feel free to email us gifford.woodseh41@gmail.com and/or fill in the pledge form on the right - this is a community-led project, your input is important

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Path news from your woods

The good news:
  • Works start on July 1st to create easily accessible paths for all to enjoy.
  • They are phased; there will always be somewhere to enjoy.
  • The works are due to finish by October.
  • Many of your favourite paths will stay the same.
  • The new path route in Speedy Wood will open up an area that hasn’t been accessible in living memory. Invasive Rhododendrons and bog combined to make it impenetrable (see image below!), but you will be delighted with this whole new area to explore. Two bridges will enable you to cross Speedy Burn.
The bad news:
  • There will be some disruption.  Please bear with us!
  • Some paths will close during the works.  Look out for signs and temporary barriers.
  • Parts of the woods with new paths may look a bit ‘raw’ to begin with, but nature will soon do her work and by next summer you will think the paths have always been part of the woods.
A map of the paths can be found below.

Want to know more?
Join us for a Community Walk on Sunday June 30th at 4pm.
Meet on Station Road.  Please wear wellies – parts are very boggy!  The route is not currently suitable for buggies or wheelchairs (but it will be).


A Downloadable PDF version of this map is available by clicking here.


Gifford wins at Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards

On Friday 21st June we attended the Royal Highland Show, where we were delighted to win this amazing accolade - Best Large Community Woodland in Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards.

Many thanks should go to everyone who has helped Gifford Woods reach this point; Volunteers, Board Members, Steering Committee Members, supporters and our Recorders!  This really wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for all of you.


Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Spring Volunteer Dates

Please find below our programme for volunteering with Gifford Woods during spring 2019.

There are some dates which are marked TBC. This indicates that,depending on whether we can engage a contractor, we may be moving some piles of cut Rhododendron into more accessible areas to be mulched, otherwise we will go ahead with the programmed activity.

We hope you will be able to join us on one of these volunteering opportunities, and Nev has even promised to inspire you with new camp fire cooking ideas!
  • Saturday 23rd Feb, 9.00am – 12.30pm followed by lunch: Rhododendron Clearance
  • Sunday 10th Mar, 9.00am – 12.30pm followed by lunch: Rhododendron Clearance
  • Saturday 16th Mar, 9.00am – 12.30pm followed by lunch: Rhododendron Clearance
  • Sunday 7th Apr, 9.00am – 12.30pm followed by lunch: Wood fuel day (TBC)
  • Wednesday 24th Apr, 9.00am – 12.30pm followed by lunch: Ditch clearing (TBC)
Each session is being led by our Project Manager, Nev Kilkenny, and please meet at the camp area at the top of Station Road.

Monday, 14 January 2019

What’s happening this year in Gifford Community Woodland?

We made great progress, with your help, in 2018 and this year looks like more will be happening in the woodland as we heard recently that two grant applications were successful.   These were made to:-

  • Rural Payments scheme 
  • Viridor Credits.

These grants, together with some of the funds that we had already raised, will allow us to improve some of the paths in Fawn Wood and to create some new paths in Speedy Wood.

In a phased programme over the next 12 months, we will create a network of easily maintained “core” paths.  Outside of these, many of our existing, much loved, minor paths will be left “as is”. The new or improved paths will open up the woods to visitors with access requirements.  They will also reveal new parts of the woods for everyone to enjoy.

Our plan includes paths in Speedy Wood, in order to open this area up for the first time.  We need planning permission for these works; an application has been lodged with East Lothian Council.  We hope to hear back by early March and to start works soon after this. A map of the Paths can be found below, or downloaded in PDF format by clicking here.

Want to know more?

We’d love to share more details of the plans with you, and to hear what you think.  We are hosting a drop in session on
Wednesday 6th February
5pm to 7pm
Gifford Village Hall (Todrick Room)

As usual, if you would like to keep up-to-date with our news, please ensure you follow us on Twitter or Facebook or keep an eye on the village noticeboard. You can also subscribe to our email newsletters by clicking here and giving us your details.


A Downloadable PDF version of this map is available by clicking here.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Volunteering Dates in January & February

Dear Woodlanders,

Our volunteering days for the next two months are now confirmed, and will be:
  • Sat 12th January, 9am - 12:30pm
  • Sat 26th January, 10am - approx. 3pm (but don't worry if you need to leave earlier)
  • Sat 2nd February, 10am - approx. 3pm (but don't worry if you need to leave earlier)
  • Sat 23rd February, 10am - approx. 3pm (but don't worry if you need to leave earlier)
To manage 55 acres of ancient woodland does take quite a bit of work, so if you would be able to volunteer on any of these dates it would be much appreciated.

Further details are below.  If you would like to join any of these sessions, please contact our Project Manager, Nev Kilkenny (nev@fungi.co.uk) who will also be able to answer any questions.  Nev himself is also going to be leading all of these sessions.

