2021 County Report for Mid Perthshire

Jim McIntosh & Alistair Godfrey

Vice-county Annual Report 2021, contribution for Mid-Perthshire from Alistair Godfrey

Before the growth season got underway, I explored an area of woodland between Redgorton and Inveralmond where a large area of woodland was destroyed for a local authority roads project.  Our language should not be faint-hearted in defending our precious environment.

The major tree composition was, as elsewhere in the area; mature Quercus robur (Pedunculate Oak) Q. petraea (Sessile Oak) and their hybrid Q. rosacea.  In addition to planted trees, this is the only location where spontaneous hybrids were seen.

Mapped in 1783, this woodland is included in the Ancient Woodland Inventory (AWI) as Long-established woodland of plantation origin. Jeanette Hall, working for SNH, pointed out many such woodlands “may be as rich as Ancient Woodland”.

I studied all of the wider woodland and wetland area in 2016/17; documenting and circulating the results in 2018.  I recorded 58% of AWI indicators present in Carol Crawford’s list.

In conversation, the local authority’s head consultant for the project brushed these values aside; contrary to the aims of Scottish Planning Policy and the Scottish Government’s Policy on Woodland Removal.  Do our woodlands have any protection?

There is oak woodland behind my home of 18th/19th century origin. It has acquired a ground flora in parts from local gardens, although some origins may result from an adjacent waste site. I recorded Cyclamen Coum (Eastern Sowbread) in March for the first time and in the following month a solitary Erythronium californicum flowered for the fifth year.

Other woods recorded were: Buckie Braes, Perth; Baldarroch, Murthly; Keltneyburn SSSI and Coldrochie near Battleby.  Two woods at Methven were studied with other BSBI members for floral contrasts and similarities.  Results can be read at https://bsbi.org/perthshire. Also available are the results and records of a survey of the banks of the River Tay from Luncarty to Inveralmond. Further north, the banks of the river were recorded at Kercock with Leslie Tucker, as at other sites.

Alistair Godfrey 05/02/2022