Guided Walk at St Abb’s Head

Saturday 10th June 10.20 – 3.00

A walk on the National Trust’s St Abb’s Head reserve to look for flora and birdlife. Good paths but some steep sections – a good level of fitness is required. Call for car share details. Meet at the visitor centre next to the car park (NT913674). Venue charges an addmission fee: adult £5.00, child £3.00.

Contact Peter Bain 0131-447 8937

Linlithgow Seed Potato Day

In February SWT had a presence at Linlithgow’s Seed Potato Day.  Burgh Beautiful and Transition Linlithgow are promoting the use of peat-free compost and calling on gardens to help protect the environment.  From June TL will have a bed in the centre of the town ‘Protecting our Peatlands’.  Do visit the town and see its excellent hanging baskets, all with peat-free compost, and its many colourful and creative barrels and beds.  Burgh Beautiful has taken on all of West Lothian Council planters and beds and is always looking for more volunteers to help add to the wildlife aspects of this historic town.Averil Stewart


Fancy taking part in a Bioblitz?

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture is situated on farmland just outside Edinburgh near Ingliston and they’re looking for your help! They’re hoping to carry out a Bioblitz (or an intensive survey over the course of the day to record all forms of biodiversity they can manage e.g. insects, birds, plants, fungi) one weekend in late August or early September. Expert and amateur volunteers are welcome to help build a picture of the biodiversity present on the site. If you’d like to take part or want more information please email

Bass Rock Trip

Sat 28th May 10:30 (TBC) to 15:00 – Sea Bird Centre & Bass Rock
Visit to Seabird Centre, North Berwick and boat trip to Craigleith and Bass Rock. The boat trip is likely to last around 1 hour. The start time is TBC, depending on the tides and schedule.  Cost approx £20 for boat trip and day ticket to sea bird centre.  Please contact Gordon Swann soon on 0131 334 4769 as places are in short supply on weekends and are going fast.

Walks in Dalkeith Oaks

Take a walk in the Oak Wood in Dalkeith Country Park with artist Anne Gilchrist.

Dalkeith Country ParkSee the landscape in a new way by coming across site-specific paintings, which were
created in this woodland. Dalkeith Country Park 3

Dalkeith Country Park 2Get closer to nature – discover how a landscape is made up of many details, which come together and are interconnected.

Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th April 2016 – 2pm-5pm on both days – Cost: £12 (£8)
Walk is over rough ground. Wear clean outdoor footwear, warm clothing and bring waterproofs.  Tea/coffee will be provided. No dogs. Children over the age of 10 (this is primarily intended as an event for adults).

To book a place ring 07955193160 or e-mail

22nd & 23rd January Collections

Dear Volunteers
I am delighted to report that 22nd & 23rd January collections at Tesco Colinton brought in the grand total of £857.38.  The Friday was such a filthy day not surprisingly there were fewer shoppers and donations less (£388.92).  However the following day was so much milder that there was almost £80 more (£468.46).  A few membership leaflets were given out and the hand puppets certainly entertained many of the shoppers besides children.  A very worthwhile couple of days.
A big thank you to those who gave up a couple of hours to raise much needed funds which help sponsor the lecture programme and help with management on local nature reserves such as Bawsinch and Petershill, Bathgate.
I hope to receive a couple more dates from Tesco HQ and elsewhere and will be in touch again.
Meantime we have held 11 days in this financial year and raised £4641.96, a marginal average drop from last year.
Again many thanks, warm regards and all the best for 2016
Averil Stewart

Linlithgow’s Nuthatch – is this a first?

On retiring in 2002 it was a great delight to linger over dishes when really watching birds at our feeders in the back garden. I wrote then for LT about the joy of watching a tree creeper on our splendid Betula albo-sinensis.

In September 2015 these delights were surpassed by what became almost daily sightings of a Nuthatch. It made frequent visits at different times of day and was last seen in late October.

Checking out with the Scottish Ornithologists Club reveals that the recently published 2013 Lothian Bird Report says there were only six Nuthatch reported for West Lothian that year, five of which were at Hopetoun House. In East and Midlothian it is widespread. But in West Lothian, Allan Finlayson of Lothian Bird News confirms the Nuthatch is still a rarity, although he heard one calling in Wester Shore Wood, Blackness, on 24 August. Gavin Stewart also heard one at Abercorn on 1 October.

Please keep your eyes open for this delightful little bird with slate back and buff belly, sharp beak and eye-stripe. Be enchanted by the way it hangs upside down when feeding, and do note that sunflower hearts seem to be irresistible.

Averil Stewart

Entertaining and Educational Evening in Linlithgow

There was a good turnout for the lecture at Linlithgow Burgh Halls on Tuesday evening. The two speakers gave an insight into the issues faced in reviving waterways; recovering from our industrial past while not ignoring current pollution causes, with particular focus on invasive species.

Alison Baker from the River Forth Fisheries Trust gave us an informative talk on the issues seen in the Forth area. Harry Millar from the River Avon Federation focused on waterways local to Linlithgow, presenting inspiring images of the recovery of the River Avon.

This was a fundraising event run jointly with Linlithgow’s Burgh Beautiful – Linlithgow won a silver gilt in Britain in Bloom last year when representing Scotland in the ‘town’ category. The sum of £167.32 was raised in total when divided between the Scottish Wildlife Trust and Burgh Beautiful, means that both organisations are the better of by £83.66.

Thanks to all involved in the organisation and delivery of an excellent lecture in an ideal venue.

Chris Davidson