We have created a new ‘Monastery’ 36 ft diameter circle with oak trees

Whilst it was disappointing we only had 3 volunteers to plant the oak trees yesterday, 25th April 2021, by the top middle Squirrel Trail path on the west side, Dennis Bolt (Membership Secretary) and Frances Walker (Volunteers Leader) accompanied by Douglas Locke (Secretary), the two of them planted 50 oak trees in a couple of hours, plus the walking time to and from the planting site and in beautiful warm sunny weather – Thank you!
We discussed how we should plant the oaks and Douglas suggested that we re-create the ancient ”the monastery” circle, 36 foot in diameter that was discovered by F. Newall & R.C. Scott in 1957 that was about 400 yds, upstream of Cormonachan Burn at NS/181975. Forestry Enterprise, a decade later, ploughed that area and planted Sitka spruce, so the site was lost and we do not know how the original large 36 ft circle was formed of banks or trees?
In memory of this original circle, we decided to create a new ‘Monastery’ 36 ft diameter circle with oak trees at NS 19552 97710. The new circle has 21 oaks planted on the 36 ft perimeter, a further 11, 2.5 m inwards and then a further 11, 1 m in toward a single centre oak in the middle making 44 oak trees in this new circle.
Cormonachan in Scottish Gaelic to English has changed over time and is likely to be Cor or Corrie and from Manachainn (Monastery) to Monachan – now Cormonachan?
The photo shows the trees that have been planted however it will be many years before the true significance of the planting will be seen. In 100 or 200 years time it will be a landmark for future generations to visit…!
We are very grateful to Carrick Castle Estate for donating 200 oak trees to Cormonachan Community Woodlands. The remaining unplanted 150 oaks have been securely dug in to ground in groups for the summer and will be raised again in October/November time when they will be planted in the woodlands randomly where needed to replace the felled and cleared Sitka spruce.
We have now planted over the past year 425 native trees in the woodlands helping BBC1 CountryFile’s Plant Britain project to eventually reach its target of 750,000 native trees. We will be planting a further 150 oak trees in the autumn bringing the total up to 575 native trees.

Cormonachan Woodlands Felling of Diseased Larch Trees Important Notice

We have been advised today by Forestry and Land Scotland that the identified diseased Larch trees at the south west corner of Cormonachan Woodlands above the Medieval Settlement and to the north of Cormonachan Burn by the Forest Road on the attached Operations Map are to be felled commencing 17th March 2021 for a period of about three weeks. The timber will eventually be removed by a forwarder in 3 months time.
During this period, visitors to this area will be prohibited for the duration of the work. We will advise you when the work has been completed.
Please note that Forestry and Land Scotland are paying for this work to be done with no cost to ourselves.
Thank you for observing this notice and staying safe as this is dangerous work being carried out.

