Community, woodland and squirrels

Sorn Estate

Sorn is a traditional rural estate with in hand and let farming interests, let residential property, renewable energy, sporting, forestry and heritage property.

For many years the estate has entrusted the management of the Walled garden to East Ayrshire Woodlands who have utilised it for a number of purposes including managing a productive willow crop. This provides valuable materials for their education work, building structures, features and sculptures within schools and with their mental health support work, providing therapeutic activities for their support projects.

East Ayrshire Woodlands are a not for profit organisation, and it is vital that they are able to manage their own willow crop as they would not be able to buy in the amount of material that their activities require. They also use the crop as an example of short rotation coppice, with every single stem coppiced each year, between December and April, bundled and the excess material dried correctly for basket making willow.

East Ayrshire Woodlands have also been able to benefit by using areas on the estate for their training programmes from chain saw and chipper courses to cutting and strimming grass. This enables them to introduce students to the machinery and instruct them on how to use the equipment safely.

Adjacent to Sorn Village is Sorn Bank Plantation, this is managed for public access and has a network of paths where villagers and visitors can walk safely, and enjoy the woodland. Managed by Sorn Estate in conjunction with East Ayrshire Woodlands regular visits by Primary School children have become a highlight of school life at Sorn Primary. East Ayrshire Woodlands are qualified Forest School leaders, and as such they have also run Forest School at Sornbank with the Primary School

Although Red Squirrels have unfortunately not been spotted at Sorn for some time, the estate is being proactive in currently controlling grey squirrels and managing habitat to benefit what red squirrels there are in the area.