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

If you go down to the woods ... Be sure to scroll down - there is a lot going on!

Two linked events for your diary in September when Christopher Dingwall will be talking to WSWG and West Stormont Historical Society about the history of our Woods and then later offering a guided walk to look at both the history and the future of Taymount Wood.

Christopher Dingwall is a renowned Landscape Historian and Heritage Consultant who wrote the history report for Kinclaven Bluebell Woods for the Woodland Trust and has kindly produced a similar study on the early history of Taymount and Five Mile Woods as a contribution to the WSWG Project.

In response to popular demand, Christopher has offered to complement his illustrated talk, which promises a fascinating evening for anyone interested in these woods in particular or local landscape history in general, with a site visit at which we will be able to compare the past, present and future prospects for these much loved local woodlands.

Taymount Wood
To be found in Taymount Woods. But what are they?

Stanley Village Hall:

Monday 25th September at 7.30pm

Organised jointly by WSWG and West Stormont Historical Society this evening’s event will look at the history of Five Mile Wood and Taymount Wood and is presented by Christopher Dingwall

Taymount Wood: Wednesday 27th September at 10:30am Guided walk in Taymount Wood with Christopher Dingwall and WSWG as a follow-on to the history talk and to hear about the woodland and community plans in WSWG’s Proposal for Taymount and Five Mile Woods when in community ownership.

Informal Wildlife Recording, any time that suits, using iRecord

An easy way for you to record the wildlife and plants you see whilst walking, running, cycling or chilling in the woods. Please see the website for further information and advice on how to enter a casual record or records. By doing this you will help us gain a better understanding of the wildlife and plants to be found in the woods.

Our Events Calendar

Past Events

WSWG is having a joint woodland picnic and guided walk with Tayside Woodland Partnerships.

Saturday July 22nd from 12noon to 3pm

Come and join us for a social get-together and to hear about WSWG’s plans for Taymount and Five Mile Woods and about the different projects TWP are involved in. Bring your own food and drink and some to share if you can and a chair or rug to sit on. Mossy stumps and grass provided at no extra charge! Please dress for the weather too!

Parking is available but please car share if you can as space is limited. The picnic site is about 200m up the main track. You can find the car park using What Three Words: tributes.batches.laminate

If you fancy getting involved in some practical activities on the day, we also hope to do more tubing of oak and rowan saplings and raking gorse mulch to clear path surfaces. If so, please bring protective gloves and a grass rake if you have one.

It would be good to have some idea of numbers in advance if we can, so it would help if you could drop us an email to say you are coming

Volunteers wanted for our Woodland 'Pick & Mix' activity day

What will we be doing?

We are looking for help with a range of activities to help improve our woods and care for our local wildlife.


Saturday 13th May and Sunday 14th May

We’ll be in the woods from 10.30 am to 3.00 pm but just come for as long as you can or wish to.

We’ll meet any early birds at Taymount Wood car park on the C406 road from Stanley to Kinclaven at 10.30am. For people coming later, just walk up the main forest track until you find the first work party and we’ll point you to the activity you want to help with.

How do you get involved? Email us at contact@weststormontwoodlandgroup.scot with your preferred dates and we will get back to you with further information on how to get there, what to bring and what we will provide.

Volunteers wanted for Wildflower and Mining Bee Rescue Mission 2023

What will we be doing? We will be hand-raking and brushing gorse mulch into piles to expose wildflower and bee habitat.

Why are we doing this? The large amount of debris incurred through the gorse and birch clearance work along the core path network will have two major impacts on the delicate ground-layer habitats. Firstly it will suppress and smother flowering species and bee habitat and secondly it will increase the soil fertility to the detriment of the wildflowers which have adapted to thrive on impoverished soils.


Saturday 15th April and Sunday 16th April

Each session will start at 10.30 am and finish at 3.00 pm
but just come for as long a you can.
We aim to have transport for volunteers, but there may be a 20-minute walk in. Because of all the gorse this is not really suitable for small children.

Five Mile Wood – Wednesday 29th March and Tuesday 4th April

Taymount Wood – Friday 31st March, Sunday 2nd April and Thursday 6th April

These dates successfully completed – Thank you for your Help!

How do you get involved? Email us at contact@weststormontwoodlandgroup.scot with your preferred dates and we will get back to you with further information on how to get there, what to bring and what we will provide.

Nomada panzeri bee. Two recorded sites in Tayside. Shown here in Taymount Wood
Roadside wildflower species in Taymount Wood

Important Safety Notice
Vegetation control in Taymount and Five Mile Woods

Over the past two or three years, parts of the track and path networks in Taymount and Five Mile Wood, including core paths, have become difficult or impossible to use due to encroachment by gorse, brambles, young trees, windblow and other thick vegetation.

Forestry and Land Scotland will very soon be undertaking work to clear it away.

This will involve heavy equipment and machinery and will inevitably be disruptive for a few days for members of the public using the woods. Please be patient and take heed of the safety signage which will be going up and follow any instructions closely to ensure both your safety and that of others too.

Weather and all things permitting, work is expected to start on Taymount Wood later this week and move on to Five Mile Wood after that. This means it will be completed well ahead of next year’s bird nesting season and also open things up for easier and more enjoyable access to the woods for us all this winter and beyond.

Here are the 'Before' images - watch this space!

"Protect a Wild Tree"

Help us Protect young Wild Trees in Taymount Wood

Would you like to help WSWG start protecting some of the naturally regenerating native broadleaf trees in Taymount Wood? We are organising two community events in March to look for oak and other deciduous seedlings and small saplings in a localised area of the wood and protect them with a staked tube to help prevent them being eaten by deer, hares and voles. The aim is to tube 300 trees in total over the two sessions.

