£20,000 woodland project helps create buzz about Moncreiffe Hill trail

One of the bee sculptures.

A Perthshire woodland is buzzing as part of a £20,000 project to improve forests across the region.

As part of the scheme, new artworks have been added to the woodland sculpture trail on Moncreiffe Hill, near Perth.

The carved wooden bees join a treetop fox, spiders and a giant musical dragonfly at the Woodland Trust site.

The sculptures are the work of Kirsty Dalton, a 4th year fine art student at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee.

She created the wooden bees and hive over the summer, turning the bodies on a wood lathe and cutting out the wings before burning in the detail using a heated pen.

Kirsty said: “I chose bees as my project because I wanted to make people aware of insects that are becoming endangered.

“Bees are really important for the environment and we need to pay attention to their situation.

“It’s fantastic to see my work in place among the trees for everyone to see.”

The sculptures have been fashioned from different kinds of wood including yew, oak and silver birch, some of which was sourced from fallen branches from Moncreiffe Hill itself.

Site manager Jill Aitken said: “Thanks to funding from the Gannochy Trust we have been able to make improvements to many of our woods in Perth and Kinross.

“The new sculptures at Moncreiffe make a great addition to the trail and I’m sure they will prove really popular with visitors.”

Other work within the Woodlands of Perthshire project includes restoration of the rare raised bog habitat at Portmoak Moss and a new car park at Huntly Wood, near Dundee.

There have also been path upgrades and the provision of leaflets and information boards across the other sites.

Kirsty is not the first Duncan of Jordanstone student to have her work featured on the trail.

In 2013 Siobhan Morison and Sarah Rychtarova created a curious badger and a log book for the site.

They were joined by a metal sculpture of a pair of deer by Fife blacksmith James Shears.

The three sculptures were funded by a donation from Colin Perry whose late wife, Kate, had a connection to Perth.