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.