Events 2014


Thu 13 Feb – St Abbs
The talk, to be given by Liza Cole, Property Manager / Senior Ranger Naturalist at the National Trust for Scotland’s St Abb’s Head, will introduce you to all the interesting features of this spectacular coastal nature reserve and will cover
everything from the geology to the natural history and history, and also
give you an outline of the work that is carried out to manage the reserve.

Thu 13 Mar – Ash Dieback and other tree diseases
The talk will be given by Professor Stephen Woodward, Aberdeen University.
Professor Steve Woodward will talk about ash dieback caused by a fungus called Chalara fraxinea (C. fraxinea). The disease causes leaf loss and crown dieback in affected trees and usually leads to tree death. In 2012, the pathogen was found in a consignment of infected trees sent to a nursery in Buckinghamshire, England.

Thu 24 Apr – Badger Update and AGM 
The talk will be given by SWT’s Nick Wright at SWT HQ who has had a lot of involvement in the Scottish Beaver Trial.

Tue 16 Sep, 7:30 PM at Linlithgow Burgh Halls – What have the peat bogs ever done for us?
This talk will be given by Clifton Bain, Director IUCN UK Peatland Programme.  Clifton will give a stunning visual presentation on behalf of the SWT 50th Anniversary Celebrations.

For many people, peat means bags of compost or barren, wasteland.  The true importance of peatlands is extraordinary as we begin to appreciate their vital role in providing clean water, homes for wildlife and tackling climate change.  A healthy peatbog is a wonderful mosaic of colourful mosses with unusual plants and rich in bird song.  For centuries we have been damaging these special places without realising that we are losing something valuable.  In a new enlightened era a global initiative to restore peatlands is now underway with the Scottish Wildlife Trust and other conservation partners helping lead the way.  With the help of Scottish Government funds, projects across Scotland from the Flow Country of Caithness and Sutherland to the Lothian ‘mosses’ are bringing life back into these jewels of our countryside.  Entry free but donations invited.

Accessibility via public transport is easy: regular trains from Edinburgh and the X38 Bus goes every 20 minutes between Edinburgh & Stirling.

You are also invited to a quick, cheap and cheerful supper from 6.00pm in the Star and Garter, the restored Hotel beside Linlithgow train station.

Thu 9 Oct – Handa Island: The Highs and Lows
Sven Rasmussen will present a slideshow covering the highlights and low points (and some of the in-between bits) of looking after Handa Island.  This will give a unique, behind-the-scenes look at what’s involved in managing an island reserve in the far northwest of Scotland.

Thu 13 Nov – The Birds of Corstorphine Hill
Ian Moore is a lifelong birder and former amateur warden in Norfolk and Leicestershire. He is out on Corstorphine Hill 2-3 times a day with his dog and has accumulated a good knowledge of the annual cycle over the past 6-7 years. About 80 species can be seen on the hill in the course of a year – an amazing total.

Thu 11 Dec – Wild About Winter
Anna of Floramedica ( will take us on a “virtual forage” to explore the wealth of plants both edible and medicinal to be found on our doorstep – even in winter. We will delve into their history and lore, their uses past and present, and find out what they can contribute to our wellbeing over the long dark months. Although it will be too dark to go outside to see the plants in their natural habitat, Anna will have some lovely slides to show us and some fresh plant specimens for us to examine – and she may have a couple of wee surprises up her sleeve…  these will include something different in the line of festive refreshments!


April 26 at 10.30am
Our regular outing to this waterfowl-rich location, led by Nick Aitken. Meet at Goose Green, end of Balcarres Road, near the mouth of the Esk. (OS Landranger 66: NT 347734)

May 10 at 10:30am
All led by John Harrison, the emphasis of the April visit is bird life, while the July is a mainly moth trapping event: please note the earlier time for the July event. The October event will be a walk and count geese flying in at Aberlady. Meet at Aberlady Reserve Car Park. (OS Landranger 66: NT 472804)

RED MOSS Open Day:
May 18 12am- 5.00pm Guided walks, pond dipping, quizzes and fun for all the family. As in previous years, this is in association with the City of Edinburgh’s Biodiveristy Week.

May 25 11am- 4.00pm Guided walks and entry to the bird hide. Entry is by the wicket gate on Duddingston Road West, south of Duddingston Loch, which gives access to the hide.

BAWSINCH Openings:
2nd Sunday April to October 11.00am to 4.00pm. Free entry but donations are welcome. Open to allow public access to the bird hide and to a nature trail around the reserve.  Entry is by the wicket gate on Duddingston Road West, south of Duddingston Loch, which gives access to the hide.

June 7 10:20am – 3:00pm
As a follow up to our winter talk by Liza Cole, Property Manager / Senior Ranger Naturalist at the National Trust for Scotland’s St Abb’s Head, we will visit the reserve. We will meet Liza at the Reserve Car Park (NT 913 674) at 10.20am to leave at 10.30am. We will walk to the lighthouse at a leisurely pace and arrive there for a picnic lunch. We can eat our lunches overlooking the busiest part of the seabird colony and then walk back to the nature centre via the Mire Loch, arriving back at 2.30-3pm.


August 14 8.45pm Blackford Pond, Edinburgh
Blackford Pond , in Edinburgh, below the Royal Observatory, is one of the few places locally where we can guarantee to see more than one species of bat. On previous walks we have seen pipistrelles and Daubenton’s bats. The bat detectors provided convert the bats’ ultrasonic echo-location calls into audible sound, enabling us to identify different species and to note various behaviour patterns. Meet inside the gate to Blackford Pond on Cluny Gardens at the junction with Oswald Road.
A £3.00 donation to Lothian Bat Group is optional but appreciated. A torch and insect repellent strongly advised. There is no need to book in advance. Children must be over 8.

September 6th 10:30am Goose Green, end of Balcarres Street, Musselburgh. (OS Landranger 66: NT 347734)
Our regular bird watching trip to Musselburgh Lagoons.

October 25th 10:30am The Sutherland Building opposite the visitor centre at Beecraigs.
Meet in Sutherland Building (NT 007746) for a talk and walk on Storm Damage and Forest Management, led by Countryside Ranger, Tracey Smith.  Cost £3.50 per person


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