Join in this years Great British Beach Clean!

Every year, The Marine Conservation Society runs the UK’s biggest beach clean and Citizen Science survey – The Great British Beach Clean!

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There is an unacceptable amount of litter and waste in our oceans which is having a devastating effect on our wildlife. Many animals such as whales, turtles, sharks, seals, birds, and dolphins, are accidentally eating or becoming entangled in rubbish which all too often leads to their death.

Plastic never truly biodegrades, its takes thousands of years to break down and even then it doesn’t really every disappear; it just becomes little pieces floating in the sea. In some areas of the ocean it is thought that tiny pieces of plastic outnumber plankton 26:1. These plastic pieces, and the toxins within them, are ingested by animals and bio-accumulate in their bodies, they are then magnified up the food chain and humans now have plastic toxins in their bodies from eating seafood.

That is just some examples of how plastic is ruining our planet, and the huge scale of this problem is often only demonstrated when litter is washed ashore on our beaches. It is estimated that 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the ocean every year. To say the statistics are depressing would be a massive understatement, but there is something you can do to help!

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The Great British Beach Clean, which runs from the 16th – 19th September, is more than just a litter pick. By recording what type of litter you find and where, with as much detail as possible, conservationists can work out where the litter is coming from and what needs to be done where to minimise damage and identify large waste producing areas and industries.

Events are happening all over the country! In the central belt we have:

Cramond in Edinburgh on the 17th of Sept at 10am: http://www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch/beach/cramond/event/2016-09-17

Tentsmuir Point NNR on  the 17th of Sept at 11am: http://www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch/beach/tentsmuir-point-national-nature-reserve/event/2016-09-17

More events to follow

Take a look on the Marine Conservation Society’s website to find a beach clean and survey near you or how to organize your own one!

http://www.mcsuk.org/beachwatch/greatbritishbeachclean

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Best of luck and happy beach cleaning!

 

Dogwood Demolition at Danskine Loch

As July came to an end we said a fond farewell to Danskine Loch, a site that the Edinburgh Midweek Group volunteers have been at almost every week since February in conjunction with Scottish Natural Heritage.

It’s a beautiful secluded Site of Special Scientific Interest near Gifford and was designated as an SSSI due to its large fen woodland and open freshwater – habitats which are rare in East Lothian. Unfortunately invasive dogwood had grown at the edge of the loch and had developed into dense thickets which smothered the native plant life, altered the wildlife habitats and reduced the flow into the loch.
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Our volunteers have been working hard to rid the loch of this pesky dogwood, using loppers and bow-saws to chop it down and then (the fun bit!) burning it in large bonfires. It was hard but satisfying work and the interesting fen woodland has finally re-emerged from behind the ‘red sea’ of dogwood. pic 2

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Thankfully we were blessed by some beautiful, warm sunny days more recently but as we started work in February, we also had some rather cold, wet and wintry days to contend with. pic4

However, nothing can dampen the spirits of our dedicated and enthusiastic team of hard-working volunteers (as long as there’s a well stocked tea and biscuit kit to keep them going of course!).

Mind the GAP! TCV’s Gartnavel Green Activity Project goes live!

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TCV Scotland is starting work on a new and exciting project at Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow… The Gartnavel Green Activity Project will be working with patients, staff, visitors and the local community to promote the incredible health benefits of the great outdoors.

Gartnavel Hospital campus is made up of several major hospitals and smaller specialist units. The oldest buildings on the site (East and West Houses) were built in 1842 as a pioneering psychiatric hospital set in 66 acres of ground. There was also a working farm at Gartnavel up until the 1960s which provided food for the hospital kitchens and a space for meaningful work and therapeutic activity for patients.

Through the Gartnavel Green Activity Project, TCV will be promoting and developing the existing green spaces and offering an exciting range of new outdoor activities which will help maintain the Gartnavel campus as a welcoming and attractive environment for both people and wildlife.

willow arch in walled garden smallThe Walled Garden

We’ve got loads of great things planned, including:
– delivering a regular Green Gym at Gartnavel, offering locals and people from further afield the chance to get involved in practical volunteering
– providing opportunities for staff, patients and visitors to enjoy the hospital grounds, such as through a programme of themed walks
– coordinating The Growing Spaces – a flagship project of Glasgow Royal Hospital’s ‘Art in the Gart’ (a programme which supports the delivery of meaningful, therapeutic and creative activity for mental health recovery and wellbeing)
– launch of the “Keep Out” campaign, which will encourage staff to take a step outside at lunch time and after work

flowersPlants for the Growing Spaces

This project is funded by the Green Exercise Partnership, which is made up of the Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and NHS Health Scotland. The Green Exercise Partnership has been carrying out environmental improvements on site for over two years, and we are now on board to deliver exciting events to engage people in the new green infrastructure.

Finally, a date for your diary…come along to ‘Over the Wall’, the annual neighbourhood festival with something for all the family, which is taking place at Gartnavel on Saturday 27th August from 1-5pm!

If you’d like to find out more about the project or get involved by volunteering on practical tasks or helping organise and run events, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact Melanie Hall on m.hall@tcv.org.uk or 07977406900