Project Stage 1
Stage 1, the construction of the all weather walking access path through the lower section of the woods, took place in 2000. This path was the re-instalment of a section of the old track between Lochgoilhead and Carrick Castle and was funded by Argyll & Islands Enterprise (A.I.E.) from its Community Project Fund and Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre (Fife Council).
The Scottish Wildlife Trust were commissioned to carry out a survey of the woodlands in July 2000 to record the flora and fauna and access the site for any features of interest (in ecological terms) to be used for educational purposes. The Cowal Forest District of the Forestry Commission had carried out a previous Broadleaved Woodland Survey in 1995.
The survey revealed the presences of the following flora and fauna in the Cormonachan Woodlands: -
Trees: Alder, Ash, Birch, Hazel, Holly, Norway Spruce, Oak, Rowan, Sitka Spruce, Willow and Grey Willow.
Flowers and Shrubs: Bell Heather, Blaeberry, Bluebells, Bog Asphodel, Bog Myrtle, Bramble, Common Cow Wheat, Common Nettle, Common Spotted Orchid, Cross—leaved Heath, Dandelion, Dog Violet, Foxglove, Greater Stitchwort, Hawkweed, Heath Bedstraw, Heath Spotted Orchid, Heather, Honeysuckle, Lesser Celandine, Marsh Hawk’s Beard, Marsh Thistle, Marsh Violet, Perforate St John’s Wort, Primrose, Rhododendron, Rough Hawksbeard, Tormentil, Wild Garlic, Wood Sage and Wood Sorrel.
Grasses, Sedges and Ferns: Beech Fern, Bog Moss (3 varieties), Bracken, Broad Buckler Fern, Common Polypody, Common Sedge, Creeping Soft Grass, Deer Sedge, Dense-headed Heath Wood Rush, False Oat Grass, Great Wood Rush, Hairy Wood Rush, Hard Fern, Heath Rush, Jointed Rush, Lady Fern, Lemon Scented Fern, Male Fern, Moss (10 varieties), Purple Moor Grass, Soft Rush, Star Sedge, Sweet Vernal Grass, Toad Rush, Tufted Hair Grass, Wavy Hair Grass, White Sedge, Velvet Bent and Yorkshire Fog.
FAUNA (the list is limited as the survey was principally plant based)
Amphibian: Frog and Toad.
Insects: Carder Bee, Rove Beetle, Common Green Shield Beetle, Ringlet Butterfly, Chimney Sweeper Moth and Large Emerald.
Note: Whilst not seen Deer, Bats, Owls, Red Squirrels and many other birds inhabit these woodlands.