Stewarton Woodlands Action Trust
Stewarton Woodlands Action Trust (SWAT), is a voluntary community organisation with charitable status. Its membership is made up of volunteers from varying walks of life but all with the same goal, which is to conserve, regenerate and promote the restoration of predominantly native woodlands in the geographical area of Stewarton.
Since SWAT was established, its volunteers have planted hundreds of trees in and around the district, some of which have been paid for by donations from local benefactors. SWAT is a member of the Community Woodlands Association.
We meet twice a month for ‘work sessions’, usually on a Sunday morning. Several of our volunteers who are retired also take it upon themselves to do extra tasks during the week, or whenever the need arises.
Some of our volunteers have been formally trained and are qualified to use approved herbicides to manage invasive species, or to use chain saws safely, enabling them to do woodland management tasks that otherwise might need to be outsourced.
There is also a social aspect to SWAT, as we have refreshments together after each of our regular ‘work sessions’, and get together at Christmas and also during the summer months for a barbecue.
We’re always looking for new volunteers. Please get in touch if you have some time to offer and would like to become involved in SWAT’s activities. Prospective volunteers are very welcome to come to any of our regular ‘work sessions’ that are normally scheduled for the second and fourth Sunday mornings of each month.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How old is SWAT?
A: The charity was formally registered with Companies House on 21 July 2004. It was subsequently converted to a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) on 24 May 2017. SWAT will have its 20th anniversary in 2024.
Q. Why do the Facebook links on the SWAT Information Panels for the Lainshaw Woods Nature Trail no longer work?
A: SWAT’s original Facebook page experienced issues and it was decided to create a new page, with a different web address, rather than reinstate the original page. Consequently, all references to the old Facebook page no longer work and all memberships of the associated Facebook Group disappeared. The new Facebook page was created on 28 February 2023 and can be found at https://www.facebook.com/groups/208326808405159 It is anticipated that corrections to the Nature Trail Panels and other affected materials will be made in due course. Please accept our apologies for any confusion or inconvenience caused. Anyone who was a member of the old Facebook Group, and whose membership suddenly vanished, is welcome to apply to join the Group associated with the new page.
Q: Who manages SWAT?
A: The charity is managed by a board of trustees, all of whom are unpaid volunteers.
Q: What is the address of SWAT’s official website?
A: The charity’s official website can be found at https:\\www.stewartonwoodlands.co.uk. A previously used domain name alias, swat.org.uk, is no longer in use as of 2nd November 2023.
Q: How is SWAT funded?
A: We get funds from donations by individuals, local businesses and from our own fund-raising activities, e.g., the sale of SWAT calendars, Christmas cards, fruit jams and jellies, bird-boxes, etc. SWAT is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organization (SCIO).
Q: What are the Stated Aims of the Charity?
A: The charity’s officially declared purposes are:
- To conserve, regenerate and promote the restoration of predominantly native woodlands in the geographical area of Stewarton as an important part of Scotland’s native environment for the benefit of the public.
- To advance education for the public benefit concerning the natural environment of the area of Stewarton.
Q: When are the regular, scheduled ‘work sessions’?
A: The ‘work sessions’ are noted on the SWAT calendar and are normally on the 2nd and 4th Sunday mornings of each month from 9.30 am to 11.30 a.m., followed by hot refreshments at the SWAT shipping containers. Please note that this may change around the Christmas, New Year and Easter holiday periods.
Q: Where do you meet for ‘work sessions’?
A: We have shipping containers at the western end of the paved lane that runs parallel to and to the north of Montgomerie Drive. The shipping containers are on the right-hand verge just before the lane turns left and down to the entrance of Scottish Water’s Treatment Plant.
Q: When and where are regular organisational meetings held?
A: Meetings to discuss current and future activities are normally held on the last Monday of each month commencing at 7.30 pm and usually lasting until around 9.00 pm. Venues vary but have recently included the Cabin at the Stewarton Allotments and the meeting rooms at the rear of John Knox Parish Church in High Street, Stewarton. (It is hoped that the recently constructed ‘Hub’ building at Stewarton Cross may also become a suitable venue for future meetings.)
Q: When is SWAT’s AGM?
A: It usually takes place in March each year. After a firm date is fixed this is normally intimated on this website, on our Facebook page, and in an email to volunteers.
Q: Why haven’t I received any reply to an email to SWAT that I sent a few days ago?
A: Sometimes incoming emails are incorrectly flagged as SPAM by our email system and, as a result, can be overlooked temporarily. For urgent matters please phone using the details provided on our Contact page.
Q: Does SWAT own Lainshaw Woods?
A: No. The woods are the property of local landowners. SWAT owns no land.
Q: Is there a membership fee to ‘join’ SWAT?
A: No. There is no fee to become a SWAT volunteer.
Q: Are there any employment vacancies at SWAT?
A: No. SWAT is managed and operated by volunteers. It has no employees.
Q: How do I make a donation to SWAT?
A: Please get in touch with the trustees using the details shown on our Contact page. Other ways of supporting SWAT include buying our annual SWAT calendar and using easyfundraising.org.uk to generate donations from retailers when shopping online.