New volunteers for our new wood!
A new group of volunteers has gathered in our newest Scottish wood, Dunollie Wood on the edge of Oban, to discuss future plans and input, and as Site manager, I went to meet them last week to discuss what their new volunteering role would be. The people had all expressed interest in volunteering at Dunollie at a public meeting we held when we acquired the site.
Dunollie is right at the heart of the town of Oban, so provides a wonderful opportunity to engage locals and the many tourists alike with our wonderful Atlantic rainforest. This latest acquisition forms part of our suite of west coast woodlands, including our other new acquisition, Ben Shieldaig. These sites are precious fragments of ancient woodland, with both broadleaf, and at Shieldaig, remnants of Caledonian pinewood with some beautiful and potentially genetically distinct (from the eastern pines in the Cairngorms) Scots Pine.
Dunollie itself boasts some stunning old oak trees, hazel, and in spring, a spectacular carpet of bluebells. It is also home to a wide variety of interesting fungi and lichens, such as the “rainforest specialist” lichen, Lobaria pulmonaria, so called as it resembles lung tissue, and was thought in Victorian times to be good for treating lung disorders.
The draft Management Plan is now out for public consultation, with volunteers being an essential part of the success of this. This group, who will become the Woodland Wardens, will regularly monitor the site and take part in activities throughout the year.
Dunollie Wood is relatively small, so we don’t have enough tasks to justify setting up a Woodland Working Group, so we will run a few activity days instead as events, and we hope the new wardens will take part in those. Our first such event will hopefully be in late Winter once the Management Plan is approved and in place following comments from the public.
Over the course of our morning together, we looked at tasks that the work parties might carry out – from litter picking to fencing, with some particular interest in bracken control!
This stunning photo below, as well as the one above showing the new team, was taken by one of the new wardens, who also volunteers as a photographer with the Trust.
North of Scotland