10am to 1pm on Friday 4 March 2022

10am to 1pm on Sunday 13 March 2022

Anyone wishing to join in, please wear appropriate clothing, gloves and footwear. If you can bring a lump hammer for knocking in the wooden stakes, that would be very useful. We’ll help you identify what oak and other saplings look like on the day, but if you wish, see what different species look like in winter here.

Come along for as much or little time as you wish. You can just turn up on the day but if you’d like to help us plan a bit for numbers or if you have any queries, please email Ellie or Andrew here.

Please note: pedestrian access has recently been created through the windblown trees lying across the main Taymount track from recent storms. We will notify you nearer the time if there is any change to dates or accessibility due to weather or clearance works by Forestry and Land Scotland affecting public access.

Taymount Community Carol Singing Event

Tuesday 21st December 6-7pm at Taymount Woods

Meet us just a few meters up from the Car Park (C406 from) 5.45pm. Please note : Parking will be on a first come first served basis. A WSWG member will be on hand in the car park but please park considerately so we can accommodate as many people as possible. Thank you.

No cost! Just an opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate the season at Winter’s Solstice and to appreciate the woods that WSWG are working very hard to bring into community ownership.

We welcome everyone and hope you will join us for this event. To be Covid responsible we ask you to bring warm drinks with you and torches or lamps. No naked flames of course! Please dress warmly. Please note that young people and children under 18 years must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

We look forward to seeing you.

Survey Skill Share - June to September

Volunteer to do some species surveys in Taymount and Five Mile Woods to help us learn more about the wildlife present and to add to national survey programmes.

Butterfly transects for Butterfly Conservation

You walk a 1-2km route once a week through the summer, until the end of September. You count all the butterflies you see along the route and take a note of the weather conditions. Please get in touch with Anthony McCluskey at Butterfly Conservation to find out more and to establish the route you will do: amccluskey@butterfly-conservation.org Direct line: 01786 459 811
Common blue butterfly - male (FMW)
Common blue butterfly - male (FMW)

BeeWalk Survey Scheme by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust

Fill in the registration form which includes a short bumblebee quiz for you to have a go at identification – don’t worry about the score, it’s just to find out level you are starting at.

The next step is to create an account on the BeeWalk website. You will then receive an email telling you how to activate your account, if not please check your spam folder.

Common carder bumblebee on marsh thistle (TW)
Common carder bumblebee on marsh thistle (TW)

Learn about our plans by 'Walking the Woods' with expert guidance from our Steering Group members

This is an opportunity to join WSWG Steering Group members to find out more about the WSWG Proposals for the woods.  These are our ideas, further informed by the recent community consultation, for what we might do with the woods if we are successful in buying them for the community. Sturdy footwear and outdoor clothing recommended. We are offering two dates in July, one at each wood, and two dates in August. If you’d like to come along, please get in touch with Catriona.

Taymount Wood

Saturday 7th August at 2.00pm – 4.00pm

Taymount Wood - Features and Improvements
Taymount Wood - Features and Improvements

Five Mile Wood

Sunday 15th August at 2.00pm – 4.00pm

Five Mile Wood - Proposed Forestry
Five Mile Wood - Proposed Forestry

Bird-spotting Walk in Five Mile Wood
Saturday 10 July at 10.00am – 12.00pm

Join us as part of Swift Awareness Week to learn more about our native birdlife in the woods. This is an informally guided walk with WSWG volunteers. Meet in the car park at the south end of the wood. If you have binoculars please bring them with you. Sturdy footwear and outdoor clothing recommended. Due to covid regulations we may have to restrict numbers so please book your place by emailing Catriona.
Great Spotted Woodpecker - Female
Great Spotted Woodpecker - Female

21 Days of Nature
2nd - 22nd May

Looking for ways to give nature a helping hand this year?

The PKC Biodiversity Ambassadors, along with the Tayside Biodiversity Partnership, will be hosting a 21 days of Nature challenge throughout May,

Beginning with National Hedgehog Day on the 2nd of May, we’ll take a trip through one of nature’s loveliest months finishing our journey on the 22nd May with the UN Day of Biodiversity.

Along the way, we’ll find out about a variety of birds, bees, butterflies and moths, mammals, insects, fish and flowers all the while discovering ways to support them and help them thrive.

Follow along with this Nature Adventure with Tayside Biodiversity Partnership.

WSWG would love you to take part in the following challenge during May. If you do, it would be great if you would name West Stormont Woodland Group as your inspiration.

West Stormont Woodland Group

Thank you again so much to all who participated this year. From little acorns – well, we know what happens!

Little Acorns Project – Reporting a Successful Planting Season

WSWG took advantage of the 2020 MAST YEAR FOR OAKS and helped nature along by gathering acorns from where they were plentiful and planting them in Taymount and Five Mile Woods where they are not present in good numbers but would be a valuable addition to the woods.

WSWG members had gathered acorns locally, including in Kinclaven Bluebell Wood by kind permission of the Woodland Trust, to ensure local provenance and from a wide range of trees to ensure genetic diversity. We offered acorns to people and groups in the local community who would either like to grow them on in pots for planting out at a later date or to plant them directly into the ground in suitable parts of the woods.

The take up was really good! A good number of you requested acorns mostly for potting up due to weather and lockdown and some even braved the gorse to plant direct in the woods.

This is what a Community Woodland looks like in action. All parts of the community engaged in supporting the regeneration of the woods and the diversity that they both hold and promise. A very BIG thank you to everyone.

WSWG Community Consultation - 22nd February to 19th March

This was definitely the most important event WSWG has organised so far. We have gathered ideas community-wide for more than two years and have now put together a Proposal for Taymount and Five Mile Woods which we think will work really well for our whole community. This where you firm up on your views.