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 March 2023

This month, here are some musings on the season and community wealth building from Bob Talbot. March is famous for “mad” hares, for its “ides”, for occasional sun that feels like May, and for its winds, which, with April showers, “bringeth forth the May flowers”. In short it is a month of change, leaving winter behind but not forgotten, shaking the snow off its coat tails and setting its face towards better and hopefully warmer times ahead.

Small clump of frog spawn in ditch pool in Five Mile Wood 14 March 2023

Word(s) of the Month

COMMUNITY WEALTH BUILDING (CWB for short) underpins much of the Scottish Government’s thinking about how the Scottish economy and environment can be improved. It is built upon 5 pillars

Spending: Procure & Commission goods & services locally, developing good enterprises; fair work and shorter supply chains.

Workforce: Increasing fair work & developing local labour markets that support the wellbeing of communities.

Land and Property: Growing social, ecological, financial and economic value that local communities gain from land and property assets.

Inclusive ownership: Develop more local and social enterprises which generate community wealth, including social enterprises, employee-owned firms and cooperatives.

Finance: Ensuring that flows of investment and financial institutions work for local people, communities and businesses.

Projects building on these pillars are currently underway on a regional and city region basis throughout Scotland, and it is our belief that the WSWG project accords fully with this framework, for which reason the WSWG board is working hard to consolidate the support it deserves.

So, what news?

We have now received our preliminary feedback from the CATS site visit on 26 January and Panel meeting on 3 February from which will follow in depth discussions on various aspects of the WSWG Proposal in the near future.

We are also networking with a view to expanding our Wildwood Steering Group to bring on new skills and increased capacity for the project going forward. Let us know if you think you can bring some valuable expertise to this group. We are particularly keen to find people who can help organise community events, develop our social media presence and work with the trustees on progressing our fundraising strategy.

Given the potential scale of community wealth building from the WSWG Proposal and West Stormont Connect, we are also working hard to secure solid political support for our project in its wider context.

What’s coming up next?

  • Earth Hour Saturday 25 March, 8.30pm – please take part for the planet if you can. www.wwf.org.uk/earth-hour
  • C406 Tackle Litter Group community litter-pick, Sunday 26 March, road closed 1-4pm. WSWG volunteers wanted to help clean up Taymount Wood entrance and nearby road verges. Email us as contact@weststormontwoodlandgroup.scot for details if you’d like to help.
  • Wildflower and Mining Bee Rescue Mission: volunteers needed for urgent gorse mulch clearance in Taymount & Five Mile Woods: 29th, 31st March; 2nd, 4th & 6th April. 10.30am–3pm. There is a huge amount of material blanketing the ground layer, risking suppressing the delicate and valuable wildflowers we have along all our forest tracks and smothering the tunnels in which mining bees overwinter so we are looking for many hands to make lighter work raking and brushing it around to relieve some of the problem before the wildflowers start growing and the bees start emerging. There are also gorse and birch stumps and other debris trip hazards which we would like to cut back, as well as clearing some of the debris from the ditchlines. We are not sure how much of it can be done by volunteers but we would like to have a go to see how much positive impact we can have to rescue the wildflowers and bees. We will be putting up more details on our events page with information as to how to get involved and will send out a link to all on our mailing list in the next few days. Please do help in this important mitigation work if you can.
  • WSWG stall at Perth and Kinross Climate Action Earth Day Market Perth Civic Hall, 22 April
Typical extent of gorse and scrub clearance, here in Five Mile Wood
Large and small debris in ditch and along verges
Thickness of gorse mulch on what should be wildflower-rich verge
Indication of scraping work needed to expose the soil surface



Previous Articles

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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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.

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Community Monthly Update – June 2023

We want to start with a big thank you to all WSWG volunteers who helped in the Wildflower and Mining Bee Rescue Mission this spring. Many times more wildflowers have come through along the various stretches of raked verge than would have been the case had they remained swamped by gorse mulch and, as seen in the photo here, mining bees have successfully emerged where the track surfaces were cleared to help them out too. And of course the cleared sections of track make for more comfortable going again for walkers and dogs. Lots more areas still need attention, and we will keep doing what we can when we can, but thank you again to everyone who helped make a difference for nature this spring.

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