The Community Trust purchased the 12.4 hectare woodland from Fife Council in August 2016. Fife Council had created the East Fife Millennium Woodland in 2000 using funding from the National Lottery to buy the site from Mount Melville Estates. In 2015 Fife Council decided that the site was now surplus to needs and decided to sell it off. The Community Council and the Community Trust negotiated a deal that would ensure that the site would remain in the public domain, subsequently, with the generous support of the Trust members, the Trust purchased the site for a nominal price of £500 .
The woodland is predominately self -seeded birch which has established itself since the great storm of 1968, which destroyed most of the original spruce woodland. The remainder of the original woods can be seen on the east side of the road. The Forestry Commission has described the Bishop’s Wood as one of the best examples of natural birch woodland in Fife and a rich habitat for flora and fauna.
A memorial erected in 1877, to mark the murder of Archbishop Sharp by Covenanters in 1679, is located on the west side of the woodlands, close to grave site memorial for the covenanters executed for the murder. This site is located some 20 yards into the field on the western perimeter of the woods.
The Trust was fortunate that Tony Wilson, who had been involved in the creation of the Millennium Woodland, was able to take on the role of woodland manager. Tony, a lecturer at Elmwood College, Cupar, is able to use the woodland as an outdoor classroom for his students. The Trust is very appreciative of the work carried out by the students as part of their woodland management studies.
With the financial support of St. Andrews Community Trust we have created an educational area in the south western area of the woods. Local nursery and primary school groups and the college students make use of this facility throughout the year.
We have formed a wood fuel group to log the windblown trees. We store the bagged logs until they are dried out and these can be purchased during the winter.
Once the current Covid restrictions are lifted we shall be able to arrange for our volunteer groups to assist in the reinstatement of some of our footpaths, which have been damaged in recent storms. We continue to seek financial support from various sources to cover the costs of this maintenance.
Link to The Hoverflies of Magus Muir
The Trust is grateful for the assistance it receives from the members to maintain and develop this valuable community asset.