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

Where flowers bloom, so does hope.

They have inspired poets, writers, lovers, artists and dreamers the world over since the dawn of human existence. Their infinite blend of colour and form, fragrance and beauty have become such an integral part of our lives, that a world without them is simply inconceivable. Saying it with flowers is equally as profound a statement at funerals as it is at weddings and other celebrations. They adorn our gardens, streets and work places, our clothing, dinner plates and even our bodies in body art.

Scientific research has consistently linked increases in physical and mental health of patients in hospitals with the presence of flowers in their recovery rooms. Patients show reduced stress markers, blood pressure and even a reduced need for pain killers when they have flowers in their rooms. So profound is this link, that simply gazing upon a photograph of flowers can result in measurable health benefits. Studies have also found people to be in happier moods at the dinner table when flowers are present. 

A date for your diary

April 5th (National Dandelion Day). So eagerly awaited after the long cold winter, the dandelion – the herald of spring, so beloved by bees – even has its own day named after it. Its intrinsic beauty, nutritional and medicinal benefits are legendary the world over, despite the efforts of the chemical industry to brainwash society into buying their toxic herbicides to kill these so called “weeds”. 

August is one of those months that seems to leave us both exhilarated with nature’s final flower show of the summer, while at the same time leave us with a feeling of regret as the realisation dawns that summer is coming to an end. It is now that the vibrant purple hues of the stunning (and ill-named) black knapweed and thistles are as noticeable for their beauty as they are for the clouds of butterflies and bees they attract. 

Flower Power

Scientists are increasingly discovering ways in which flowers communicate to insects. The dazzling array of colours, forms and perfumed scents that flowers have adapted to attract insects are impressive enough. However, recent research has found they also communicate with insects by using subtle electrical fields. The flowers are thought to be able to inform bees of their pollen and nectar resource status by altering their energy signatures which the bees can detect.

The study carried out by the University of Bristol found that bumble bees in particular were adept at deciphering the electrical changes of different flower species. 

Wild Rose

Few flowers have inspired writers, poets and romantics more than the rose. The wild rose has even been credited with fostering the ancient oak forests throughout millennia as its thorny embrace afforded natural protection against herbivores for young sprouting oak trees – cached by jays and squirrels. The famous Hildesheim Rose, which climbs against a wall of Hildesheim Cathedral in Germany, dates back to the establishment of the diocese in 815. 

Their beautiful velveteen petals have seen notable mention throughout history.  Cleopatra was known to have her servants adorn her bed in fresh rose petals every day, believing them an aphrodisiac. The Chinese Empress Wu Zetian, famed for her intelligence and beauty, used to bath in roses every day. In Greek mythology, roses were created by Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. It is of little wonder the rose – both wild and cultivar – is the flower of choice at weddings and romantic meetings between couples. Their perfumed scent and medicinal properties have found their way into a myriad of health and beauty products the world over. 

A 40 year old native wild rose bush in full splendour

When hay meadows were hand cut, the men would routinely stop and collect “bee bread”as they worked. The “bread” referring to the food stores of bumble bees in their nests. Sadly however, those wild flower meadows have been eradicated by over 97% since the 1930s. Our woodland flowers have suffered similar declines, although for different reasons. The WSWG woodland management plan will ensure wild flower restoration is a priority and incorporated into our Nature Recovery action plan. 

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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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