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 – 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!

What has WSWG been doing this month?

A phased approach. Here’s the big update for September 2023. As you all know, our shared goal is to bring both Taymount Wood and Five Mile Wood into community ownership to which we are thoroughly committed. Shortly after we submitted our CATS Application for both woods in December 2022, a revaluation of the woods saw an increase of £800,000 (33%), raising the combined asking price from £2.4 million to £3.2 million. During 2023, we have been in discussions with current owners, Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS), to decide the best way forward. Given the enormity of the funding challenge and FLS concerns about us taking on two woods in one go, WSWG has agreed to adopt a phased approach to acquisition. We will therefore be seeking to purchase Taymount Wood first, with an option to buy Five Mile Wood within the following five years. Taymount Wood is valued at £1.85 million. This will allow us to secure Taymount Wood and initiate rapid nature recovery and community benefits there, whilst at the same time raising the funding required to purchase Five Mile Wood. Although the smaller operational scale will mean a smaller staffed programme in the early years, and more likely one or two rather than the six themed Community Working Groups proposed in the diagram below, WSWG still intends to run some of our community activities in Five Mile Wood, as now. We will be submitting our revised Proposal to FLS at the end of September and will hear by the end of October whether we will be invited to put in an offer for Taymount Wood in 2024.

The Wildwood Steering Group will form a key part of the way the WSWG Project is managed going forward. It will function as an advisory and support network for the WSWG Board of Trustees and be an important means of community involvement at the heart of the WSWG Project. This month, we have been liaising with Growbiz who have offered to provide WSWG with access to its own Cloudroom. This is an online organisational tool which provides a range of communications options including noticeboard, chat room, document/image sharing, 2 way face-to-face meetings, etc. Growbiz has very kindly offered this service to WSWG at no cost and will provide WSWG with some basic training in October on how to use the system. As an easy, safe, secure, private, on-line space, accessible on any device, we think this will be an ideal means of convening the Wildwood Steering Group. If it works well, this arrangement will provide a valuable Case Study for Growbiz. We will soon be looking for more people to join the Wildwood Group to bring on board the diverse range of skills we need to help guide and creatively support the themes and management needs of the WSWG Project. Could that be you?

Proposed WSWG Governance and Operational Structure

Over the summer, we have been working closely with the P&K Health & Social Care Partnership to further develop the detail and means of evaluating the potential community benefit impact of WSWG’s Healthy Living Programme in future. As a means of demonstrating the type of activity which will become regular once the woods are in community ownership and to assess the associated community benefit which will accrue, we are collaborating on a programme of events throughout 2024 involving a diverse range of local wellbeing organisations. A stage on from the wonderful programme of taster events WSWG ran for our local community in Taymount and Five Mile Wood pre covid, called “Feeling Good in the Woods”, the 2024 programme will focus on actively including more people living with significant challenges or disadvantage.

What’s coming up next?

Monday 25 September 7.30pm Stanley Village Hall: talk by Christopher Dingwall on the history of Taymount & Five Mile Woods; free entry for WSWG and WSHS members; £4 for visitors; Wednesday 27 September 10.30am: guided walk in Taymount Wood with Christopher and WSWG; free of charge for all. For more info please see our events page.

The TBP Mini Bioblitz has been extended to 15 October. Stanley, Luncarty and Dunkeld & Birnam are amongst the participating villages – find full list here – Biodiversity Village Communities Mini Bioblitz · iNaturalist. Sign up to iNaturalist here https://uk.inaturalist.org/signup to be able to record your sightings.

We are planning some more gorse mulch raking sessions in Taymount and/or Five Mile Wood – dates tbc soon.

Advance notice of the WSWG AGM: 7pm Tuesday 28 November 2023 in Stanley Village Hall.



Previous Articles

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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.

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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.

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