Holidaying around Hawick
So to avoid being in Tim’s bad books I took a weeks holiday in May and as luck would have it one of the best weather wise. Even on holiday though, a Natural Network Trainee is always on the look out and consequently I was able to capture flora and fauna blossoming and frolicking in the sunshine (maybe not from their best side right enough).
My holiday also gave me the opportunity to host Delyth, my fellow Natural Network Trainee based at the Tree Life Centre in Bristol who was up in sunny Ibrox for a First Aid Training course along with Giovanna and Lucy.
Once I was back to work it was full steam ahead with meetings. The first was with Urban Roots to discuss the community engagement techniques they use to connect with hard to reach groups and sustain their projects. This then led me to visit the Ibrox Flower Field Garden, a green oasis just minutes from my own home.
Tim then gathered the Scottish based Natural Network Trainees in Edinburgh at the spiritual settings of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre. We discussed our progress so far, our levels of community engagement and potential project ideas.
I then met with representatives from the John Muir Award to discuss with them the best means of reflecting John Muir Award criteria in any potential projects I may run in a bid to enhance employability opportunities in Inverclyde, Clydebank and Yoker.
Meeting with representatives from the John Muir Award also gave me some greater insight into helping co-lead my first secondary school session. Along with my fellow trainees Jess and Lucy we were recruited to help Hyndland Secondary with their John Muir Award Day. In a bid to help discover and conserve their local wild spaces we ran environmental activities focusing on lichens as air quality indicators and the benefits of bugs and beasties.
We then joined forces again with the TCV Glasgow midweek group at Faifley. On this occasion our mission was to create some wildflower meadows on a former sports court which had grassed over. It’s hoped that not only will the wildflowers add a splash of colour but also become a haven for bees and butterflies and so improve biodiversity.
I have also assisted TCV with their Bird Song and Summer Tree ID session run as part of the Falkirk Nature-Fest
At TCV’s Introduction to OPAL training session held at Jupiter Wildlife Centre I helped with a number of OPAL surveys including the one on Water Quality and the new Pollinator survey. Alas no bees or butterflies were spotted but we did see a caterpillar.
Jupiter is also a great place to spark some home improvement ideas (for beasties at least).
In the next few days I’ll be joining forces with TCV’s Community Rewilding Officer to start our initial Green Gym sessions at Coves Local Nature Reserve and also attending a talk on community growing by The Woodlands Community Garden.
Meantime though I’m off to put into practice the butterfly survey techniques imparted at the Urban Butterfly Workshop at Robroyston. This will include recording the male orange tip I saw on my holidays at St Mary’s Loch.