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 – May 2022

May Day sightings and soundings in Taymount Wood this year included three pairs of common crossbills, blackcap, willow warblers, jays, song thrushes, sparrowhawk, robins, blackbird, woodcock, siskins, greenfinch, wrens, wood pigeon, great tits, coal tits, great spotted woodpecker and (... summer’s nearly here!) TWO swallows.

“Female sparrowhawk – Alan Ross”

But bird population sizes need boosting

So this is WSWG’s ambition for rapid Nature Restoration in Taymount and Five Mile Woods which if managed for biodiversity, starting with the invertebrate level of the food chain, could sustain hugely greater numbers than they do at present. This is what the world needs. A woodland devoid of bird song in May is unthinkable – and avoidable if we act now. We need to remember Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” published 60 years ago this year which warned us of woodlands (and elsewhere) devoid of bird song in springtime. In the last 40 years alone, we have lost approximately 600 million birds across the UK and Europe as well as suffering an 80% decline in insect biomass. We can delay no longer in this alarm-call UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.

What has WSWG been doing this month?

  • Enjoying the sunshine and birdsong!
  • And of course, continuing the ongoing work by the old Steering Group members on the suite of documents feeding into the final costed WSWG Proposal and the Survey Questionnaire for the impending on-line Community Consultation. Dates for this are having to be pushed back a bit more, as other obligations set out below have landed on us much sooner than we expected. Thank you for your patience. It has been a big task for us all, but we really hope you will like what we have come up with for you. The WSWG Project is your project and we hope our efforts do justice to your wishes for community ownership of Taymount and Five Mile Woods in a future which so urgently needs projects like this.
  • Our big news last month was that, as of 5 April 2022, West Stormont Woodland Group is now a SCIO – a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. There are now some formal administrative procedures to go through. We are required to hold a General Meeting (GM) for all Members “as soon as practicable following incorporation” as stated in our SCIO Constitution, to elect a Board of Trustees. Also, because of legal obligations regarding SCIO membership, we may need to contact you to provide additional information to comply with regulations which are required of us by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), so please keep a look out for these emails from us.
  • WSWG SCIO will need WSWG Members to get nominated and to be elected to the Board of Trustees at the upcoming GM to help guide the WSWG SCIO to achieve its environmental, recreational and woodland acquisition aims. We are particularly looking for people who live in the Stanley, Kinclaven and Bankfoot area to ensure good representation of the closest communities, but approaches from members living in the wider WSWG area would be very welcome too – Murthly, Luncarty, Pitcairngreen, Almondbank, Logiealmond, Dunkeld and Birnam, Caputh and Spittalfield. If you are resident in the local area, passionate about our local environment and fancy getting involved, please get in touch at contact@weststormontwoodlandgroup.scot
  • If there are other family or friends in your household who would like to support the WSWG Project, please encourage them to join the free membership scheme through our website. If anyone has turned 16 in your household since you joined WSWG, they are now eligible to become members in their own right. Click here to take you straight to the on-line application form Membership – West Stormont Woodland Group

Word of the Month

Nestling and Fledgeling: Nestling is the term used to describe a baby bird when it is still in the nest, totally dependent on its parents and too young to leave. Fledgeling is the term used for an immature bird which is preparing to or has just left the nest, or “fledged”. It has grown enough to acquire flight feathers but may not be fully able to fly.  Fledgelings can hop and flutter and walk but typically stay near the nest where the parents will continue to protect and feed them for a few days until they are strong enough to look after themselves. If spotted, they should be left alone at this stage unless they are in direct danger from cats or cars, etc. If it becomes clear the parents have genuinely abandoned a fledgeling, it is likely to need rescued to survive.

Blue tit nestlings (BBC Springwatch)
Robin fledgeling (BBC Springwatch)

What’s coming up next?

Groundhog Day here, for all the reasons mentioned above! Dates for the Community Consultation on the final CATS Proposal and the WSWG Community Events Programme will be publicised as soon as possible. Watch this space for our crucial on-line Survey, walks, talks, foraging, fun events and hopefully more tubing of natural broadleaf regeneration now the saplings are in leaf and easier for us to find before the deer do! Something for everyone in due course!



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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