SRUC Student field trip to Taymount Wood, 9 May 2023
What has WSWG been doing this month?
Wildflower and Mining Bee Rescue Mission latest: Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 April saw our 7th and 8th raking sessions to clear gorse debris from the delicate trackside habitats as part of this valuable action for biodiversity in our woods. We estimate that so far, give or take a rest or two, around 160 hours of raking by 17 brilliant WSWG volunteers has rescued about 900m of track and verge, both sides, in Taymount Wood (about 30% of our target area) and 300m of track and verge, both sides, in Five Mile Wood (about 10% of our target area). As well as benefiting vulnerable flora and fauna, removing the large gorse debris from the path surfaces has also made walking a great deal more comfortable for people and dogs. In addition, many small pools have been raked out in the ditches to recover open water for the benefit of breeding amphibians and other wildlife. We’ve made a great start but this rescue mission will be ongoing so that we can do as much as we can over time. There is still time to save more wildflower habitat this spring, so if you would like to help, please come along to Taymount Wood this weekend – see below for more information*.
On Saturday 22 April, WSWG participated in the Earth Day Market organised at Perth Civic Hall by Perth and Kinross Climate Action. It was a great day with lots of community groups, environmental organisations and eco-conscious businesses showcasing their activities and many members of the public coming along to find out about and express their support for the huge and concerted effort going into climate action in our area.
WSWG attended its first meeting of the Highland and Strathtay Stronger Communities Network to strengthen existing relationships and establish new links for future partnership working, particularly in the Healthy Living, Life-Long Learning and Creativity and Culture themes of the WSWG Window on the Woods Vision.
On 9 May, WSWG hosted a site visit by around 30 students from SRUC Edinburgh and Aberdeen who are undertaking honours programmes in Wildlife and Conservation Management, Environmental Management or Rural Business Management. As part of a field trip to Perthshire for their “Multi-Purpose Woodland Management” module, we were able to tell them about our vision and plans for the woods and about the challenges and opportunities of the CATS process to bring our woods into community ownership. What this visit and other recent networking has flagged up is real scope for significant future partnership working with the academic sector and we look forward to developing this under the Life-Long Learning, Forestry and Ecology and potentially other themes in the WSWG Vision.
Many thanks indeed to the Highland Community Energy Society for a further annual donation to the WSWG Project from its Littleton Burn Hydro Project, near Dalguise. The contribution their regular donations have made to the development phase of the WSWG Project has been extremely helpful and very much appreciated indeed.
And finally, the Barefoot Woodland Wanderer’s Blog brought us another lovely seasonal story – “Song of the Fox”. If you missed it, here is the link again.
Word of the Month
Earth Day: An annual celebration at the spring equinox, usually 22 April, that honours the achievements of the global environmental movement and raises awareness of the need to protect Earth’s natural resources for future generations. Its 10 core issues are: Advocacy; Climate Change; Conservation & Biology; Education; Energy; Food & Agriculture; Green Economy; Green Schools; Recycling & Waste Reduction; Sustainable Development. Source: www.earthday.org
What’s coming up next?
*WSWG “Woodland Pick and Mix” Event at Taymount Wood from 10.30am–3pm on Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 May. Come along and choose which activity you’d like to help with: “Protect a Wild Tree” – tubing broadleaf tree seedlings and saplings to protect from deer; “Little Acorns” – planting out oak saplings grown from local acorns by WSWG volunteers; “C406 Verges for Wildflowers not Litter” – planting wildflower plugs; “Wildflower and Mining Bee Rescue Mission” – raking gorse mulch to expose wildflower seedlings and clear tracks for walkers. We’ll meet any early birds at 10.30am in the Taymount Wood car park, but if you’re coming later, just walk up the main track until you find us. We won’t be far away and you’ll be very welcome. Dress for the weather, wear sturdy footwear and protective gloves and bring some refreshments to keep you going. We have a small stock of tools which you can use but if you prefer to use your own, please bring useful tools such as grass rakes, garden spades or lump hammers for knocking in tree stakes.
WSWG is participating in the Stanley Community Action Plan process and will have a stall at the Open Days on 9 and 10 June where we will promote the plans for Taymount and Five Mile Woods under community ownership both in itself and in the wider landscape-scale context of West Stormont Connect. Tayside Biodiversity Partnership will also have a stall promoting the idea of Stanley as a “Biodiversity Village” to join the growing list of local towns and villages choosing to go down that inspirational route, such as Blairgowrie, Guildtown and Invergowrie. The Stanley Swift Project will also feature on the day. Save the dates and come along to learn about and vote for what actions our community should be taking for a thriving and sustainable future.