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 WET SIDE OF THE WOOD” by Margaret Lear

Five Mile Wood right now is a wood half-forested, half scrub and heath. When the Forestry Commission took out the last tree crop, they left a fragile fringe, largely of Scots Pine, around the north-east side of the circular path that now forms almost the only access to the main part of the wood. The Benchil burn trickles through and under the path here, on its way to the Tay, and water from the high water table of the central area percolates into a series of path- side ditches and curious water-holes made by a forestry digger. This is the wet side of the wood. While the trees must take up a lot of water, their canopy also prevents evaporation, and after recent heavy rain, the glades and ditches are alive with summer flowers and butterflies.
West Stormont Woodland Group

Heath Bedstraw and Tormentil are strewn along the path edges like yellow and white confetti, and Red Clover flourishes heroically on the banks. Meadow Vetchling and Bird’s Foot Trefoil are visited by brown, white and blue butterflies, who pause and spread themselves out infrequently on warm stones and bark shreds on the path.

Bright Hawkweeds grow tall and enthusiastic, stretching for the dappled sun that today is scorching whenever the clouds part. In the cooler shade, sweet-scented Valerian grows. It prefers a damp habitat, and its white to pinkish flowers are nectar-rich, a magnet for more butterflies. This plant is widely used in herbal medicine, its roots being a soporific. Common Orchids and Viper’s Bugloss unusually share a habitat. Here and there are thistles, always a good bee-flower, and today a relative newcomer to central Scotland, the Tree Bumble Bee (Bombus hypnorum) is engrossed with nectar collection.

The true nature of this tract of land gives itself away in the damp bases of ditches and where vague deer tracks can be followed a short way into the springy sphagnum. It is part of a network of raised bog, myre or moss that probably once were joined. King’s Myre in Taymount Wood is another remnant. Damselflies hover over the multicoloured Water Forget-Me-Nots in conjoined pairs.

The Lesser Spearwort dazzles from many a watery ditch and aptly-named Ragged Robin, dances its frilly pink skirts by the burn. Acid-loving and ubiquitous Tormentil abounds, and Bell Heather is in flower already – another treat for insects.We humans are such visual creatures, and it’s the flowers that draw us and grab our attention. But

flowers are the tip of the ecological iceberg of the wet side of the wood. Ferns, grasses, unidentified rushes and reeds are the matrix of this habitat, while unnoticed and unobtrusive, the sphagnum mosses proliferate, and go on with their work of creating peat, holding onto water – and capturing carbon.



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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