TCV Citizen Science – new partnership with Young Scot and #iwill

TCV has joined the Young Scot Rewards Programme and #iwill campaign by making committed #iwill pledges of support and offering Young Scot opportunities to make a difference across Scotland.

#iwill is a national campaign that aims to make social action part of life for as many young people as possible by the year 2020. This UK wide campaign aims to encourage and empower more young people to make a difference to their community and to causes they care about through activities such as volunteering, fundraising, campaigning and mentoring.

Young Scot is the national youth information and citizenship charity. Young Scot provide young people, aged 11 – 26, with a mixture of information, ideas and incentives to help them become confident, informed and active citizens. Recognising and increasing social action amongst young people is a vision shared by Young Scot, and the #iwill campaign.

About Young Scot Rewards

Rewards is a pioneering and well established digital programme comparable to loyalty models used by the private sector. Rewards provides over 69,000 young people across Scotland with equal access to incredible, positive opportunities, recognising their valuable contributions both nationally and locally, and celebrating their achievements.

We have introduced the concept of Citizen Science to the Young Scot audience and signpost them to get actively involved.

You can do two Young Scot Citizen Science activities through interactive online activities here to earn points here:

Read: What is Citizen Science?

Photo - READ activity

Watch: Citizen Science in Communities

Photo - WATCH activity

Community Rewilding in Action!

It’s been a busy couple of months for the Community Rewilding project across Glasgow and the Clyde Valley…

 

‘Rewild the Child’ – Back in April, 6 children went WILD at Faifley Knowes in Clydebank. They successfully charmed some worms out of the ground with their worm dancing, found lots of bugs and beasties and made mini bug homes which they took home for the bugs in their gardens. The children loved playing dens inside a bush while looking for bugs and burnt off lots of energy running around pretending to be worms being chased by a bird.

Looking for worms with Natural Networks Trainee Emma

Looking for worms with Natural Networks Trainee Emma

‘Go Wild in Your Garden’ – The people of Yoker were invited to find out about lots of ways they could rewild their gardens, balconies and window sills at the end of April. Lots of people came along to the event and made recycled bird feeders, hunted for bugs outside and made wildflower seed bombs to deploy when they got home.

Discovering the inhabitants of the community garden in Yoker

Discovering the inhabitants of the community garden in Yoker

Volunteers at Faifley Knowes – The Glasgow midweek volunteer group have also been busy rewilding the project’s flagship site in Clydebank, Faifley Knowes. Along with the help of a hardworking local resident, in the last month we have cleared a blocked burn, created 65m2 of wildflower meadow pockets, widened stretches of paths and replaced a set of rotting timber steps. We’ve also had all of the seasons needing woolly hats one week and sun hats the next!

Timber steps before and after - WOW!

Timber steps before and after – WOW!

Greenock Green Gym – A brand new shiny Green Gym has started at Coves Reservoir in Greenock and the group is steadily growing in numbers and confidence as we discover more about the nature at Coves while getting a bit of exercise and having a good old natter each week. So far the group have learnt to ID and record a variety of plant and animal species, collected bags full of litter, cleared sections of overgrown path and next week we are exploring the site through the lens as we embark on some nature photography. Fingers crossed for sunshine…we’ve been very lucky so far!

 

Views over Coves Reservoir, the Clyde estuary and the mountains beyond

Views over Coves Reservoir, the Clyde estuary and the mountains beyond

Finally, a hard working group of students from St Columba’s High School in Gourock took on the challenge of reclaiming some very overgrown paths at Gourock Park to ensure visitors can access the woodland areas of the park. With mission accomplished at Gourock Park, in the afternoon the group teamed up with the Green Gym at Coves Reservoir and cleared some path edges, collected up lots of litter and recorded some interesting plants and animals too. (Lesser butterfly orchid, azure damselflies, 4 different bees, 3 butterfly species and even a tiny wee froglet!). The students agreed it was hard work but they really enjoyed it (and it was better than being in class!).

Team work makes the dream work

St Columba’s High School  + Green Gym… Team work makes the dream work!

 

Coming soon to a greenspace near you…

  • Faifley Family Nature Day, Faifley Knowes, Clydebank – Saturday 2nd of July
  • Volunteering days at Knightswood Park, Yoker – June 30th, July 7th, 14th and 21­st
  • Green Gym at Coves Reservoir, Greenock – Tuesday afternoons May the 31st – July 19th
  • Rewild the Child sessions during the summer holidays – Faifley Knowes 9th July, Knightswood Park date TBC

 

Want to get involved or find out more? Please contact Rebecca Strofton on r.strofton@tcv.org.uk or 0141 552 5294.

 

The Community Rewilding Project is funded by The Robertson Trust and the Glasgow & Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership (GCVGNP).

Balsam Bashing…..

…well, not really bashing, more like gently pulling the balsam out of the riverside.

Today the TCV Stirling Midweek Group was out at Muiravonside again, no not more rhododendron removal, this time we were pulling Himalayan Balsam from it’s cosy nooks in the banks of the river.

This plant is extremely invasive and a non-native to boot! It can spread extremely quickly over large areas of land and out competes the native plants. The Himalayan Balsam is an annual plant usually found near rivers, meaning that it grows very quickly once spring comes then flowers and drops its seeds before dying back in the winter. This means that any river bank it’s found on can experience severe erosion during the winter as there’s nothing holding onto the earth.

The best way to remove Himalayan Balsam from a site is to hand pull it during set times every year over several years after the plant has grown enough to identify it, but before it actually flowers and drops its seeds. So around May-July (ish!). This ensures that no seeds can disperse to make next year’s crop of plants (each plant can produce up to 200!) and is an easy, if time consuming, way of removing the plants from the site.

It’s pretty easy to identify by its three leaf arrangement and you may even see a tinge of pink around the leaves, and more often around the base of the plant near the roots.

We had a good day removing all the Balsam we could find from part of the riverside at the Country Park and as always met some nice dogs, saw some wonderful wildlife and had a well deserved cup of tea! We always welcome new volunteers and if you’d like to join us click on this link to #JoinInFeelGood!