The snow is on the ground but hopefully that won’t stop you getting out soon to have a look at latest changes at Alyth Community Woodland (ACW). We should see the snowdrops planted last year coming through soon along the path side and a bit later the wild daffodils too. Over the next few weeks the Forestry Commission will be planting around 5000 trees and shrubs around the borders of the main blocks of ash and oak. These include mostly native species such as Rowan, Aspen, Alder, Gean (Wild cherry), Hawthorn, Hazel, Holly, Blackthorn (Sloe), Elder and crab apple; some fruit trees, cherry plum and damson; and a few feature plants for variety including horse chestnut, Norway maple, field maple, whitebeam and wild service tree. These will give a natural look to the woodland, improve biodiversity and provide autumn foraging for both birds and humans. For those who haven’t visited the woodland yet access is on foot, bike or horse only via the Trodlem path at the top of Wylie’s Brae. When accessing the woodland please be respectful of our residential and farming neighbours. Keep dogs under control at all times (ie on a lead if you can’t control them otherwise) and please be sure to pick up after them – this is an area where children play.
Natural Play Features
As part of the continued development of the woodland, AHUG have commissioned a number of sculptural features to be located in the lower field along side the new footpath parallel to Trodlem. These include two natural play log features (groups of large tree trunks carved to provide safe natural climbing and hiding spaces for children) and a chaise longue kissing seat, both chainsaw carved by Community treeCycle late last year. In addition, several large boulders have already been delivered to site and will be located in various groups to provide additional natural climbing and play. An arrangement of ground installed tall vertical larch poles will complete the natural play elements later on this year.
We are currently developing designs and content for two information boards to tell visitors about the site and the flora and fauna. One will be near the entrance and one near the bottom of the zig-zag track – we hope to have them installed by April.
On 21st February we are looking forward to the installation of 4 carved feature benches. The inspiration for the design of the benches (which are all different) came from children in the P3 class of Alyth Primary, school during a wildlife drawing workshop held at the woodland and the Den last year with sculptor Susheila Jamieson.
We are fortunate to be able to offer Voice readers resident in Alyth a chance to attend an apple tree grafting training course. We have 6 places for the course, held at Auchtermuchty on Sunday 3 March 2013 at 2 pm (takes two hours). AHUG will pay for the cost of the course and transport to Auchtermuchty. Each participant will receive two root stocks plus containers ready for planting. All tools will all be provided but please bring a pair of clean secateurs if you can. The course will be held indoors, with coffee/tea and cake supplied free of charge. Places will be assigned on a first come first serve basis – to book please call Marian Bruce on 07917 430200.
Plans for the Bike Tracks on Alyth Community Woodland continue to progress. At the moment we are finalising the legal documents with the Forestry Commission and once these are signed we will be able to begin tendering for the first part of the build – the pump track. What does this mean? We should definitely have something built this year and hopefully before summer too.
We need to begin looking for funding for the remaining parts of the build – the skills loop and blue forest trail. People can help here, we are looking for any large (30cm x 30cm or bigger) rocks that people may have sitting around, or something that gets termed bulk fill by the trail builders. This is essentially anything dug out of the ground, the stuff below the topsoil is best. If you think you might be able to help please contact Eliot Palmer 01828 633772. Finally we’ll be meeting in the lounge of the Losset Inn on the 20th of Feb from 7.30pm to talk about everything bike related. Please feel free to come along.
It is costs nothing to join AHUG (registered charity SCO43382) so please email Marian (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be put on our mailing email to keep up with news and events. We hold monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of the month in the Losset Inn at 7.30pm, so please come along if you would like to get involved – everyone welcome.