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Portmoak Community Woodland

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.



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The great egg race

It’s amazing what you can use an orchard for, even when there are no apples! At least we're seeing blossom now but things were pretty dormant at Easter when we used it as an egg race track and a sunny space for families to hang out and enjoy some unexpected warmth. 12 children arrived with their eggs and support teams (parents/grandparents) for the event.

The fastest egg down the hill was easy to judge, but the best decorated egg ‘was a tense and difficult affair due to the egg decorating talent on show’ said our judge. But winners were found. Some older folk present were a little put out when they realized there was no upper limit for the over six category. So, maybe an adult egg competition next year? 

Portmoak Festival will be using Chris’s Place (the orchard) in June, weather permitting, for some live music. This month the Primary School will be doing their John Muir Award, looking to see if the bird boxes, installed in February, have any new tenants moving in.

As our contribution to the festival we will be running two Bird Song Walks in the Moss on Sunday 2nd June and Wednesday 5th June, both at 8am. 

They'll be led by Scott Paterson who runs Kinross Ecology and who was, until last year, the Perth & Kinross Bird Recorder. Scott has led these walks before for us and they were very popular, so keep your eyes on the festival programme and our website. We hope that the Sunday morning walk will be good for young families with children. If you walk in the Moss a lot and ask yourself what’s that bird, song or what you should be looking out for and when, then this is your big chance. If Scott can’t tell you no-one can.

Decorated egg 24 Storm Kathleen put paid to our last work day on the Moss in April but no fear, we will be back in the late summer after the ground nesting birds have brought up their young. We still need help, so follow us on our website and Facebook, and we are always in the Well on the third Tuesday of the month 7:30 talking trees, bogs and many other things besides.

Des res nest boxes for Kilmagad Wood

What a start to the year we’ve had. It’s been one of the busiest times in the woodlands, with dozens of nest boxes going up in Kilmagad Wood and countless birch saplings coming out of the peat dome in Portmoak Moss.

We marked national nest box week in February with a day involving the whole of Portmoak Primary School. We had initially hoped to attract a few children to such an event but head teacher, Louise Gordon, asked if all the pupils could help make and install boxes. Absolutely! 

Nest box

This year the school are celebrating local birds and that ties in with curriculum work on migration and coping with climate, which several classes are doing

Kinross and District Men’s Shed offered to make the nest box kits; bird box experts David and Linda Gibson supervised the design and installation, while members of  our woodland group and staff from Woodland Trust Scotland helped out on the day. 

Nest box building


Teachers, teaching assistants and a number of parents accompanied three groups of children on the walk from the school to the ‘workshop’ in Portmoak Village Hall. Then they watched as teams of us climbed ladders to fix up the boxes. The pupils had decorated them with beautiful pictures of nature, so not only cozy homes for the nesting birds but an art exhibition to enjoy if you’re in Kilmagad Wood.

Nest box installing

It was organised by PCWG member Dave Batchelor, who began to plan the event last summer and was delighted everything worked out: “It was as perfect an example of a whole community coming together as you could imagine. Even the weather cooperated.”

Lunch for the Men’s Shed, et al, was provided by the group - lots of soup and home baking, not to mention hot fruit crumbles (thanks Marje!).

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Portmoak Moss - Woodland Trust

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