Mar 12 2022

Shiny new Woodland Working Group Leader!

Lynsey Ewan is a Woodland Trust Scotland member of staff – her role is as a Coordinator for our Membership Development Officers.  Her route into this work was through volunteering with us, which is often the case.  Volunteering can be a step into the world of working in the environmental sector.  Lynsey is also a wonderful artist so her world of work is in two very different areas.


Lynsey getting stuck in to cutting up pieces of Rhododendron ponticum to encourage speedier rotting down


We are delighted that Lynsey has now joined us as a Woodland Working Group Leader at Kinclaven Bluebell Wood, and here she shares her story….


Recently, the volunteering role of Woodland Working Group Leader became vacant when one of the leaders decided to step down. While it was never my intention to lead the group, it felt like an opportunity to support my fellow volunteers in continuing the valuable work that we do at Kinclaven Bluebell Wood. Having volunteered in the group for almost 3 years, and subsequently having become an employee of the Woodland Trust, it seemed like a good way to expand on my skills and knowledge. In particular, I wanted to ensure that our long term volunteer leader, Ian Riches, who will thankfully be continuing in his role, had the support he needed going forwards as he has already done such a fantastic job in helping build the group since its beginnings when the Woodland Trust acquired the site.


The woods themselves have been a feature in my life from a very young age, as my family have lived in the area for a few generations. My grandparents and great-grandparents farmed the land either side of the woods, and Dad was born on Kinclaven Farm. Long before the trust bought the land from the local estate, we already frequented the woods every May during bluebell season, and I remember walking the old paths to see this wonderful sight. When the Woodand Trust bought Kinclaven Bluebell Wood I felt very grateful as they saved the woods from potential destruction. It was because of this that I eventually decided to volunteer with the Trust, to help look after the woods and keep them flourishing for future generations.


I’ve learned so much about woodland conservation since joining the group in 2019. Never could I have imagined before the satisfaction of Rhododendron bashing only to find oak and yew seedlings underneath, then bluebells emerge in the same spot the following year. Who knew how much fun could be had removing rabbit fencing, spruce regeneration, or Himalayan Balsam? Best of all was the tree planting of course, almost doubling the size of the existing wood over three years, and most importantly introducing species diversity. It’s the people that make it fun of course, and we’re so lucky to have all those involved.


Kinclaven Bluebell Wood is a wonderful, peaceful sanctuary enjoyed so much by the local community, and I love being there whether for a walk or out with the group.


Lynsey Ewan

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