Volunteers Days Friday 26th & Saturday 27th February 2021

We wish to advise you that the below Volunteers Days will go ahead as planned.
We have been in contact with the National Park’s Volunteers Advisers and have been told that as long as the volunteers attending the woodlands come only from within the Argyll & Bute area, the Volunteers Days can go ahead. Travelling must be in separate cars, except sharing is permitted for the same family. Covid-19 rules must apply in the outdoors where volunteers may work in pairs at least 2 metres apart. Masks must be worn on arrival and departure in the car park. Clean Hi-Vis jackets and gloves will be supplied by the Team Leader of the day. Tools will also be supplied.
Please note that Frances Walker has taken over from Douglas Locke as Volunteers Leader – Volunteers@cormonachan-woodlands.co.uk – Please let Frances know if you wish to attend a particular Volunteers Day, as early as possible before the event but not less than 12 noon on the day before each event so the right numbers of PPE and tools can be prepared in advance. Under normal circumstances, we would ask you to sign a Consent Form, but due to Covid-19, your ‘attendance’ will be considered consenting to be a volunteer on the day. If you do not wish your photo to be taken please advise the Team Leader. Please wear suitable clothing and footwear and bring a packed lunch and refreshments. There is a ‘sit down only’ compost toilet near Jan’s Hideaway.
Volunteers Days for 2021:-
Friday 26th February 2021 10 am to 4 pm
Team 1: Team Leader & First Aider: Richard Hall
Tasks: To burn piles of cut down Rhododendron ponticum
Team 2: Team Leader & First Aider: Frances Walker
Tasks: Sort out Storage Shed, clean Hide, take rope up to Labyrinth, bring down 2 long replacement logs for car park and fix bolt to gate.
Saturday 27th February 2021 10 am to 4 pm
Team Leader & First Aider: Frances Walker
Tasks: To remove self-seeded Sitka spruce & Rhododendron ponticum and cut down small Sitka spruce and wind fallen trees from the sides of the paths.
Future Volunteers Days in Spring 2021
Friday 26th March 2021 10 am to 4 pm
Saturday 27th March 2021 10 am to 4 pm
Friday 30th April 2021 10 am to 4 pm
Saturday 1st May 2021 10 am to 4 pm
Friday 28th May 2021 10 am to 4 pm
Saturday 29th May 2021 10 am to 4 pm
Saturday 5th June 2021 10 am to 4 pm (National Volunteering Week)
Work to do in these ancient woodlands includes cutting down & burning invasive Rhododendron ponticum, slashing bracken, strimming the paths, scything, cutting down self-seeded Sitka spruce trees (felling can only be done by certificated volunteer members), pruning branches alongside the paths, cleaning & painting the Red Squirrel Hide & storage shed and the Contemplation Shelter, maintaining the ditches, planting native trees & keeping them free of scrub, cleaning the picnic tables & benches, helping to make sculptures & maintaining them, keeping the Labyrinth in good order, topping up the squirrel feeders, erecting new signs, cleaning the information signs and anything else that may be needed to maintain the woodlands in good order.
We do hope that you can help us?
Douglas Locke, Secretary (Voluntary)
Cormonachan Community Woodlands Ltd
Registered in Scotland SC657915
E: Secretary@cormonachan-woodlands.co.uk
T: 01301 703098
W: www.cormonachan-woodlands.co.uk

BBC Countryfile on 10th January 2021

Cormonachan Community Woodlands native tree planting volunteers were on TV, BBC Countryfile on 10th January 2021.
This programme is on BBC iPlayer and you will find this photograph early on just after the first woodland feature and right after the ‘Plant Britain’ logo. Viewers are encouraged to volunteer…
This group of local member volunteers and two Argyll area National Park volunteers planted 105 native trees within the boundaries of the Squirrel Trail.
At the time of the planting 270 trees had been planted and to date 375 native trees have now been planted funded by donations specifically for trees and by Woodland Trust funding.
We plan to plant another 105 native trees in November 2021 bringing up the total to 480. These trees are replacing the non-native Sitka spruce that have been felled over the last decade.

375 native trees planted in Cormonachan Community Woodlands

We have now planted 375 native trees in the woodlands over the last year, to 19th December 2020, to replace felled and cleared areas of Sitka spruce thanks to two private donors funding 165 trees and to the Woodland Trust for funding 210 trees. Each tree with cane and spiral protection costs £1.90 so the value of donations and funding amounts to £712.50.

Our thanks go out the all the volunteers who have planted these trees.

These 375 native trees have been recorded by BBC Countryfile in their ‘Plant Britain’ programme and Cormonachan Community Woodlands is being mentioned with another photo (shown at the bottom of this page) of our volunteers planting the previous 105 trees in the woodlands on 27th November 2020.

9 volunteers planting 105 native trees on 19th December 2020 on the west side of the top Squirrel Trail path.

The 9 volunteers who planted 105 trees on 19th December 2020 – all volunteers 2 metres apart…

The 5 volunteers who planted 105 trees on 27th November 2020 – all volunteers 2 metres apart…

Wedding on 20th November 2020 in the Contemplation Shelter

The wedding of Hannah & Mark on 20th November 2020 in the Contemplation Shelter

in Cormonachan Community Woodlands.

