The Liz Evans ‘‘Young Environmentalist of the Year’ Award

The awards as always are a lovely part of the day at the Communities Partnership’s Annual Gathering on 27th October 2018 that support communities in the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park and it was warming to see the reaction of everyone there when they learned that our young environmentalist’s award was in memory of Liz Evans.

They talked about her life as Chair of the Cormonachan Woodlands Association on the west shore of Loch Goil, (mentioning that it was a joint woodlands project that was started in 1998, with co-operation between Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre, Lochgoil Community Trust, Lochgoil Primary School and Forest Enterprise Scotland and is now under a new not-for-profit organisation, Cormonachan Woodlands Association, founded in 2015).  It was also mentioned that a special Contemplation Shelter built in Liz’s memory overlooking Loch Goil is open all year round and is a quiet place where many quotations about Liz can be read. They encouraged all the guests to pay a visit to her contemplation shelter and the woodlands.

Liz Evans by the “Loving Trees” in Cormonachan Woodlands on 12th November 2017, 6 weeks before she died.

Plaque in memory of Liz Evans in the Contemplation Shelter

Visitors to the Contemplation Shelter reading the quotations about Liz Evans

The Liz Evans ‘‘Young Environmentalist of the Year’ Award 

This year two very inspirational young men received a joint award for Young Environmentalist of the Year for their own individual contribution to environmental conservation.

Joint 1st place: Aidan Cronin

Aidan who recently completed his junior rangers certificate and sits upon the National Park Youth Forum was nominated by the Callander Youth Project Trust for his enthusiasm and voluntary commitment to protecting and enhancing the natural environment of the National Park.

Writing regular wildlife and gardening articles for the Ben Ledi View he has also created a wonderful nature corner in the CYP youth space and encourages other young people to be more environmentally aware. Aidan is behind CYP integrating a nature day every Wednesday during their summer programme attracting over 100 young people. Aidan regularly hosts bird watching days, RSPB Big Garden Watches as well as bird watching quizzes and posting live videos from the day on social media. Well done Aidan, you are an inspiration!

Unfortunately Aidan was unable to attend the event as he had other commitments on the day and will be presented with his award very soon. Receiving the award on his behalf and telling us a little more about Aidan was Steven Kent (National Park Authority Youth Ranger, and Callander Youth Project Trust).

Joint 1st place: Struan Burch

Struan Burch (L) and Dinah McDonald, CP Chair (R)

Struan joined the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park volunteer programme because he wanted to experience a gap  year enjoying the outdoors and the environment that he loves the most. Struan’s love for nature and wildlife has been his motivation to use his ornithological skills to survey wetland birds in on Loch Lomond, monitor the population of water voles in the Loch Ard forest, ringing Barn Owls as part of the Barn Owl monitoring programme, and repairing mountain paths with the Mountains and the People Project.

All the projects that Struan has been involved have contributed and enhanced the diversity of wildlife and recreational opportunities that surround our rural communities, and thus encouraging eco-tourism.

Struan is the first young person on the NP volunteer programme with an average age of 54, which can often be very daunting to a young person. However Struan’s enthusiasm and commitment has seen him fit right in and standout out as a worthy winner for this years awards! Congratulations Struan!

 

To find out more about any of the work and projects above please get in touch at E: info@thecommunitypartnership.org.uk. 

Both recipients are inspirational young people in the conservation work that they do.
Regretfully Douglas Locke, husband of Liz Evans and the Secretary of the Cormonachan Woodlands Association was unable to attend the Gathering as he was the leader and first aider for the Volunteers Day in Cormonachan Woodlands that same day.

https://www.thecommunitypartnership.org.uk/the-gathering-sat-27-october-2018/.

The other awards given out that day were as follows:-

The Celia Burn ‘Community Environmental Award of the Year’  

1st Place: Scottish Wildlife Trust Callander Group

This inspirational and unique community group has been doing outstanding work in environmental education and wildlife conservation for many years.

Organising and facilitating inspirational monthly public talks, fundraising and awareness events, local wildlife recording, toad patrols (including frogs and newts), orchid surveys and regular reports for the Ben Ledi View their captive audience has grown within the community and to visitors alike.

This year the group held stalls to highlight saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels, the Living Seas project plus selling a wide range of plants, including locally grown wildflowers, to raise funds divided between the wider work of the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Callander Primary school.  Congratulations and keep up the fantastic work!

Highly Commended: Sheron Hambly

Sheron, since coming to live in Lochgoilhead has become an integral part of her community, most importantly organising numerous litter clearing events along the many local and surrounding beaches of Lochgoil.  Sheron’s vigour and tenacity in organising and motivating others to get involved is why she deserves recognition for this award.

