes and activities.

We’ve also embarked on our input into the PKC Big Place Conversation programme underway in Highland and Strathtay during July and August, starting on 12 and 13 July with the Drop-in events at Bankfoot Church Centre and Murthly Village Hall.  We’re keen to see WSWG and West Stormont Connect be part of that conversation and future plans for the area.

Word of the Month

Big Place Conversation: This is a conversation happening in Perth & Kinross communities throughout 2023 to find out what you love about your place, and what could be improved. The main purpose of these conversations is to shape the next Local Development Plan which will run until 2037. The conversations will also inform the Mobility Strategy, which will set out a vision for managing and developing the transport network across all modes of transport; and the conversations will also help communities develop Community Action Plans.

What’s coming up next?

PKC Big Place Conversation: Be part of the conversation in Highland and Strathtay. In-Person and Virtual Conversations, Drop-in sessions and On-line survey. Join Here

TBP Mini Bioblitz up to 13 August. Help the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership find out about some key species you see in your local area. This is part of the proposed Biodiversity Villages, Towns & Neighbourhoods Initiative which is being received enthusiastically by communities throughout Perth and Kinross. This mini online bioblitz will help discover which of the Top Ten easily-identifiable species might be found in your patch. Some will not be present in the habitats within your own settlement so they are not asking you to find all ten, but hope it will be a good introduction to future citizen science surveys which could take place. The list to look for includes 2 mammal species, 2 bird species, 2 insect species, 1 reptile species and 3 flowering plant species. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Take part here

Saturday 22 July, 12 noon to 3pm (or so): WSWG is hosting a community picnic and guided walk in Taymount Wood as a joint event with Tayside Woodland Partnerships. Come along to this social event and also hear about the activities of both these local community woodland organisations. Weather and inclination permitting, there will be the option of doing some practical volunteering activity protecting natural regenerating oak and rowan saplings and clearing more cut gorse debris from the tracks. If you’d like to help with the gorse raking, bring a grass rake if you have one. Hope to see you there.

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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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