Stewarton Woodlands Action Trust

Latest News

Spot-spraying of Giant Hogweed

SWAT’s 2021 programme of treating Giant Hogweed with herbicide is well underway. Trained sprayers have been working along the Clerkland Burn and Annick water, and within Lainshaw Woods. ‘Caution’ signs are displayed to alert walkers to when the spot-spraying is in progress near pedestrian paths.

Giant Hogweed is a non-native invasive species and its sap can cause significant injury to people and pets. Find out more about the dangers of Giant Hogweed here and in these recent Daily Record news articles:

SWAT Calendar – July 2021 Sponsor

Thanks to Bonnellie Opticians for sponsoring this month’s page in the SWAT Calendar.

Litter Picking and Rubbish Removal

In a couple of recent SWAT workdays we’ve focused on removing rubbish from Annick Water and adjacent areas in Lainshaw Woods. The collected waste was uplifted promptly by the Outdoor Services team from East Ayrshire Council.

Story-Telling Seat in Lainshaw Woods

On 11th April, a storytelling chair and associated ‘toadstool’ seating were in installed in the Woods, in the area opposite the allotments. The chair and ‘toadstools’ were paid for by a fundraising campaign by two local mums (pictured) last year.

Annual General Meeting

SWAT’s latest Annual General Meeting was held on Monday, 29th March using the online Zoom service.

Frog Spawn – Annick District

Viable spawn laid towards the end of March is now beginning to develop.

Frog spawn laid in Annick District in March 2021.

A New Way to Donate

There’s a new way for you to help SWAT raise funds when doing online shopping, at no extra cost to yourself. It’s the retailers who give us the money, but you have to choose for it to come to us. Visit to find out more.

SWAT’s Background and Aims

SWAT is a voluntary environmental group made up of people from all over Stewarton. It began in March 2004, after some initial work by East Ayrshire Woodlands and Lainshaw Residents Association identified the need and the opportunity.

Although the name includes ‘Woodlands’, the group has an interest in preserving and maintaining all the natural sites throughout Stewarton, including rivers and riverbanks, meadows and open ground, and all the flora and fauna that are part of them.

The group’s aims are to improve and regenerate the natural environment of Stewarton. This will have the effect of making the town a more attractive place to live or to visit, and also improve opportunities for people to make use of and enjoy the countryside for leisure and exercise. The improvement of natural habitats to encourage native wildlife and bio-diversity, and the availability of the habitats as an educational resource, will be important for present and future generations.


  • Maintaining paths and steps
  • Removing trees and branches that, as a result of rot or weather damage, could pose a hazard to walkers
  • Planting of appropriate trees, flowering plants and other vegetation
  • Litter-picking
  • Helping to manage non-native, invasive plant species (NNIS) and prevent their spread
  • Promoting awareness of the local woods and natural environment
  • Maintaining drainage channels and ditches
  • Installing and updating signage
  • Making bird boxes for installation in and around the woods and for sale to raise funds for the charity.

If you are local to the Stewarton area and want to get involved, or learn more about our activities, please contact us.