Capercaillie in Deshar Woods

Caper HeadAfter spending the winter in the Community Garden, our Capercaillie sculpture was placed in the centre of Deshar Wood after the woodland had had its second thinning.

It was made in local wood, notably the tail constructed in Rowan and put together by sculpturer Kevin Blackwell and the children of Deshar Primary School.

He greets visitors, locals and dog walkers at the center crossroads to their surprise, helping to increase awareness of the Capercaillie that inhabit these woods.

Boat13 041Caper Sculpt.

The sculpture is of a male Capercaillie with its fanned tail and its head raised in a slightly aggressive pose, which is the way they behave during “Lekking”. During April and May these birds have been “Leing” in the Boat Woodlands and therefore it is very important to adhere to the seasonal signage within the sensitive areas. If you see the sculpture on your walk this means that you are in the centre of the sensitive area- please keep your dogs under close control or preferably on a short lead.

Caper at center

boat4 011The Boat Community Company were hosts to a group of Norweigen National Park board members. They met local members and saw all the efforts the community have put into improving the village and their relationships with the CNPA.

After a great lunch I gave them a guided walk through the Deshar Woodlands in great weather. We exchanged ideas and experiences, and discussed management issues in woodland. Excluding this Norweigen group I have had 23 people on scheduled guided walks in April.


Over 4000 tonnes of timber were extracted out of  Deshar Woodlands over the winter months. After some disruption and a dry winter, the tracks have been reinstated and are in good condition, but not everywhere. Repairs will continue after the Capercaillie breeding period.

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Juniper and Holly have been stratigically planted at the side of footpaths in order to provide natural screening in areas where it is too open. As well as being native, seedlings they will provide good cover from the paths for the Capercaillie. Over 1500 saplings have been planted by Seafield Estate.

Boat13 023   I eventually found this Opal Olympia 1950’s ? after two seasons looking. Very well hidden in a hollow with Scots Pine seedlings taking root on the bonnet. Research has not uncovered the truth of this left hand drive vehicle and when,how and who bogged it down so long ago, quite possibly before the forest was planted,1964.

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This is the second bag of rubbish that I retrieved from the Deshar Woodlands this month, but this was after 6 months leave, so not so bad. Dog Poo signs have recently been posted as there were comments on the number of “doggy bags” left in the woodland. An improvement has been noted by locals.


Boat13 059  On the 20th April our new playground was opened at the community hall. There were many activities for the children – one of which was  a Den building session which I ran with the help of Bodger the Badger and Cyril the Squirrel!


Walks will recommence on Thursday 30th May at 11:00, then every Monday/Thursday thereafter at 10:30am/11:00am respectively.

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