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

'The Bigger Picture' - West Stormont Connect

A conversation to be had.

West Stormont Connect is a landscape-scale concept for our local patch which aims to connect the whole community in local action for the global climate and ecological emergencies we are in.

Its shaping still lies ahead of us but its purpose and direction is clear.

The scale of the task humanity has to tackle – every one of us – is immense, but shared out and constructively addressed by us all, together, the necessary shift is eminently achievable. In every positive step, we will reach a place so much better than the one awaiting us if we keep stalling.

But why is the WSWG website the place for promoting West Stormont Connect?

WSWG has a 25 year aim for its mission in bringing Taymount and Five Mile Woods into community ownership, which is:
“To achieve significant progress towards a thriving community living in a sustainable, healthy and enjoyable landscape in eastern Strathtay centred on the rapidly naturalising Taymount Wood and Five Mile Wood. To work for substantially enhanced landscape ecology, improved and integrated access provision and a boosted local green economy.”

We hope that the changes that we can make locally by bringing Taymount and Five Mile Wood into community ownership and management for community and environmental benefit is the first big piece in the wider West Stormont Connect picture.

We believe that community ownership and management of Taymount and Five Mile Woods will give our whole community a new shared perspective and understanding of how adapting land-use practices with people and planet in mind amounts to real and achievable action for climate, biodiversity and community wellbeing.

From that growing knowledge-base and networking, we believe our local community will evolve a meaningful voice and role in the ongoing conversation that will drive West Stormont Connect.

We can do a lot as individuals, but we can do a great deal more as communities. Everyone who lives or works in our area is part of the community. West Stormont Connect will develop a platform where all of us, each and every one of us, can be a part of the solution.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Do we have the will?

Do you?

Support for the West Stormont Connect concept is the first step in expressing that will.

This is a conversation to be had right now.

Image kindly donated to WSWG by Gerry Burke.

How we’ve got to where we are.

West Stormont Connect Manifesto

West Stormont Woodland Group

How might West Stormont Connect work?

So …. West Stormont Connect (WSC) is a vision for a landscape-scale initiative which will encourage and support our whole community to work to turn things around in our patch in a bigger, faster and more concerted way than ever before. Ideally it will create sustainable livelihoods for people in our community by boosting the local green economy.
It will aim to bring all the different stakeholders and sectors in our community together in working towards a sustainable future for the West Stormont area:

It is a big thing for a local community to aspire to… but it is a small but vital part of an enormous effort that is underway and gaining pace across our nation, our continent and our world.

WSC would connect to local and regional programmes striving for sustainability – such as the new mission for Perth to become the Most Sustainable Small City in Europe by 2050.

WSC would strive to help deliver our community’s fair share (or better) of the environmental targets being set for Scotland and tap into resources, goodwill and the widespread and rapidly growing determination in our country to help us do that.

We would link in and share in philosophies, aims and resources of national and global sustainability programmes, such as Nature Recovery Networks, Wellbeing Economy, and the global climate movement.

West Stormont Connect is a Good Ancestor concept– one which is thinking far ahead in time by taking actions with positive outcomes not just for now but for the long-term benefit of people and planet.

To turn things around we have to envisage and be part of evolving an economy which supports what we actually need to do – ie. change the ecological footprint of our lifestyles and how we manage the land and landscape in our area. That includes creating employment in our sustainability efforts.

We have no set template – there isn’t really one, but here are some of the initiatives which could operate to involve households, communities, businesses and landowners in different aspects of the desired transition over the next decade. And there are, not surprisingly, real overlaps between different ideas and groupings of people which should help us all work together too.

Possible Initiatives

WSWG Community Woodlands

Whole community better utilising and working to naturalise the woodland environment within Taymount and Five Mile Woods, our currently “one wood with a gap in the middle”.

Our Road

A platform/methodology for connecting lone voices of scattered rural residents to resolve shared social and environmental problems and opportunities together (litter, speeding, rural broadband, waste reduction, verge mowing for biodiversity, roadside trees, amphibian friendly gullies, etc). The new C406 Tackle Litter action group is one such neighbourhood which could potentially take this idea forward along their road.

