Reasons to be Cheerful

UK Habitat Survey Completed

Today marks the completion of a long awaited UK Habitat Survey at the wood, which will afford us a baseline in which to mark improvements in biodiversity and develop projects. In addition to this, the consultants at envirocentre will supply an invasive species survey and map, alongside an aerial drone survey; which we can utilise in our woodland management activities.

Glenan Community Woodland are working in partnership with ACT and SSEN to develop a Biodiversity Net Gains pilot project, with the aim of addressing the threats identified in our PAWS report. This will include tackling the Rhododendron infestation alongside the increasing encroachment of non-native commercial species from the surrounding area.

Friends of Glenan Wood

A meadow full of intergenerational smiles!

Since it was desired I return to post in time for the schools summer break; I decided the best course of action would be to hit the ground running with a broad spectrum of courses of events. To that end, we erected my ‘seasonal field office’ in the meadow and offered an event for each weekend of the summer holidays; as well as hosted a local outdoor learning practitioner to run a woodland skills week for local teens.

Friends of Glenan Wood

Calendar and Communications:

Starting in July, we initiated two regular events for locals:

1. Blether & Brew.

Currently every Thursday between 1 & 3pm

Folk come and share a hot drink in a safe space and talk informally about the wood; and other matters. It is anticipated that as this develops capacity, skill sharing and occasional talks will arise out of the body of the kirk.

During one such Blether, we had a discussion with Arianne Burgess MSP who had chosen Glenan as the start of her three week tour of the West Coast; due to being so taken by the beauty and biodiversity of the wood on her previous encounter in 2022.

Her themes included: Landscape scale responses to nature and climate emergencies, Marine Protection Areas, Maintaining rural/island populations and removing blocks so populations can tackle the emergencies in the most appropriate way where they are. Pass the biscuits…

Friends of Glenan Wood - Brew & Blether poster

2. Path Squad. Every Wednesday between 10 & 2.

With a nod to the actor, Leslie Nielson, we run a weekly conservation working party. I’m delighted to report that, despite starting the job encountering shoulder high bracken in late June; the entire path network has been cut and is navigable. Now on to the next priority….

Friends of Glenan Wood - Path Squad

3. September Event Programme

There’s a month of Sunday events throughout September. Details are available via our eventbrite page here:

Our key message is that we are very interested in supporting local people with skills, offerings and creativity to help facilitate what they want to offer at the woodland. In the meantime, I will remain a placeholder by maintaining a presence of regular public events.

Dates for diaries

Friday 6th October. Apple Day.

We will be at Tighnabruaich Primary School with our apple press for the Annual Apple Day. Bring Apples, Bring Bottles!

Friends of Glenan Wood - Apple Day

Saturday 14th October: Rainforest Restoration Toolkit Training

We will be hosting Argyll Small woods Coop who will be demonstrating the use of the rainforest restoration toolkit. A prestigious lichen and bryophyte expert will be in attendance to survey some areas of the wood. There is an allocation of free places for locals – visit the booking page.

Sunday 22nd October. The Big Glenan BBQ

In association with Community Land Scotland, we will be celebrating Community Land Week with a big BBQ event at Glenan. Details will follow when available on our facebook page, and we look forward to feasting by the fire with you.

Ongoing Priorities

Now that the intensity of summer is drawing to a close, I am planning to focus on some more strategic aims.

Distribution Lists

Who reads really long blogs these days? If there are lots of ways to participate and engage with the wood, then we need to communicate them effectively. We will shortly be sending an email to ask our membership what type of communications you would like to receive regularly.

This will allow me to target for example ‘folk that want to hear about regular conservation days’ versus associate members who would like to see information about funding and our annual reports. If your currently not a member and you’d like an email with details of how to opt in to a distribution list for your area of interest(s), let me know! My email is:

A New Website

Our current website is not really functional and hard to update. The architecture at the back end is not fit for purpose. Therefore, I’ve obtained board approval to work with a web designer to make a future proof back-end that is easy to administrate. My goal is to have an online booking system for courses and events that integrates with this. This will allow for free local and paid visitor courses/events to be advertised therein; which will support a desired future income stream for the charity.

Working Groups and funding appeal

At present, I am committed to delivering a grant funded project obtained from the community lottery fund for the next three years. One of the core components, is supporting the board in the development of what we are calling a ‘working group model’.

National Lottery Community Fund logo

The general principle behind this commitment is to allow locals, with specific areas of interest to support the development of the wood in some fresh, exciting and accessible ways; notably without having to bear all the responsibilities of joining a board.

We have identified some different delineated spheres of activity such as an education group, a forestry group and are now tasked with establishing these in a constitutional way. I have identified some consultancy to support us in some public meetings, educational days and guidance to the board in the absorption of this model; and we have committed to finding the funds to do this. If there is a backer out there, we are looking for mere £1.5K which represents excellent value for money; and will release thousands of pounds worth of untapped social capital in our community..

Planning time

I will also be working in planning time to strategize the many and multifaceted conservation tasks that will otherwise compete for attention. Paths, ring barking, BDA’s, rhododendron clearance, orchard; deer enclosures and no doubt other matters not currently on my radar while hammering out this blog entry.


Practically speaking, we really really really need some simple and secure premises for storing tools close to the action. Tools are currently stored in a personal garage some distance from the wood; which despite much goodwill; makes it ergonomically difficult to access and return with volunteers.

Thumbs Up for all your continued support!

Friends of Glenan Wood