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


Hot, sunshine, slight breeze – a day to cycle to a cool and shady place. We’d often thought about walking into Taymount Wood by the core footpath from Airntully, but before lockdown hadn’t considered cycling all the way from Bankfoot. We left the village on the Stewart Dairy road, in normal times screeching with haring rat-runners with no conception of cyclists or passing places, and up the steep Barns Brae. This we accomplished without pause for breath, thanks to the electric bikes! We were caught out at the top by two “proper” cyclists who had stopped to recover, and who tried very hard, in a typical show of pandemic goodwill, not to look supercilious.
West Stormont Woodland Group

From the hamlet of Airntully, with its handy share-and-donate community phone box, we entered a shady tunnel of hedgerow elms that enclosed our path. A shivering mosaic of sunlight hovered over the blue of speedwells, the pink of purslane. The path quickly led across a road and over a level crossing, straight to the fringes of the wood.

In contrast to our last visit in March, most trees were in full leaf. Violets flowered happily in the shade. It was now drowsy midday, and – again in contrast to March – the birds were silent, save for a welcoming chiff-chaff.

The silver line of King’s Myre appeared through the trees on our right. Parking the bikes, we took a small deer path between the trees towards the water. You cannot “go to” King’s Myre, nor can you arrive. There is no division in this habitat, between wet and dry, no shoreline, no edge. You have to creep up on it, with the stealth of an amphibian or a mudskipper. The ground underfoot grew softer, violets gave way to arching horsetails, until the trees petered out into scraggy bog willow and the soil became sphagnum moss. If I stood still, water came over my shoes.

Under the last tree, whose roots appeared to have made a spot dry enough for tormentil to grow, we sat down to picnic and observe. An osprey, also in search of lunch, circled the lochan. Fluffy seed of the reedmace bowled about the water margin like tumbleweed. Blue damselflies hovered, veering abruptly as if skating on air. Red damselflies were better camouflaged, except the one that alighted briefly on my knee!

There were many small, dark solitary bees. Where they were foraging? They ignored the yellow tormentil, and I could see no other flowers. But a squelchy walk among the bog willows revealed several orchids, probably marsh but I’m hopeless on orchids, and the staggeringly lovely fringed flowers of the bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata), just coming out. Back to the bikes, and on through the wood to the main entrance on the Kinclaven road, streaming away on downhill paths through heady clouds of coconut scented gorse. By the time we reached the birch trees, the birds were singing again. We returned via Airntully phone-box for a book to while away the rest of the afternoon.



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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