The Trust has permanent use of land OS NX793 556 known locally as Taliesin near Gelston Village just outside Castle Douglas, Dumfries and Galloway. Taliesin is an ancient woodland site nestling at the foot of Screel Hill with burns, water meadows, several ponds, and approx. 2000 trees planted and tended by Trust members. The Trust runs craft workshops through the year and holds regular festivals, work days and barbeques, and is involved in partnership management with the Forestry Commission on adjoining woodland.
All through the year Taliesin is a haven for walkers, cyclists, campers, forest school activities, young children, cadets and scouts. Visitors enjoy walking in the woodland or sitting in the sun soaking up the myriad of sensations that nature provides. As the woodland develops the biodiversity of the site continues to increase. Violets, bluebells, primrose, bog asphodel, damsel and dragonflies, lizards, toads, frogs, adders and red squirrels proliferate. Raspberries, blackberries, fungi, elderflowers, pig nuts and sheep sorrel satisfy the needs of the hunter gatherer, Taliesin is a place of wonderment, education and discovery.
South West Community Woodlands Trust bought Taliesin in 2008 with help from Awards for All, generous donations from local benefactors and hard work from the committee and the membership. Purchasing Taliesin has secured the future of the community woodland as a hands-on countryside centre where children and adults can learn traditional woodland skills and crafts. Sustainable use of native timber, education in tree planting, grafting, coppicing, survival skills and low impact technologies will all be developed to provide training and employment opportunities. We are in some senses all Children of Tim Stead.
Below is a film about Taliesin that covers some of the history and current activities.