Unfortunately it was a very misty damp atmospheric day missing the outstanding view over Loch Goil.


Upper Cormonachan Paths Project Fund – Target reached!

Cormonachan Community Woodlands Ltd is pleased to report that it has now reached the minimum target we had to raise locally  in order to apply for the main funding.

You may have noticed that the target raised of £17,087.79 is £912.79 more the the 5% minimum required of £16,175, however this extra was required as we have had to pay out of the fund National Park planning fees amounting to £781.00 and will still be looking for extra funding to cover £400 for an ecological ‘endangered species survey’.  We are therefore looking for an additional £268.21, however we have 14 Mugs still for sale at £7.50 each = £105.00 that have to be sold of course, leaving just £163.21 to find to balance of the 5% total required for the funding application and paying the relevant costs mentioned above. Large scale funding applications are likely to open again for projects like our in February 2021.

We hope to raise this additional money through a new Donations Post that will be erected near the Contemplation Shelter that has been funded by the Co-op Local Communities Fund.

Cormonachan Woodlands Art Trail October 2020 Reviews

Cormonachan Woodlands Art Trail October 2020
in cooperation with Argyll Arts Collective

We are pleased to report that our ‘people counter’ recorded 1,225 people (an average of 40 people a day every day in all weathers) visited the Cormonachan Community Woodlands in October 2020 and 1,138 people were reached on our Facebook page for the Art Trail.


