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 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.

Some of the C406 litter-picking volunteers, March 2023 

WSWG volunteers litter-pick around the car park on a regular basis, but once a year we team up with the C406 Tackle Litter Group of local residents who organise a community litter-picking event along the entire 4 miles of the C406 road from West Tofts to Kinclaven Farm. If you would like to help in this year’s event to clear the car park and the surrounding verges, which suffer even more than the car park, do come along on Sunday 24 March when the road will be closed to through traffic from 11am to 4pm to keep volunteers safe. Rendezvous point and litter-picking equipment available at Innernyte Farm any time from 10.45am, and refreshments available there afterwards too.

What has WSWG been doing this month?

Before we catch up on that though, a little more on the litter story for good measure. The image below shows the haul of rubbish from the Taymount Wood car park on one day in May 2021. That is why it is such a rewarding thing to have done.

The haul from Taymount Wood car park one day in May 2021

An interesting and welcome point to note is that we very rarely observe litter in the woods themselves where the cars don’t go, just really in the car park, which is used by many, many passersby stopping for a variety of reasons. Our dream is that once we own the woods and there is more permanent presence in the woods and the entrance area looks more loved, the littering and fly-tipping will reduce and ideally stop altogether. Let’s keep working towards that dream.

So what have we been doing this month?

We’ve been working on the WSWG Events Programme 2024 which will go up on the website soon. We plan to hold monthly woodland walks for which proposed dates will be set out for the rest of the year to give you a chance to forward plan when you might like to come along. Some will be at weekends, others on weekdays to suit different needs, preferences and availabilities. Sometimes it may just be a chatty walk to catch up with the team, meet other WSWG members and enjoy the woods; other times we will add on seasonal activities with social or practical conservation goals. Please let us know if there are any activities or topics you would like to be included. The other part of the programme will be delivery of our lovely WizzyWARP24 Programme (Wellbeing and Resilience Project), awarded £4,950 through PKC’s Green Living Fund, with monthly events from April to November bringing various organisations supporting people living with specific challenges to enjoy time and different activities in Taymount and Five Mile Woods and find out about how we and they can take action for climate and nature. We also have some funding for MiDAS training for volunteer drivers. If anyone would like to help at these events or receive MiDAS training to drive the minibuses for WSWG events, we will be looking for volunteers as we go.

On 12 March, WSWG Trustees attended the very enjoyable evening at the PKC Green Living Fund Award Results and Celebratory Event at the Civic Hall in Perth. WSWG was one of 5 successful projects in the Strathtay ward and 41 community projects overall to receive funding. Thank you to PKC for our award and also the excellent do at the Civic Hall.

We’ve also now applied to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner for a Section 19 Permit to enable WSWG to use the PKC Community Minibuses. There will be a few weeks’ wait for it to be processed, but it will give us access to a great resource both for our 2024 events programme and community transport in our sustainable Travel Plan going forward.

We are also in initial exploratory discussions around prospects for basing a forest kindergarten business in Taymount Wood once we own it. We have also been preparing very happily to host a repeat of last year’s field trip to Taymount Wood by SRUC students as part of their Multi-purpose Woodland Management module to hear about WSWG’s plans for managing the wood for nature recovery and community benefit. (SRUC – Scotland’s Rural College.) Two diverse examples here of how WSWG intends to deliver the Life-Long Learning theme of our Window on the Woods Vision once the woods are in community ownership.

Two of WSWG Trustees attended an excellent Community Woodlands Association webinar on 15 February, “Understanding Carbon and Ecological Systems, and Alternatives for Funding”. Biodiversity Net Gains and developing other non-extractive products will be important income streams in our very purposeful Living Forest programme to allow long-term ecosystems and old growth to prevail as nature intends and our living environment needs.

Mossy windblow habitat in Taymount Wood

We very gladly signed a petition and sent a letter supporting Perthshire’s Kirkmichael community’s wish for FLS to reserve 86ha of Dalrulzion Forest for nature. If you wish to support their campaign by signing their petition, you can find it at https://chng.it/Y6t7KNRNh8

RSPB’s Nature Prescribing Calendar for Perth and Kinross is nearly completed including listing for WSWG and Taymount and Five Mile Woods. Soon local health practitioners will be using it to help people find nature-based solutions for their health and wellbeing. Our WizzyWARP24 Programme is full of such opportunities for helping lots of people feel better from spending time in our woods.

Lichen detail in Taymount Wood
Bracket (aka hoof) fungus on a birch tree in Taymount Wood

And yes, lots more fundraising activity. WSWG has very kindly been invited by the Garfield Weston Foundation to submit an application for £100,000 to their Trustees’ Meeting in June, if we can show evidence of match funding. As we know, there are never any guarantees, but fingers crossed for that and many other funding applications and approaches we have submitted recently.

Word of the Month

Litter-picker: 1) A very valuable person (usually a volunteer) who collects litter chucked indiscriminately (usually from car windows) to help keep our environment safe and clean – ie what we need! 2) Hand-held mechanical grabber used by a litter-picker to pick up litter – ie what we will provide for WSWG volunteers along with bin bags, bag-hoops, gloves and fun on 24 March!

What’s coming up next?

Sunday 24 March 11-4pm – WSWG participating in C406 Community Litter-pick. The C406 is the road from West Tofts by Stanley to Kinclaven and Ballathie. Volunteers wanted please to help with the WSWG verges and car park area at the main Taymount Wood entrance! The road will be closed apart from access for residents, litter-picking volunteers and to Ballathie House Hotel, with a 20mph speed restriction in place. Last year, 30 people collected over 100 black bin bags of rubbish plus other non-baggable rubbish over the four-mile stretch, with uplift by PKC Waste Operations Team. What a difference this yearly community event makes to the local environment.

26 MarchField trip to Taymount Wood by SRUC students as part of their Multi-purpose Woodland Management module to hear about WSWG’s plans for managing the wood for nature recovery and community benefit. (SRUC – Scotland’s Rural College.)

…….

And just a little reminder that it is Earth Hour on Saturday 23 March.

WHAT IS EARTH HOUR

On Saturday 23rd of March at 8.30pm, join millions of people across the globe as they unite to show they care about people and the planet. 

Together, we can make a difference. Signing a petition, connecting with local nature, making your home green, protecting marine life – it all adds up.

Will you join the global movement for action on the climate and nature emergency this Earth Hour?

For further information and ideas as to how you can mark Earth Hour this year, go to www.wwf.org.uk/scotland/earthhour/

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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 – 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.

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!

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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!

Read More »