Events 2015

INDOOR EVENTS 2015

Unless otherwise stated lectures start at 7.30pm on Thursdays and are held at the Guide Headquarters, 33 Melville Street, Edinburgh, EH3 7JF. Admission is free and non members welcome. To arrange disabled access, please contact Karen Pearson on karen.pearson@swtlothians.org.uk before the event.

Thu 12 Feb – Gardening for bees, butterflies and other beneficial bugs
Suzanne Bairner from Buglife (The Invertebrate Conservation Trust)
Invertebrates provide humans with a wide range of free services such as pollination, pest control and nutrient recycling. Many of our pollinators and other beneficial bugs are in decline because of habitat loss, pesticides and other factors. Learn how to help the beneficial bugs in your garden with these top 10 tips and ideas from wildflowers to bug homes.

Contact Karen Pearson (karen.pearson@swtlothians.org.uk)

Thu 12 Mar – Whitesands Quarry Dunbar
Chris Bailey from RSPB
During the past two years RSPB and Lafarge Tarmac have been working together to assess the wildlife potential of Lafarge Tarmac’s Whitesands quarry near Dunbar.  This talk will provide a summary of progress from the development of the Feasibility Study that scoped out the site’s potential for habitat creation/restoration and wildlife viewing to the development of a restoration management plan setting out the longer term aims, objectives and aspirations for the site.

Contact Colin Shepherd (colin.shepherd@swtlothians.org.uk)

Thu 23 Apr – AGM / Water Of Leith
Helen Brown from Water of Leith Conservation Trust will speak about flora and fauna along the water and show us a few photods.  We will also hold our AGM.

Contact Karen Pearson (karen.pearson@swtlothians.org.uk)

Tue 29 Sep 7.30-9pm, Linlithgow Burgh Halls – Reviving Nature’s Arteries
Alison Baker of the River Forth Fisheries Trust and Harry Millar of the River Avon Federation

The River Forth Fisheries Trust was established to advance the environmental protection and improvement of all rivers which enter the Firth of Forth, by conserving, maintaining and restoring freshwater habitats and their native species of freshwater fish. This illustrated talk will encompass a range of programmes, including that for Invasive Non-Native Species, and the recently awarded HLF and SEPA Water Environment Fund support for an exciting project on the Almond and Avon rivers.

The best local example is shown in the River Avon which has undergone a dramatic change in the past twenty-five years. The river was blighted by the various effluents from past industrialisation, to the extent it had been so heavily polluted that it was completely de-oxygenated, resulting in no invertebrates nor fish, and the usual river based bird life was non-existent. However the dedication of members of the River Avon Federation shows how concerted efforts can revive and rejuvenate a truly wild corridor for the benefit of wildlife, anglers and the wider community alike.

Admission free, but this is an information and fundraising event in support of SWT and Linlithgow’s Burgh Beautiful, so donations gratefully received.

River Avon - Autumn

River Avon – Autumn

IMG_3201

River Avon – Winter

Contact Averil Stewart (gaveril.stewart@virgin.net)

Thu 08 Oct – Scotland’s Deep Sea Habitats
Evening lecture on Scotland’s deep sea habitats and their future in a changing ocean. The lecture includes new video footage of deep sea habitats and a demo of ocean acidification in action.

Contact Declan Duffy (07931 015891)

Thu 12 Nov – Natural Flood Management proof of concept on the Eddleston Water
Tweed Forum is the catchment management organisation for the River Tweed, and leads integrated land and water management of the 5000km2 catchment which has over 12,500km of watercourses.  We bring together bodies from both sides of the border with an interest in the management and welfare of the river and its environs. On the Eddleston Water, a 20km long tributary of the Tweed near Peebles, an intensively monitored trial, funded by the Scottish Government, is underway to measure the effects of land use change on flooding. Tweed Forum is coordinating measures which will ‘slow the flow’ of rainfall run-off, and these include riparian tree planting, reconnecting the river with its floodplain, re-meandering straightened rivers and constructing log jams.  This land use change on an upland subcatchment has many other benefits including biodiversity, landscape and carbon sequestration, all within the context of profitable agriculture and forestry.