Ridge to River

A term to describe the landscape between Taymount and Five Mile Woods on the high points of our local landscape and the large loop of the River Tay which encompasses the eastern part of our area. Largely intensively farmed, this type of land-use has to find a way of becoming more sustainable. Ridge to River could become a platform for regenerating soils and enriching the landscape ecology of our area, growing food locally and sustainably, creating joined-up networks of habitats that allow wildlife and people to thrive – on farms and estates, in hotel grounds, on road verges, along riverbanks, in gardens, on office roofs and in industrial estates.

Make West Stormont a Nature Recovery Network – raise it from depleted, fragmented, fragile now to green, healthy, robust in 2030.

Active Travel

Our transportation and travel practices and habits are one of the key challenges in tackling climate change, based largely, as they currently are, on fossil fuels. Alongside transition to electric vehicles (cars, buses, bikes, lorries) over the coming decade, Active Travel offers scope for healthier, climate friendly travel in our daily lives. This could be commuting to work, going to school, visiting friends, posting a letter, getting fresh air and exercise. Our cycle path and walking networks need a great deal of enhancement before this becomes achievable, safe and second nature to most of us, so this is where Perth and Kinross Council could play a big part in West Stormont Connect. West Stormont Connect could participate in the Perth Active Travel Hub (PATH).

Biodiversity Villages

This is a project which Tayside Biodiversity Partnership would love to see roll out over the whole of Perth and Kinross. Maybe Stanley, Bankfoot, Luncarty, Murthly, Kinclaven, Waterloo and other villages and hamlets in West Stormont could take on this challenge. Each village could develop its own biodiversity action plan and carry out projects for species and habitats in and around their settlements. Their communities and schools could get involved in citizen science and take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch, Ancient Tree Inventory surveys, Mammal Week, UK Swift Awareness Week, the Urban Flora Project, National Dragonfly Festival, Moth Nights, the Big Butterfly Count, International Bat Night, World Otter Day, the Great Scottish Squirrel Survey, Hedgehog Awareness Week, World Frog Day and others.

Green Living Support Programme

This would be an initiative to help us make other changes in our lives and lifestyles by helping us to make smart choices for sustainability, either individually or in groups with friends or neighbours. We all need to learn more about how to be green citizens. We could organise Climate Café/Carbon Conversations, develop informal discussion and self-help groups around all sorts of sustainability issues, bulk order organic food, eco-washing up liquid and eco-friendly loo-rolls, negotiate grants and discounts on neighbourhood energy saving or renewables projects, etc.

And so on ...

Until we cover all bases and start getting the results we need. There are bound to be numerous more fantastic ideas birling round in the hearts and minds of many people in our community too

Resourcing West Stormont Connect

This is a big issue, but not one to put us off. It is one we have to grasp with both hands and press for what is urgently needed. As the former Mayor of Copenhagen, Bo Asmus Kjeldgaard, advised in his keynote address to the Perth Sustainable Small City Conference in November 2020, if you have a big ambition, there is no point unless you are intent on making commensurate resources follow.

The resources of the past and their distribution against the interests of the planet are not going to address the huge recovery and regeneration programme we now need.

There are signs, albeit late and slow, that huge sums of money at global scale are shifting towards funding climate and ecological needs.

But it needs everybody, absolutely everybody, to put their shoulders to the wheel, to do their bit to help change the way we live and look after our environment. Our home. Our precious, only home.

West Stormont Connect is an idea for how our whole community can get behind a local plan for big change in the short timescale that is available for us to turn things around for the better and make our community stronger, more connected and more resilient at the same time.

We also believe fundraising for the acquisition of Taymount and Five Mile Woods will be facilitated if the WSWG Project is presented and justified in the wider context of West Stormont Connect.

Let’s find a way of getting West Stormont Connect up and running, for all our sakes.

If you are interested in being part of a local group to investigate bringing West Stormont Connect into being, please get in touch using the contact form below.

Well done for reading this far!

Thank you.