Spring has sprung in Edinburgh (amongst other places!)

We’ve been having a busy couple of months with the Edinburgh Midweek Group this season, having completed several projects in and around Edinburgh and the Lothians, as well as a huge display of teamwork and hard work at the Seven Lochs project in Glasgow where we worked alongside the Stirling and Glasgow volunteers for eight weeks!

Team Edinburgh!

Volunteers from Edinburgh, Stirling and Glasgow Mid Week Groups.

Back in February the group started helping out at the beautiful Howden Walled Garden in Livingston. Here our aim was to create an edible walkway around the garden’s walls for the community to enjoy. The first task was to clear the walls and the ground to make room for some fruit trees and bushes – no easy feat! Fortunately someone had kindly left a supermarket trolley in the grounds to help us with the moving!

The volunteers were also kept busy repairing a beautiful walkway made of willow, for the local community to enjoy.

A few weeks later we returned to the garden to plant the fruit bushes; raspberries, gooseberries, cherries and strawberries, among a few others. What a difference!


At the end of February we started work at the Seven Lochs Wetland Park in Glasgow; an urban nature project focused on protecting and enhancing the biodiversity and heritage of the wetland area, as well as providing a space for locals and visitors to enjoy (GCV Green Network Partnership).
Alongside the Stirling and Glasgow teams, our volunteers worked hard over the course of almost two months! We undertook a variety of tasks; preparing the land for wildflower planting, digging ponds and creating water channels, as well as some general woodland management work.

We also worked hard to improve the boardwalk at Hogganfield Park, placing non-slip grip strips (try saying that quickly three times!) along each plank of wood to make it safer for visitors to enjoy the beautiful views over the loch.

Our favourite project (or mine at least!) was helping to create floating bio-havens to sit on top of the loch. These bio-havens were made of recycled materials and adorned with various wetland plants (gathered by our volunteers). They will be providing a key shelter for birds and pond life on the loch.

Across April and May we’ve been doing various bits and pieces of work at the Peebles Community Action Network (CAN) Garden. Our first big job was to help lay the wooden foundations of the new flower beds and path within their brand new poly tunnel.

The next time we visited we spent an amazingly sunny (and very warm!) couple of days building an incredible 16 new raised beds for the garden. It was a brilliant team effort and we had some fantastic help from the local families who would be using the beds, giving them the opportunity to see how they were built and to be part of the building process. Even the little ones were keen to help!


Although we’ve been busy doing work elsewhere, we certainly haven’t forgotten about our local Edinburgh parks!
In the lovely Figgate Park near Portobello our volunteers helped with some path clearance, working to make the stairs safer and more accessible. We were also helping to stabilise the river bank by panting native shrubs and trees, which will also help to increase biodiversity and create wildlife habitats.

We’ve also been busy in Starbank Park this year, working closely with their ‘Friends Of’ group. Some of the tasks we’ve been involved in were neatening their path edges, trimming bed borders, clearing away vegetation in preparation for summer growth, lots and lots of weeding and, of course, the most coveted job; helping to turn and cycle their compost area.

Last but not least, we were in the beautiful Braidburn Valley Park doing path edging. What a difference we made!

It’s been a wonderful and jam-packed few months and we’re all looking forward to spending some more time in the sun (and the rain) over summer!

Kathryn (Volunteer Officer)

‘Top Tips’ for Developing Co-creation and Community Based Environmental Monitoring (CBEM) Citizen Science Projects

‘Top Tips’ for Developing Co-creation and Community Based Environmental Monitoring (CBEM) Citizen Science Projects

‘Co-Creation and Community Based Environmental Monitoring (CBEM) Citizen Science Pilot Projects’ report. This report aims to provide an introduction to Co-creation and Community Based Environmental Monitoring (CBEM) Citizen Science projects. It aims to explain the two types of Citizen Science approach and describe how the approaches have been piloted in Scotland.

Front page full report

We have also created a shorter version of the report ‘Top Tips for Developing Co-creation and Community Based Environmental Monitoring (CBEM)’. This shorter report highlights the main findings and will help communicate what we have learnt through these pilot projects.

Front page 2 pager

Read it here first!

Project Wild Thing!

On National Play Day 2014, the Seven Lochs Wetland Park hosted a children’s nature play afternoon at Bishop Loch local nature reserve. A number of organisations were involved in making the day a success including TCV, Forestry Commission Scotland, Glasgow City Council Ranger Service, Buglife and OPAL. The activities on offer were all aimed at showing children and their parents that there is a wide range of fun things to do in the outdoors, many of which you don’t need any equipment for.

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On the day, around 30 children and their parents came along to take part in shelter building, natural art and bug hunts; with free nature play packs available to take home filled with more fun ideas. Everyone involved had a great time and most went home with handmade tree cookies. In the evening we worked in partnership with PEEK project to host a screening of documentary film Project Wild Thing. We hired a theatre space for the screening and PEEK provided food and drink for everyone. Children and their families were invited from across east Glasgow with many ignoring the rainy weather forecast and taking a bus. Project Wild Thing aims to inspire families to spend more time playing and enjoying the outdoors rather than screen time, judging by how many children were playing tag outside on the grass afterwards it looks like they didn’t need much convincing!

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