Report on the Volunteers Weekend of 24th & 25th February 2018 in Cormonachan Woodlands.

Saturday 24th February – We had 11 volunteers from Fife, 3 volunteers from the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park and only 4 CWA members of which 3 were committee members.
The Fife volunteers of which one came up from Cumbria felled 6 of the very large under planted Sitka spruce trees in Area 1 and burnt all the brash under the CWA’s felling licence all day and a rotten oak that could have posed a danger to one of the paths in the future. The NP volunteers with one of our committee members cut down Rhododendron in area 3a by the lower path in the morning whilst the other three CWA volunteers erected 10 new signs around the woodlands on posts. In the afternoon, 2 CWA members continued cutting down Rhododendron with the 3 NP volunteers. This was a very successful day in achieving such a lot for the community woodlands.

Sunday 25th February – The 11 Fife volunteers continued to fell another 5 large Sitka spruce and burnt all the brash all day. This now leaves just 2 pockets of 5 Sitka spruce trees in each in Area 1 to fell under the CWA licence with Forest Enterprise Scotland and the Fife volunteers hope to complete this in the autumn. Only two CWA committee members volunteered in the morning and they prepared the site for the Red Squirrel Hide and shed digging ditches to keep the site area as free from water as would be possible. In the afternoon only one committee member remained (aged 76) to carry on working and he pruned branches along side some of the paths, painted a new post for a new squirrel feeder and cleaned out & drilled out 2 bases, re-sited one of the feeders that the squirrels seemed not to be feeding from and put away all the tools used.

We have to say it was extremely disappointing that there was such a lack of support from CWA members to volunteer in our community woodlands especially when the weather was absolutely perfect all weekend. We do hope that at future volunteers days more members will come and help. All the Fife and NP volunteers commented to us how they enjoy working in Cormonachan Woodlands so hopefully local people will come and enjoy the experience and make a difference to the woodlands that has to be maintained.