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 – November 2021

It does seem to be all very administrative news this month! But a lovely thing to let you in on is that there continues to be a pleasingly steady flow of new people signing up as WSWG members, and welcome to all. The most recent local people joining have taken us up to 472 Members with a further 282 named Supporters on our books.

What has WSWG been doing this month?

  • Different sub-groups of the Shadow Board are continuing to work hard on consolidating their forestry, community benefit and business contributions to the final WSWG proposal. This is very much the main WSWG activity at the moment to make sure we put together the best possible case for community ownership of Taymount and Five Mile Woods that we can.
  • This process will also be able to draw on the valuable findings of Shadow Board member Lisa Davidson’s case-study based research for WSWG looking at the types of infrastructure which different community woodland groups across Scotland have invested in to support community benefit and eco-tourism outcomes from their projects. The report has also flagged up what has proven successful (and unsuccessful) for groups applying for community ownership through the Community Asset Transfer Scheme (CATS), as WSWG is doing. A big thank you to Lisa for her excellent report and the huge amount of time and effort she has put into it for the WSWG project.
  • In addition, there’s also been our regular monthly meeting of the full Shadow Board.
  • We had a very useful on-line progress meeting with Forestry and Land Scotland and the Scottish Land Fund at which Shadow Board member, Ellie Corsie, gave a well-received PowerPoint presentation on the Forest Management Plan for Taymount and Five Mile Woods. Ellie is part of the WSWG Forestry Working Group which also includes Alastair Fraser, Alan Ross and Andrew Lear who between them bring an immensely valuable amount of forestry and ecology knowledge and expertise to the WSWG project.
  • We did our Monthly poster round as usual – via local hotels, restaurants, shops and other businesses, community noticeboards and community organisations in Stanley, Bankfoot, Murthly, Luncarty and Kinclaven – so that non-members and those without internet access can keep up with how the WSWG project is progressing too. We also put posters on the WSWG noticeboards at the north and south entrances to Five Mile Wood and the west and south entrances to Taymount Wood. Our Community Monthly Updates are also posted on “The Bridge on-line” and the Atholl Quair as well as on the WSWG website and very kindly on various other community social media pages. We’ll hopefully be getting back into the WSWG Facebook swing of things again soon, which has slipped a bit in recent months!
  • WSWG also renewed its annual membership of the Community Woodlands Association. For more information about this excellent organisation and to see the amazing things other community woodland groups are doing around Scotland, have a look at their website. www.communitywoods.org

Word of the Month

COP26: This was the 2021 United Nations climate change conference, the 26th annual summit, hosted in Glasgow with the UK as President. For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country on earth for global climate summits – called COPs – which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. In that time, climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority (even though the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 had already highlighted and agreed on the urgent need for global action on climate and biodiversity for a sustainable future). In the run-up to COP26, the UK worked with every nation to try to reach agreement on how to tackle climate change. In November, world leaders came to Scotland, alongside tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for twelve days of talks. And additionally, over 100,000 people took to the streets of Glasgow on the Youth and Global Day of Action marches through the city centre to take a stand regarding the urgent need for action on the climate and ecological emergencies.

Book of the Month

“From What Is to What If” by Rob Hopkins on unleashing the power of imagination to create the future we want. Like many grassroots projects around the world, WSWG is a small part of the enormous task of urging our world forward into a sustainable and much better future for people and planet. WSWG is part of that essential shift in mindset from what is to what if and we invite you to read this book to embrace the idea fully of what is possible when we put our hearts and minds to something ambitious and good. Just imagine it.

What’s coming up next?

  • The main focus for the Shadow Board members over the next few weeks and months will continue to be the ongoing work to pull together the WSWG Business Plan and CATS Application in a way which will do full justice to this wonderful and ambitious project. We’re getting there!
  • We are currently working up our WSWG winter events programme, so will keep you posted on dates and activities in due course so you can join in if you can.



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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