Oct 26 2021

Images from our biggest ever Scotland volunteer gathering!

Last Sunday at Glamis Castle in Angus, we ran our first volunteer gathering since 2019….Covid had put a stop to our face to face events but now we are back in the saddle and looking forward to running more like this in 2022!


It was fantastic to see so many of you there. 47 volunteer attended…. that’s far more than we have ever had at similar events, which is even more poignant bearing in mind Covid has meant that we haven’t been able to be as pro-active in supporting you over the last couple of years.  Thank you for hanging in there and sticking with us!   Everyone’s lives have changed and we are so grateful still to have so many of you on board and volunteering with us.


I do hope that those of you who made it along to Glamis Castle on Sunday had a great time. I certainly did, and have warm and fuzzy memories of great conversations, nice moments of introductions between people who know each other but haven’t met face to face, beautiful trees, sunshine and cake….far too much cake! 


Do let me know in the comments below, or drop me an email: matildascharsach@woodlandtrustscotland.org.uk if you have any ideas for themes for events in 2022.  If there’s anything woodland related, and/or about the work of the Woodland Trust that you’d like to learn more about, then do let us know.


In the morning, after tea and scones and a quick Woodland Trust update from me, we heard from Mike Napier, Glamis Estate Forester.  He told us about his job managing trees and woods on the estate.  I teased him for being the new boy…he’s actually been working there for over 30 years!  He told us some interesting anecdotes..including a topically spooky story (after all it’s Halloween in a few days) about a recent occasion in the onsite sawmill when he put his hand in a hatch only to think that he was holding a reciprocal hand…which turned out to be a forked branch.  It followed on from a conversation where we had asked him what he finds buried in timber, and he said that shot (lead and steel) is by far the most common and has an impact on the timber value.  Mike also told us of how they had successfully managed to control Phytopthera on the estate – the disease had hit some beautiful hilltop larch trees that sadly had to be felled.


After our walk and talk with Mike, Tom Reed who manages our Ancient Tree Inventory (ATI) and Ancient Tree Verifier volunteers, and Clair McFarlan, one of our two Lead Ancient Tree Verifiers for Scotland, split the group in two and told them about all things ATI and how to record trees onto the ATI.


Tom let us know that he hopes to record more Ancient Tree Verifier volunteers in 2022 so if, after the Glamis event, you have the tree recording bug, then do let me know by email or in the comments below, if you are interested in signing up.  In he meantime, do have a practice by starting to record trees yourself on the ATI website.


After our picnic lunch we divided into 7 groups and spent a happy hour and a half recording trees on the Estate for the ATI…thanks so much to you all for the help with that.


I’ll let the photos speak for themselves now.  I hope you enjoy browsing through them…..


Tea, coffee, scones and a blether before we got started.

Mike Napier, Forester of Glamis Estate, spent the morning with us, informing us of how he manages the trees and woods in his care.



Our group on the day…it was so great to see you all…meeting old volunteer friends and new!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                



Inside a 400+ year old yew tree.


Below are images of the group in and around the incredible, spreading Glamis horse chestnut…the most famous tree there and played under by many members of the royal family.  The Bowes Lyon family own Glamis Estate, and the late Queen Mother, Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, spent a great deal of time here, as did the queen and her family.




Mike telling the group about the wonderful pinetum, planted in the 19th century.


Clair McFarlan, one of our two Lead Ancient Tree Verifier volunteers in Scotland, sharing her skills of how to record a tree for the Ancient Tree Inventory.


Clair telling us what the Ancient Tree Inventory is all about.  The Macbeth Three Witches are taking it all in too!



Lunch break…..a mountain of sandwiches, quiche and cakes were served. Here’s my colleague Kirsty Duncan on jam duty!                                                                                                                                                     

Alison (left) and her food van, with volunteer Joy (right), who had travelled with her (also volunteer) husband Martin all the way from Skye for the event! Martin and Joy are wardens at our beautiful Uig Wood on Skye.


Tom (left) runs our Ancient Tree Inventory and associated volunteering programme, and had come up from England to join our event. Michelle (right) is one of our trusty Ospreycam volunteers.  Picnic lunch in the Italian Garden was such a treat!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Picnic lunch for some of the group under one of the oaks in one of the oak avenues.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 A lion watches the proceedings.                                                                                                                         

Michelle, one of the volunteers, managed to capture this lovely image of a hare in the grass nearby to our picnic spot.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   









Glamis Castle – resplendent in the sun!                                                                                                                                                                        

The 2 yews to the right of the castle are at least 400 years old.                                                                                                                                        

The yews again                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

The castle and the yews.


…and here are some images of the 7 groups recording in the afternoon.


Spot the tree recorders under one of the oaks on this main avenue approach to the castle.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Judy’s group in the field.


Matilda Scharsach

Scotland Volunteering Development Officer



  • Jillian Donnachie

    What great photos, it looks like a wonderful day was had. So sorry to miss. Glad Clair wasn’t put off her stride by 3 cackling witches. And that’s some horse chestnut! How many trees did you get for the ATI? Roll on the next meet.

    October 27, 2021 at 2:49 pm
  • Hazel Gracie

    The photographs are a wonderful reminder of this special day, thank you all very much!

    October 28, 2021 at 12:40 pm
  • Graham Rennie

    A wonderful day had by all. The photographs are excellent and clearly illustrate the beautiful house and gardens as well as the activities during the day. Well worth travelling all that way.

    October 29, 2021 at 9:22 am

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