Reviews left in the Contemplation Shelter:-
3rd Oct – ‘Such Magical woods. we have seen lots of Robins here but no red squirrels yet. Thank you to all the volunteers who made this walk possible. The sculptures make it even more amazing. We saw two ladies yesterday bringing a sculpture up on a trolley, you’re doing an amazing thing!’ Annette and Amy Lee‘Beautiful peaceful woodlands in such incredible surroundings. The hazelnuts have already been eaten by the local wildlife and all we found were the remnants of their feast. We saw a red squirrel by the hide and a very friendly robin’  Pamela, Jack and Rachel.
‘A beautiful part of the world – lovely in both sunshine and rain. Thank you so much for inviting me to be part of the Art Trail. I’ve loved my time here and will be back’. Margaret Ker.
Sun 4th Oct – ‘ This wonderful exhibition of art has given the woodlands a real sparkle. I did not think our walks could be so much fun as you wonder round and appreciate the amazing art work you see the beauty of the framework in more detail, even in the smirry rain!’ Frances, Christina and `Jess’.
‘So happy to be visiting the art trail today, gorgeous views of the `loch, and amazing to see all the autumn colours and wildlife’ Anna McCulloch
‘Loved the Argyll Arts works in these woods. I hope this will be an annual event!’ James Jackson.
6th Oct – Although we’ve been avid Lochgoilhead fans for years we have never visited Cormonachan before and what a place it is! We have already befriended a robin and several red squirrels and that’s before we saw the magnificent views! Thank you to everyone at CCW and AAC for making this place so special, we’ll be coming back for many years to come. Now we’ll sit and wait for the rain to pass in this wonderful place. You’ve made our (otherwise pretty rubbish) 2020! – Tams. Leeds.
‘I like you, you are very nice. I like the swimming statue the best and the maze. I like playing here’ Zoe (age 4).
12th Oct – This is an amazing beautiful place and a welcome rest point following the steep climb! – Stuart and Lynetta, Bristol.
12th Oct – ‘ Back again! Love it here! Such a peaceful place to watch the boats and loch.’ Annette, Angel, Amber Daisy. The Lake District . ‘ Also the hammock is so much fun!. xxx’
12th Oct – ‘ First time here and enjoying the beautiful scenery!’ – Ashley, Emily and Chester.
13th Oct -‘ A wonderful timelessness, a moment of depth and grace and renewal. Find the natural in everything. ‘ Murray, Sara, Effie.
‘I thought the walk was astounding and the art was outstanding. I loved spending time with my family and friends; – Willow and Scarlett.
14th Oct – ‘Hello. What a wonderful and special woodland. Kids love it here, dog too! Art is fantastic and compliments to the natural surrounding. Great job! Love and Peace.’ – Gillian, Mark, Matilda (4), Robin (1) and Murphy the dog.
15th Oct – A day full of wonder spent here today. Beautiful Vincent loved the hammock and making a den with sticks. – Vincent 6 years. Amelia loves the house you made and all the woods and the hammock. Thank you.’ Maria.
15th Oct- I really liked the walk. I thought the art was great. I loved all the mushrooms and the wooden people. All the different trees were cool. The view was great from the hut right onto the water. I really liked the ideas of the hut in memory of Liz Evans. And the writing in the roof was cool. It looked even better with all the different colours.’
16th Oct – What a beautiful setting for beautiful art.‘
16th Oct – ‘ This walk has been a favourite of ours on a 4 week holiday. Our chocolate lab Angel passed away 2 months ago and she was almost 13 years old. She would have loved it here. Visits from friendly Robins at the picnic bench always make us smile. “When Robins appear Loved ones are near!”.
19th Oct – This is such a beautiful place and there’s such lovely things to see me and my whole family loves it soo much. ‘ Eilidh. ‘I’m so thankful’ Abigail Love
20th Oct – ‘Thank you so much. this place Love’ Milly age 5
Thank you so much for the art, thought and care that has clearly gone creating such a beautiful area. We particularly liked the ‘ Sounds’ poem. Very much captured my experience! Sam, Lucie, Rosey, Elley and Millye.
20 Oct – ‘ I am one of the campers from Ardroy and it really is a magical forest. I am American and we have nothing like it back at home. The robins in these woods are very friendly and the views are breathtaking. I am very lucky to have experienced such amazing surprises this place has to offer.’ Alex
20th Oct – ‘ Beautiful scenery, extremely peaceful and I particularly liked the wooden hut. Lovely woodland walk! 10/10! ‘ Evie
20th Oct – ‘ I love the amazing view and the woodland walk. Lovely and peaceful’. Megan.
22nd Oct – A lovely visit to the woods. I loved visiting the Labyrinth with the family’. Lottie.
25th Oct – ‘ Lovely walks – great views’ Lucy
27th Oct – ‘ Lovely views and lovely waterfalls. Love this place’ Oisin
29th Oct – ‘ Lovely, peaceful woodland walk. Good to escape the hustle and bustle!’. Chris and Maeve.
It is our joint intension to have another Sculpture and Artworks Exhibition in Cormonachan Community Woodlands in 2021.
For those interested in the daily visitor’s numbers, 2,449 people were counted however divide by 2 for entry & exit = 1,225 visitors (1 person must have entered or left via the Clach Bhadach access). This number averaged over 40 visitors per day on every day in October in all weather conditions). Click on this link for full details – CCW People Counter October 2020 This ‘People Counter’ was gratefully funded by ‘Paths for All‘.
Douglas Locke, Secretary (Voluntary)
Cormonachan Community Woodlands Ltd
Registered in Scotland SC657915
E: Secretary@cormonachan-woodlands.co.uk
T: 01301 703098

”Cormonachan Woodlands Art Trail”

3rd to 31st October 2020 – Open every day and Free…
Organised by Argyll Arts Collective (www.argyllartscollective.com)
Artists: Inge Bos (www.ingbos.com)
Melanie Chmielewska (www.melaniechmielewska.co.uk)
Margaret Ker (www.margaretker.com)
The resident artworks by (www.cormonachan-woodlands.co.uk)
There are profile bios of the artists in the Contemplation Shelter.

If you visit our Facebook page facebook.com/cormonachan/ you will see the photos shown there are in order if you walk the Squirrel Trail anti-clockwise turning right on entering the woodlands.
For those new to Cormonachan Community Woodlands, Loch Goil, the woodlands are 3 miles from Lochgolihead and 2 miles back from Carrick Castle. The car park is next to the TV aerial Compound.
To abide by the Covid-19 regulations, please keep 2-metres away from any others you may pass en-route.