Revitalising the local woodland culture
Dynamic Woods adopts a holistic approach to our local woodlands encompassing community, economic and environmental issues. We draw on the expertise of, and build partnerships between all interested parties to develop sustainable ways forward for our local woodlands: breathing life into our woodland heritage and ensuring the future of this beautiful resource for many more generations.
Combating a history of neglect
We have inherited a neglected woodland culture. Whilst we import over £100 million worth of hardwoods each year, our own broadleaf woodlands lie neglected, wood considered worthless or even waste. Some of these trees that have graced our landscapes for generations even end up in landfill sites when they could be contributing to the local economy; providing training and work opportunities as well as improving the environment and providing local amenities. The future of our woodlands depends on all interested parties coming together to develop a sustainable way forward. Dynamic Woods helps forge working partnerships between landowners, communities, businesses and environmentalists. It also offers training, cooperative marketing, wood-processing services, incubation space for new indigenous businesses and environmental restoration work. Scottish Wood is the trading arm of Dynamic Woods and profits raised through the sale of our Timber goes directly to supporting these projects, being split between reinvestment in the yard, to help develop the small sawmill sector, support local community activities, and organisations with an interest in woodland and timber. Funds are targeted very locally in West Fife former mining villages and areas of deprivation. For example, the set up and support of Forest Schools through Active Schools Fife, allowing local schools to access training grants so they can be self-sufficient, support is also given to national-scale groups that are working to revitalise the woodland culture, such as the Scottish Working Wood Label and the Forest Policy Group, and sponsor prizes to encourage students use local timber. You can read more about how Dynamic Woods was established here.
Dynamic Woods based at Inzievar Woods
"Leaky" Dam at Pond
Ariel view of Scottish Wood and Inzievar woodland
Dynamic Woods based at Inzievar Woods
Recent projects supported through Dynamic Woods grants;
The Iona community Camas centre on the Isle of Mull.
Camas is located right on the coast with a 2km walk to access their off grid, back to basics and nature activity centre. Offering a safe space for young people, individuals and groups up to 30, to thrive and experience community through immersion in Scotland’s wilderness and activities such as absailing; wild camping; raft building; cost steering; kayaking; artwork and games. Camas has enriched and inspired the lives of many young people and adults, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. More info can be found at https://iona.org.uk/
£1000 grant for purchasing naturally durable Larch, which was used to build a drying room at the end of their building for wet suites from kayaking and coasteering to dry in when it's too wet to dry outside. Fantastic use of funding and another great learning and team building experience.
Grow West Fife
Grow West Fife, located at the walled garden at Blair castle, Culross. It is charity based, community garden set up by a group of volunteers during Covid and lockdown 2020 to help local foodbanks and pantries. On a mission to get the people growing their own veg the garden has now expanded thanks to funding and hosts a range of workshops and projects open to the the local community.
£1000 grant for Larch to build accessible raised beds for local community use.
Scottish wood regularly offers wood donations of Larch and Scottish Oak offcuts available onsite to community based organisations such as charity groups, Men sheds, community create groups, nurseries and schools. Get in touch for more info.
Falkland Build school
The Build School is an emerging centre for learning in ecological and traditional building with the focus on events and activity on live builds in a spacious rural setting, with on site camping, catering and facilities. Hosted by Falkland Estate.
The Build School at Falkland 2022 was the second event to be hosted to introduce as wide an audience as possible to the skills & techniques required to build small off-grid Bothies. The first Course was held in September 2021 & resulted in the frame of a 30m2 structure being erected in the four days of the event. The 2nd course was to use the frame to show how the deck for a planted roof can be created plus demonstrate the build up of walls & floors & the fitting of doors & windows.
The Field of Learning at Falkland is intended to be the focus of an ongoing series of courses which will gradually create the facilities needed to host future events. A Planning submission has been made for the first five Bothies along with a large workshop & an office space. If this is successful then a programme of additional build schools will be planned to carry out the work required to create these facilities.
£1000 granted for the 2022 course for Larch cladding and decking.
Dynamic Woods is based at Inzievar Woods by Oakley. Surrounding our Hardwood Sawmill this mixed woodland has recently been reclaimed for use both as a public amenity and as a working woodland: showing how private ownership and community interest can come together for the benefit of all.
Take a walk on the wild side - the natural adventure playground, explore the natural dens and hideouts, discover where the deer come down to water, look out for signs of foxes. Woodlands are great play areas for all ages, from a slow saunter with the dog to an adventure packed jungle exploration with a five year old. We encourage you to step off the path and discover the woodland for yourself, Woodlands offer great areas for kids to run wild, why not organise a play group bear hunt, a sausage sizzle, or a treasure hunt. Inzievar woods are also a fantastic resource for all ages, with school children using the woods for their outdoor learning, events such as the forest festival when all sorts of things went on at the woods. There have been hundreds of teddy’s roaming free at a teddy bears picnic and back in 2001 they were even joined by a dragon, Draeko! Come explore for yourself, will you find your way through the Yew tree labyrinth? Can you spot signs of Red squirrels? Take in the stunning view over the countryside to Edinburgh and the forth bridge from our view-point. Inzievar offers a beautiful walk which ever direction your feet take you.
Work began in 2021 to revitalise the woodland and the pond, lead by Kitty Birley and volunteers. Rhododendron is a widespread problem throughout Inzievar, and is currently undergoing effort to control the spread of this invasive species. Re-establishing access to pond and the area which was used as an viewpoint has now almost completely overgrown with Broom and Alder - while the pond at Inzievar was not originally a natural feature it has become a hotspot for biodiversity within the woodland, providing a habitat for a wide range of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife as well as hosting a wide range of plant life, and adding diversity to the otherwise straight-banked burn that trickles through the woodland. The pond was also a popular landmark for visitors to the woodland, who would watch the wildlife from the benches located at the now overgrown viewpoint, or else bring their children to splash about in the shallows, and fish for frogs and minnows that made their home amongst the pond weed. Work began to ensure the continued existence of this exciting and diverse habitat within the woodland by trailing a variety of natural methods to help raise the water table and slightly combat the impact of the continuing siltation of this water feature with installation of a leaky dam to restore this wetland.
In 2022 Dynamic Woods took on the management of a section of adjoining woodland owned by the Woodland Trust and is working to remove ex plantation spruce and invasive American elder and replacing it with Scottish natives. Kitty tragically passed away in November 2022, but her love and passion for the woodland will be carried on in the current team, to complete the work she started.
2023 is a year of renewed focus for Dynamic Woods with the launch of their own website, a new classroom space, a new woodland management plan, and a renewed effort to engage with the surrounding community. The aim in long term is to provide not only an attractive area to get back to nature but ensure the survival of biodiversity.