Portmoak Community Woodland

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Woodland Trust Managemnt plan for the Moss is available for public comment

Every five years the Woodland Trust make their Management Plan for the Moss. This is a big deal: it sets the baseline for what will happen in the future. The document is now available here for public comment and naturally the Portmoak Community Woodland Group will give it a careful review.  The deadline for comment is 5pm Saturday 8 April 2017  and anyone can comment to the Woodland Trust. If you, prefer, send your comments to PCWG at info@portmoakcw.org.uk and we'll incorporate them with ours.

It's a big document, 42 pages, with a lot of detail and there are two big items:

1.  The long term intention is that ground conditions over the core area will be maintained as a raised bog habitat. Hurrah! This is a key goal for the PCWG and we've put a lot of energy into projects to restore the bog.
2.  The last large remaining area of
Sitka spruce will be clear-felled (going in from Scotlandwell, this is the area on the left). This needs to done because the trees are near end of life, are becoming increasing unstability and there is a heightened risk of large scale windblow which causes a safety hazard and is expensive to deal with on a tree by tree basis. The clearfelled areas will be encouraged to develop into mixed native woodland. Existing areas of Scots pine will be retained for as long as possible to provide a suitable habitat and food source for the small colony of red squirrels on the site. Any gaps that occur will be allowed to regenerate naturally into mixed woodland. Natural regeneration will be supplemented by enrichment planting as required with native species.

We welcome your thoughts.

We're thinking about arranging a dawn chorus in May

Watch this space.

AGM: 18 April 2017
Mainly to review of the last year, see the accounts and elect the office bearers. IT will be at the next regular meeting in the Well Inn at 19:30 on 18 April 2017.

Community orchard pruning: 19 March 2017

Some of us put in few hours on the orchard doing some springtimne maintenance - pruning and maintaining our fruit trees. They are looking pretty good and we're hoping for an even bogger crop later this year.

Moth survey: 10 March 2017
We're really lucky to have George Guthrie carry out regular surveys of the moths and butteflies on the Moss. George did his first mothing of this season on Friday 10th Mar night. It turned out to be a very good night for ‘mothing’ with a minimum temperature of 8 degC , no wind and dull. He found 21 moths of 9 species. They were: 7 Yellow Horned, 3 March Moth, 3 Chestnut, 2 Satellite, 2 Mottled Umber, 1 Pale Brindled Beauty, 1 Common Quaker, 1 Hebrew Character, 1 Pine Beauty. George also saw a Common Newt, not in the trap but crawling around on the sheet.

Burns Supper: 21 January 2017   The official press write up from theCommunity Newsletter is here.
The legendary one, as always with the haggis on the receiving end of stern words from Bill Carr. It was fetched in by Chloe Vlasto and Kirsty Buchanan gave it the Selkirk grace. Tich Frier cmortalised the memory, the Portmoak Players played, as did Mike and Craig Lithgow, there were poems, especially "The Louse" from Fi Cooper, the lasses were praised to the heavens by Simon Kay, as were were the laddies by Jessica Kay and this year's competition to produce a new bit Burns was won by something written and sung in Swedish by Bengt Tegner. No idea what it was about. As if that wasn't enough, under the guise of Mosses, Waters, Slaps and Stiles, Mr Batchelor informed the populace of all the good work done on their behalf by t' committee.

Reprofiling project: September 2016
A major piece of work, funded by LLLP the Woodland Trust and Portmoak Community Woodland Group wascompleted on the Moss. Read more details here. Basically we have been so successful in raising the water table that now we had to safeguard against the danger of bog burst. To do that we reprofiled the steep peat banks at the edges of the Moss and put in some peat dams on the surface to limit run off through the old drainage channels. In addition, the main steps up to the peat crown were geting quite rickety so we replaced them too. This  could become a Best Practice for the restoration of raised peat bogs.

Portmoak Moss viewed from Kilmagad Wood, with Loch Leven and Benarty Hill in the background

Fine views, delightful walking and an ambitious project to restore a commercial plantation to a raised peat bog.

Located at Scotlandwell, near to Kinross and the M90, about midway between the Forth Road Bridge and Perth.