Edinburgh Schools

Discussions with three local schools have begun to with the first session taking place at Tollcross PS (intro to John Muir Award and canal session 22 Nov). Most of the sessions at Ratho PS and Canal View PS have not yet been finalised, but are expected to take place in Spring 2017.

Final Survey of 2016

Our October “BeeScene” bumblebee survey saw us welcoming three new volunteers, who remained enthusiastic despite the damp and chilly weather, and the small number of bees we saw. They were keen to learn more about bumblebees and biodiversity on the Union Canal, and to hear about our project, even though this was our last outing for 2016 and we only spotted half a dozen critters to add to our survey record for the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT). As far as our citizen science recording goes, however, these are still valid findings, and reflect the seasonal changes in the bumblebee population everywhere.  Roll on next year, and many thanks to all our amazing volunteers for helping us monitor these endearing VIPs (very important pollinators) of the Canal!  For more information on how you can get involved in bumblebee surveying in your area, check out the BBCT website here: here: http://bumblebeeconservation.org/

The sixth and final wildflower survey on the Canal in Edinburgh was sadly washed out. The weather was so bad that we had to cancel our session to save our volunteers (some of whom travel in every month from out of town) from a soaking or a slippery fall on the towpath.  Despite all of this, six stalwarts turned up at our meeting point, so we dived into the cosy Water of Leith Conservation Trust’s visitor centre for hot drinks and a spot of indoor botanising.   Using our field guides and some dried pressed plant samples, we interrogated the identifying features of the under-recorded downy birch (Betula pubescens), wrangled with (possible) walnut leaves and fruit (Julglans regia) which turned out to be an idiosyncratic horsechestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum). Warm and dry, we hatched plans for our celebration cruise, which will be held jointly with the BeeScene surveyors, on 6 November.   There may be some wild treats in store for all our wonderful volunteers and supporters… Meantime, if you’d like to find out more about the trees we were looking at, check out the highly informative “Discover Trees” pages on the Woodland Trust’s website: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/common-non-native-trees/