What has WSWG been doing this month?
- Covid 19 has inevitably slowed down progress with the WSWG project with many members of the steering group understandably diverted to other matters. We aim to pick up the pace in the coming weeks. So please bear with us. We have seen lots of people using the woods for dog walking, cycling and daily exercise, which is great. The weather has been ideal for this and we would love to hear feedback from members and others as to what they have seen and enjoyed along the way.
- Margaret Lear, has written two more lovely blogs for WSWG over the past few weeks – “Bees, Butterflies and an Old Straight Track” about the north route into Five Mile Wood and “Creeping Up on King’s Myre” about the western approach to Taymount Wood from Bankfoot andAirntully. Members and others receive these directly by email but anyone can read them on the WSWG Facebook page and website. Why not follow in Margaret’s footsteps and cycle tracks and see for yourselves the same delights and treasures she has observed along these.
WSWG Word of the Month – May Blossom
May is the month when blossoms abound, but it is hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) which takes one of its names from the month in which it flowers …. and hawthorns are currently laden with blossom throughout the landscape. The old Scots name is hawberry, but as well as May tree, and in other parts of the UK it is known as the haw bush, the has tree, quickthorn, whitethorn and thornapple amongst others. Like much of our native flora, all parts of the hawthorn have been used by people down the ages for many different purposes. According to “The Scots Herbal – the Plant Lore of Scotland” by Tess Darwin, the blossoms as well as the berries were made into wine and liqueur. And a decoction of hawthorn leaves and flowers was drunk to soothe sore throats and to correct high or low blood pressure. The hawthorn, however, at one time was so sacred that using any part of the tree was considered a violation. This taboo still survives in the occasionally encountered belief that it is unlucky to bring hawthorn blossom into the house. There is room for lots more hawthorns in both Taymount and Five Mile Woods.
What’s coming up next?
What we are looking for is help from you all to keep the connections going between our woods and our community.
1. Help us imagine April in the woods. Stanley Development Trust is promoting local walking routes for peopleto use during the Covid19 crisis. If any of you are managing to walk, run, cycle or ride through Taymount or Five Mile Woods in the course of your daily exercise allowance, please let us all know what you see and hear. Tell us what flora and fauna you see, what sounds you hear, any ideas you have for the woods in future and even any problems you come across. If you can, do send us photos or video clips, even a selfie with a seasonal woodland scene behind, which we can post on the Facebook page and website.
2. Would anyone in our lovely WSWG community with the necessary skills and creative flair be willing to volunteer to improve our website for us? We have so much we would like to add to it about the project but need someone to manage and develop it. Please get in touch if you would be willing to give it a go.
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