Onthank Community Woodland "The Foxes"
The area known as 'The Foxes' lies within the residential area of Onthank on the Northern edge of Kilmarnock.
Parking: Freely available in close walking distance to the site.
Formal access exists in the form of a path network for which resurfacing
work is imminent, following a successful funding
application to the Big Lottery Fund. A green path network will also be created to allow further access for recreation, wildlife
watching, education and nature study.
The site is surrounded by amenity grassland and housing and is an establishing
woodland with many native species such
as rowan, ash, hazel, oak, silver birch and gean. The woodland has been subject to vandalism in the past with some incidents of fly tipping.
Due to the
number of schools and nurseries that have easy access to the site, after initial
discussions, East Ayrshire Woodlands
and Onthank Nursery worked together to complete a funding application for stage one of the improvements to have the path network
resurfaced together with motorbike / quad bike inhibitors installed, again by East Ayrshire Woodlands.
aspirations: Onthank nursery have
two members of staff at an advanced stage of forest school level 3 leader training,
with several other members of staff and other schools also having completed the level 1 course. As East Ayrshire Woodlands Community
Woodland Officer, Mark Davies is both leading on forest school development within Ayrshire and also progressing through the level 3
leader training, it was felt that the woodland would be a perfect place to also develop further for outdoor education and forest school.
Forest School level 1 & 3 leader training, May 2011 at Craufurdland Estate
We also intend
to improve the biodiversity along path edges and in open areas with carefully
selcted sowing and planting of native and
suitable wildflower species that are appropriate and suited to the site.
We hope to
create a vibrant, aesthetically pleasing community site, rich in wildlife that
the community feel a sense of ownership about,
enjoy, explore and conserve. We also see it as a perfect place to hold small community training events, giving local people the opportunity
to learn new crafts and traditional skills, for which we will seek further funding.
If all develops
well, we would also like to consider small areas of interpretation, feature
entrances and seating should we all consider
worthwile and appropriate.
We wish to
turn this page into an interactive resource for all that will be happening at
the community woodland, with local
people and the nursery / schools contributing with news, photos and updates.
Selected Bird Species:
Woodlands will be carrying out bird surveys in the very near future to provide
an idea of the species
presently using the woodland but due to the mixed and varied nature of the woodland, the habitat provides a home for
a tuneful and colourful range of bird species, something we hope to interpret further in the future.
Blackbird Goldfinch Blue tit Bullfinch
Greenfinch Robin Song thrush Wren
Other wildlife species, photos and information to be added very soon..............
August 2011 Update
Work to resurface
the path network has started at the community woodland. It is hoped that it
will be completed
by monday 29th August and will be a considerable improvement.
Please follow the signs and instructions if you are walking the paths while work is being carried out.
Phase 1 - Completed Pathworks
Next steps were the
installation of motorbike inhibitors, definition and clearance of a new forest
area for the local schools and nursery, installation of new carved benches and signs and a small opening