Stewarton Woodlands Action Trust (SWAT), is a voluntary community organisation with charitable status. Its membership is made up of people from varying walks of life, and of varying ages, but all with the same goal, which is to preserve the woodlands and parks of Stewarton for all to enjoy. To date we have provided, with the aid of grants and donations from various sources, a network of paths around the town, taking in Annick Water and Lainshaw Woods. Cunningham Watt Park has had a much needed facelift making it more user-friendly for anything from dog walking, to a quiet stroll, or even as a short cut to Stewarton Railway Station.
Over the years since SWAT was first started, we have planted hundreds of trees in and around the district, some of which have been paid for by donations from local benefactors. We meet twice a month for ‘work days’, usually on a Sunday morning, and many of our members who are retired, take it upon themselves to do extra tasks during the week, or whenever the need arises. Our main function is to keep the woodland paths and surrounding environments in good repair for all the locals who make so much use of them, and we often have chats with grateful Stewarton residents when they come across us doing our work. Some of our members have taken part in formal training to use certain types of weed killers, or to use chain saws safely, enabling them to do woodland management tasks that would otherwise have to be outsourced.
There is also a social aspect to SWAT, as we have coffee together after our ‘work day’ sessions, and get together at Christmas and also during the summer months for a BBQ. Each member gives as much time as they can afford, and many bring their own personal expertise in matters that concern the work that we do.
We are always looking for new volunteers. Please get in touch if you feel you have some time to offer and would like to become involved in SWAT’s activities.