We look forward to seeing lots of you during January and February, and thanks in advance for your support.

Sat 12th Jan:
This will be a wood fuel day. We are particularly interested in volunteers that have acquired their chain saw ticket with us helping to clear up some of the dead wood from tree safety work. We also need volunteers to split logs, wheel barrow logs and stack logs - so something for everyone!! We'll meet at 9.00 am at the welfare camp and work until 12.30, then I will make some lunch on the campfire for everyone.

26th Jan, 2nd Feb and 23rd Feb:
For the next three volunteering days we will be joined by the Lothian Conservation Volunteers and will be tackling Rhododendron. We're hoping these will be fantastic days where we achieve loads as a big group and learn lots from these more experienced volunteers. These events will start a little later at 10 am and will finish at approx 3 pm, again lunch and snacks will be provided. Don't worry if you can't stay the whole time, we'd love to see you anyway.
This big push on the rhododendron is to clear a broader route for our path network for which we now have 87% of our funding for and are hoping to get started on very soon.

Happy New Year and best wishes to All.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Autumn Volunteering Dates

We now have volunteering dates in the diary for the whole of the Autumn.  If you are interested in joining any of these sessions, please contact our Project Manager, Nev Kilkenny (nev@fungi.co.uk) who will be able to answer any questions and put you in touch with the leader.
We look forward to seeing lots of you during the next few months, and thanks in advance for your support.

Wednesday 12th September, 09.00am – 12.30pm
  • Rhododendron Clearance. 
  • Led by Kevin Hague and Nev Kilkenny
Saturday 22nd September, 10.00am – 14.00
  • Fungi foray. 
  • Volunteers required to help cook/serve drinks, soup & canapes. 
  • Led by Nev Kilkenny
Thursday 27th September, 09.00am – 12.30pm
  • Wood fuel day, tidying and processing deadwood from last year’s tree safety work.
  • Led by Kevin Hague and Nev Kilkenny
Wednesday 3rd October, 09.00am – 12.30pm
  • Rhododendron Clearance. 
  • Led by Adam White (NK available to assist as req.)
Saturday 6th October, 09.00am – 12.30pm
  • Rhododendron Clearance. 
  • Led by Kevin Hague (NK available to assist as req.)
Saturday 20th October, 09.00am – 12.30pm
  • Rhododendron Clearance. 
  • Led by Adam White
Saturday 3rd November, 09.00am – 12.30pm
  • Rhododendron Clearance. 
  • Led by John Wrinn (AW available to assist as req.)
Saturday 17th November, 09.00am – 12.30pm
  • Rhododendron Clearance. 
  • Led by Kevin Hague 
Saturday 24th November, 09.00am – 12.30pm
  • Ditch clearance. 
  • Led by John Wrinn (NK available to assist as req.)
Saturday 1st December, 09.00am – 12.30pm
  • TBC. 
  • Led by Nev Kilkenny

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Do you know that you own 55 acres of Woodland? Come along to find out more & have your say.

Yes, YOU, and the community of Gifford now own the beautiful, magical Fawn & Speedy Woods at the top of Station Road.
Read more below, and please try to attend one or both of our forthcoming events to find out more and have your say.

HOW DID THIS COME ABOUT?
  • The woods came onto the market and needed to be protected, as wild and ancient woodland, to be enjoyed by us all.
  • A large group of people worked very hard to submit successful applications to the Scottish Land Fund and others.
  • In April 2017, the woods were purchased on behalf of the community.
  • We have set-up a charitable organisation called Gifford Community Land Company, with Directors and a management committee (a legal requirement) to conserve and care for the woods.
WHAT NOW?
  • We now have a great resource to enjoy forever, but woods need looked after and managed.
  • This takes money! We need to raise on-going funds to keep our woods cared for.
  • We have engaged a woodland expert, Nev, to work with us until 2020.
  • Our grants require us to make the woods more accessible to ALL the community, so we will be building an all-access path round the woods. All the other woodlands tracks will be left as they are.
  • We need lots of volunteers to help with various woodland work. Volunteers get training, new skills and have great fun.

HOW CAN YOU BE A PART OF THIS? 
  • Get out into the woods, and enjoy them! 
  • Join in any of our events – watch out for publicity.
  • Attend our:
    • CONDUCTED WALK THROUGH THE WOODS on Thursday 23rd August. 
      • Meet at 5:30pm at Speedy Bridge.  
      • No tickets required, just come along.
    • SOCIAL EVENING & AGM on Monday 27th August, 7:30pm in the Village Hall. Join us to:
        • Celebrate with us.
        • Find out all about the woods and our plans. Get information and tell us your views, concerns and ideas.
        • Enjoy a social evening with food, drink & meeting with friends.
      • Just visit Hoggs Newsagents to get FREE TICKETS. Two lucky tickets will win prizes! Or just come along on the night, although places are subject to capacity!
Register your interest in both events on our Facebook page at: