A New Year Appeal for Collaboration, Fun & Learning.

Let’s start this new year appeal with a song….


On Easter Monday 2024, from 12am, Glenan Wood will be home to a world premiere Tik-Tok Tick-Talk. If you want more, less or the same level of apparent nonsense such as this in your forest you best read on; because this blog appeal is all about community involvement.


It’s not just what your given…

Last year, after an application to the community fund expectantly came up trumps, I started a ranger position full-time and hit the ground running at the start of the summer; with zero lead in time for planning. There were enough reasons to be cheerful, from getting on top of the path network, to great attendance for a range of regular and one-off events, re engagement with the school and a trickle of interest for conservation days. We did this with no budget whatsoever; from a tent.

As the year closed, we hosted plant-life scotland who showcased the importance of our lichens & bryophytes in woodland management; and use of the rapid rain-forest assessment tool and i got a walk in with a volunteer deer stalker we have enlisted with high bar ecological sensitivity.

On reflection, the year yielded enough successes that I’d go as far as to say that the necessary winging-it worked. This year I feel motivated and have some lead in time to be more strategic and organised. Crucially, I want to aim for more inclusivity in the range of activities provided so we have a neutral place where people can work together and collaborate with their neighbours. After all, who does Glenan Wood actually belong too?

My aim is to have a full programme for 2024 ready to go for the 28th February.

It’s what you do with what you’ve got…

I attach two documents with some qualitative results from the parish of Kilfinan which took place in the winter of 2022 which outlines:

I’d like to make it clear that a small volunteer board and one employee, even if we had lots of finances (we don’t), does not have the capacity to meet all these identified needs.

The good news is, the combined efforts of a peninsula can; and I’d like readers to understand I am capable of organising and facilitating a programme which ensures the rich and varied provision which the community have asked for. For example, 100% of our primary school pupils in Tighnabruaich voted with their feet for provision of ‘bushcraft’, my ambition is to hear from those who can offer these skills in a good way and support them; even if it’s something as simple as whittling.

I’m therefore appealing to you to come forward with the donation of time to create something new in your woodland; and together we will offer what we can with what we have got.

My direct appeal is for you to contact me with either/or/and:

  1. An event, experience you would like to offer. This could be to trial a one-off, annual or regular thing. You don’t have to be an expert, in fact; it’s often better when you just know just a little bit more than your learners. If you’re someone that would like to repeat an activity from previous years, or have discussed an idea vaguely; now is the time window to contact me and firm this up.
  2. You have identified a gap in provision you can see or have had a very good idea you think is achievable for us to run with the resources that we currently have available.
  3. An offer of supporting an event of some kind. An event does not just involve the front of house-person(s) demonstrating a skill or leading an activity, there are lots of other roles I could support you in rocking to make for an optimal atmosphere.
  4. You represent another local organisation, or community woodland and want to collaborate or offer an event; or have a specific request for something you’d like to use the woods/our ranger for.

I commit to:

Responding to your offers/asks, and working it through with you to see if it’s viable and getting the date established for our 2024 programme. Again, my aim is to have a full programme for 2024 ready to go for the 28th February. Lets do this!

Dates for diary

If you’ve browsed this far, I have two dates I’d like to give advance notice for. It’s for those of you/us that expressed interest in the community survey to learn woodland management skills and naturalist themed trainings. This weekend will end the first month of events, loosely themed around ‘hazards and threats’.

30th and 31st March

We will be hosting a Herbivore Impact Assessment training course. This is a method of assessing and monitoring the impact of large herbivores (cattle, sheep, deer, goats, pigs, horses) on habitats that are already wooded or may develop woodland. It will be led by Alastair Firth of the Woodland Trust. 10 places, first come first served.

The course is free, and there will be opportunity after the course for volunteers who wish to help monitor deer pressure in different sectors of the woods. This support will directly influence our ability to get to our goal of a sustainable level of deer density so that new trees can grow. Please email me at rhyddian@glenanwood.org.uk if you’d like to secure a place.

1st April

On Easter Monday, April fools Day., hopefully in collaboration with the Tighnabruaich Players and Tighnabruaich Primary School (I haven’t asked either yet), we will host a world premiere of the Argyll Tik-Tok Tick-Talks. The afternoon will explore how to mitigate one of the major hazards, and barriers/fears for many in exploring Glenan … the mighty/measly deer tick.

Expect an egg hunt, along with a few hours of fun peppered with filmable 30 second dramatised moments. The learning element will be designed to stick in for use by visitors to glenan when encountering ticks for real.

All the best for the Year Ahead,

Rhyddian Knight for Friends of Glenan Wood.

A diary waiting to be filled