Renowned for its natural beauty, the environment and community of Lochgoil has greatly benefitted from Sheron’s stalwart efforts and in an area of tourism within the National Park has made it a more pleasant and cleaner place to live and visit. Well done Sheron!

 

Sheron Hambly is a member of the Cormonachan Woodlands Association.

The above awards have today been featured in the Scottish Field. Please see link http://bit.ly/2qzCmOI.

100th Member!

The Cormonachan Woodlands Association welcomes Gemma Shiarlis as its 100th Member supporting the work of the Association in preserving the Cormonachan Community Woodlands for Conservation, Education and Recreation.
We would like to thank all our 100 supporting and volunteer members in helping to look after and maintaining these 58.9 ha of wonderful Ancient Atlantic Oak & Hazel Woodlands.
 

Autumn Fayre Lochgoilhead on 6th October 2018

The Cormonachan Woodlands Association had a stand at the Autumn Fayre 2018 at the Village Hall in Lochgoilhead organised by the Argyll Arts Collective on Saturday 6th October. Three new members joined the Association at the event. We now have 99 members – who will be the 100th? Visitors to the stand were able to look at the new high quality A3 Photo Book of Cormonachan Woodlands covering 20 years from 1998 to 2018. All 12 copies of the book have been sold prior to the event at the cost price of £36 each. All our stock of Cormonachan Woodlands mugs have now all been sold (we only had 3 left for the event from 30 sold) as have virtually all our stock of red squirrels and other soft toys. £9.50 was donated in our Project Donation Boxes and our total sales for the event came to £113.50. Thank you to all who visited our stand and who are supporting the Cormonachan Woodlands Association.

Autumn Fayre, Lochgoilhead on Saturday 6th October 2018

The Cormonachan Woodlands Association is having a stand again this year at the Autumn Fayre on Saturday 6th October 2018 between 11 am and 2 pm at the Village Hall in Lochgoilhead. The event is free to enter. Come and find out about the work the Association and what its members and volunteers do for the Cormonachan Community Woodlands, Loch Goil by Carrick Castle, Argyll.

We will have our new 36-page high quality A3 Photo Book available for visitors to browse through that covers 20 years about Cormonachan Woodlands from 1998 to 2018. We are looking to increase our membership currently standing at 95 members with more supporting members that help pay for the running of the Association and volunteer members who help maintain the community woodlands. Individual local membership is £10 pa and Associate membership is £5 pa. Life membership is also available at £250 (we have 4 life members) and Corporate membership is £50 pa (we have 4 corporate members), Membership forms will be available at the event.

Cormonachan Woodlands 36 Page A3 Photo Book of Cormonachan Woodlands covering 20 Years from 1998 to 2018

The Cormonachan Woodlands Association has produced a 36 page A3 photo book about Cormonachan Woodlands over the last 20 years from 1998 to 2018. The cover is shown and two sample pages of some of the paths and volunteers who have helped to maintain the woodlands for the Loch Goil community. Anyone interested in purchasing a copy for themselves can order from the Secretary of the Association at a 50% discounted cost of £35.95 each if ordered now. Twelve have been ordered to 5/9/2018. Postage would be extra for those not able to collect or be delivered in the Loch Goil area. The Association’s copy will be held by the Secretary and may be borrowed locally by local members.

Sample pages:-

  

Volunteers page                                                  Flora & Fauna page

  
Paths page                                                            Contemplation Shelter page

Cormonachan Woodlands Mugs For Sale

Cormonachan Woodlands Mugs are available from the Secretary of the Cormonachan Woodlands Association at a cost of £7.50 each including boxed packaging – if postage is required for delivery, the postage cost is £2.95 each extra. Order by calling the Secretary on 01301 703098. We have just 10 mugs left at 5/9/2018. Two sides of the mug are shown here. The sale of these mugs helps support the running of the Association and its projects.

Loch Goil Gala Day on 28th July 2018

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Cormonachan Woodlands Association had its marquee at the event again this year. During the set up in the morning it was dry but just at the start of the event, the heavens opened with a huge downpour of rain. After a while it became dry again for an hour or so and then there was another downpour before a huge gust of wind tried to lift the entire marquee off into the sky! At this point it was decided to pack up for the day a little earlier than intended. Fortunately during the disassembly of the stand and marquee it was dry enough to stow everything away in the car.
Despite the weather which did affect the numbers of visitors going to the Gala Day, three new members were enrolled bringing the number up to 88 members with some other people saying they would join the  Association after the event. Our new Cormonachan Woodlands China Mugs were very popular at £7.50 each and with a few still available, anyone wanting to buy one should contact the Secretary. We were very grateful to those who gave donations to our Project Fund Donation Boxes, with all takings for the day reaching £179.50 and that total reached in hardly the best of weather conditions.

