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.

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Previous Articles

Community Monthly Update – June 2024

Our main focus this month has been collaboration with all sorts of people and organisations in our ongoing programme of events in Taymount Wood and outreach activity for the WSWG Project. Each and every event has been a source of real joy at seeing so many people benefitting in so many ways from spending and sharing time in our lovely woodlands on a diverse range of activities. Whilst we cannot claim to have beaten the record set in 2019 for our oldest participant at a WSWG event (she was an amazing 96 years old!), at only 5 weeks old a little treasure beat the record of our youngest attendee to date by a whole 11 weeks! How cool is that? Read on to find out more about these wonderful, moving and uplifting events.

Read More »

Community Monthly Update – May 2024

We are really delighted this month to start with the announcement that the winner of the WSWG April Photography Competition in the Children’s category is Dougie from Highland Perthshire. His stunning and clever photograph was taken at the head of Loch Rannoch, looking west, on Saturday 20 April. Such a beautiful, calm scene in our precious Perthshire countryside, but just look at the perfect capture of the beautiful splash effect at its heart. A truly super photo.

Congratulations, Dougie. Thank you very much for taking part in this competition and your well-deserved prize will be making its way to you very soon.

Read More »

Community Monthly Update – April 2024

On Sunday 14 April, a lovely bunch of people turned out for a WSWG Guided Climate and Biodiversity Walk in Taymount Wood to celebrate the start of the new Perth & Kinross Climate Action Hub (PKCAH) for which funding has been secured from the Scottish Government.

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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.

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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.

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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 »