Committee Members of the Cormonachan Woodlands Association

 

An Introduction to the Committee of the Cormonachan Woodlands Association for those who don’t know who attends the committee meetings.
Bottom left clockwise: David Thorpe, Centre Manager, AOEC Trust Ltd. (Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre); Jimmy Sim, Treasurer; Don Kamsley, Chair; Sue Morris, Communities & Visitor Services Manager, Argyll Forest Park (ex officio member); Douglas Locke, Secretary; Cecilia Ferguson & Frances Walker.
Photo taken at the last committee meeting on Wednesday 18th July 2018.

Strimming Cormonachan Woodlands Paths

An appeal for path strimming was sent out to the 10 Association trained trimmer operators at the beginning of June 2018 and 4 answered the call for help over the period from 5th June to 10th July 2018.

A big thank you goes to Don Kamsley who strimmed the whole of the circular Squirrel Trail, the car park, Red Squirrel Hide area and Contemplation Shelter area in 5 hours on 5th June; to Anna Wynne who strimmed the lower path from Jan’s Hideaway to the junction at Clach Bhadach in 1.5 hrs on 6th June; to Leonard Gow who strimmed from the top junction above Jan’s Hideaway to the north west corner of the 2.5 km circular path in 3 hrs on 26th June; to Frances Walker who strimmed the path from the top north west corner of the 2.5 km circular path, including the top bench area down to almost the bottom of the path towards Clach Bhadach in 4.5 hrs on 26th June; to Leonard Gow again for finishing the path where Frances finished to the Clach Bhadach junction and north to the Rhododendron tunnel in 1.5 hrs on 10th July and to Douglas Locke who pruned all the trees around all the paths and the Rhododendron tunnel in 11 hrs on 5th & 26th June and 10th July, also supporting the strimmer volunteers as their First Aider.

Over this last month the paths have grown again and will need re-strimming by the end of July so we hope that the other trained trimmer operators will volunteer their services as the above ones have done over the last few weeks. The Cormonachan Community Woodlands rely on the trained members to do this strimming to keep the paths in good order. If the paths are strimmed before they get overgrown, it takes less time to do them. Frances Walker’s section above was well overgrown and it probably took her twice the time to do than it would have done if done regularly. The average time to complete the strimming of all the paths is about 12 hours and they need to be done a minimum of 3 times annually that comes to 36 hours each year. If each of the 10 trained volunteers contributed to the strimming, each would need to offer only 3.6 hours of strimming volunteering per annum.

Other members can help by scything as you don’t have to have a certificate to scythe as you do for using a trimmer. Training for use of a scythe can be offer by the Association if anyone is interested in helping out.

The Cormonachan Woodlands Association are extremely gratefully to the volunteers who have so far been keeping the paths strimmed and in good order for walking on.

Red Squirrel Hide & Contemplation Shelter Now ‘OPEN’

On Wednesday 6th June 2018 just after 11 am, the Red Squirrel Hide in Cormonachan Woodlands was officially opened. Douglas Locke gave a speech about how the funding was raised and David Thorpe, CEO of Ardroy Outdoor Education Centre cut the ribbon a gave a short speech. Whilst the weather was perfect, around the shelter area there were a few too many midges with no wind so everyone moved on to the Contemplation Shelter.

 

Again, on Wednesday 6th June 2018 at 11.30 am 31 people gathered after a short walk to the entrance of the Contemplation Shelter in memory of Liz Evans in Cormonachan Woodlands. Douglas Locke gave a speech about Liz’s final request to ask her friends and family to donate towards a shelter instead of giving flowers at her funeral. As you will by now know over £7,000 was donated and in just 4 months planning permission was obtained, the shelter ordered, groundwork with concrete base and path prepared and then the shelter was erected on 21st May. Liz’s kayaking friend, Christobel Fallon was asked to cut the ribbon and give a short speech about her friend. The weather for the event was perfect – dry, sunny and very warm with a slight wind that let everyone enjoy the visit to the shelter midge free so there was no rush to leave but to contemplate on the words that had been written about Liz and to enjoy the wonderful view over Loch Goil from the shelter that was Liz’s favourite view.

 

 

This was followed by 22 pre-invited guests going to a reception at The Lodge on Loch Goil where an excellent light meal was served at 1 pm sponsored by our corporate members at The Lodge. Alongside the Contemplation Shelter an oak tree in memory of Liz had been previously planted by Douglas, Liz’s husband and Calum, her son and her ashes had been scattered around the tree with a plaque erected in her memory. The day could not have been better and was enjoyed by all.

 

Both the Red Squirrel Hide and the Contemplation Shelter are now open all year round 24/7 to members and visitors.