Contact Colin Shepherd (colin.shepherd@swtlothians.org.uk)

Thu 10 Dec – Ancient Woodlands
Dr John Tullis of Forestry Commission Scotland presents an illustrated talk on Scotland’s iconic native woodlands. His talk will appeal to all who want to learn more about our trees, woods and forests and will cover:
• key native species and the wildlife they support
• the 2014 Native Woodland Survey of Scotland
• native woodland planting and restoration
• resilience to pests, diseases, invasive species and climate change
• the current debate about wild land management

Contact Colin Shepherd (colin.shepherd@swtlothians.org.uk)

OUTDOOR EVENTS 2015

Puffin Viewing Trip to Fidra
Unfortunately this event has had to be postponed to summer 2016.

Saturday 28 March at 7.00amDancing Grebes, Linlithgow
Early morning walk at Linlithgow Loch, led by Gavin Stewart.  We will hopefully see breeding pairs of Great Crested Grebes dancing and displaying in the early morning light, and also hear the dawn chorus of other birds.

Suggested parking – go to west end of Linlithgow High Street, turning right onto A706 to Bo’ness, after 60 metres, turn first right into St Ninian’s Way and down hill into car park on left.  Alternatively, 10 minutes walk from railway station.  Meet at SW corner of Loch at 7 am.  Bring binoculars and warm clothing.  If interested in rounding off the visit with breakfast and more talk at the Stewarts, please let Averil know.  All, including non-members, welcome.

Contact Averil Stewart (gaveril.stewart@virgin.net / 01506 842676)

Sunday 31 May, 12noon to 5.00pmOpen Day, Red Moss Reserve
The Scottish Wildlife Trust will welcome the public to its Red Moss Wildlife Reserve near Balerno in Edinburgh on Sunday 31st May, giving visitors the chance to explore one of the most endangered wildlife habitats in the Scottish countryside. Guided tours will be one of the many free activities that will be on offer throughout the day. This will give people a chance to engage with Scottish wildlife at a rare peatland area.

As a raised bog, Red Moss is one of the few remaining peatlands in Scotland. They are extremely rare wildlife habitats, home to many species that can only live in such environments.

With experts on hand, the Red Moss Open Day is set to reveal secrets behind this special place, with a whole host of activities on offer during this free afternoon. From pond-dipping to a wildlife quiz, visitors will be able to find out more about the plants and animals living there. The reserve is situated just one mile south of Balerno on the north side of the Pentland Hills, 9 miles south-west of Edinburgh and about 1 mile south of Balerno. Car parking is available in Threipmuir Car Park adjacent to Red Moss of Balerno Wildlife Reserve (grid reference OS Landranger, Map 65. NT 164 637).  It is free admission but voluntary contributions are welcomed. It is advised that visitors wear appropriate clothing and be prepared for the weather

Saturday 20 June at 10.30am – Aberlady
Outing to Aberlady Reserve led by Reserve Warden John Harrison, to view summer birds and especially flora, which should be at it’s very best. We meet up in the Reserve Car Park at 10.30am and the event will last approximately 3 hours. Accessible by public transport.  No need to pre-book.

Contact Colin Shepherd (colin.shepherd@swtlothians.org.uk)

23 June, 1st July & 9th July at 7.30pmBadger Walks, Corstorphine Hill
All places on the Badger Walks have been taken.

Sunday 24 May, 28 June, 26 July & 18 October at 2.00pmGuided Walks, Bawsinch Reserve
Meet at the hide via the wicket gate at the corner of Duddingston Road West on the south side of Duddingston Loch. Visitors who have already been on a guided walk will also be welcome to spend time walking round part of the reserve or bird watching from the hide. The reserve will close at 4pm.

Contact Ken Knowles (ken.knowles1@outlook.com)

Saturday 08 August – John Muir Country Park
This is a new venue for us but it promises to be an interesting one, incorporating a range of habitats including salt marsh, dunes, beach and woodland. The walk will be led by Countryside Ranger Tara Sykes and is anticipated to last around 2 hours. Tara will tell us about each of the different habitats and explain the history of the site and its management. At this time of the year we should see much in the way of flora, including Grass of Parnassus, Vipers Bugloss and Strawberry Clover. We may be lucky enough to spot some Cinnabar Moths or at least their caterpillars. There will also be some birdlife, so remember your binoculars.

We will meet up with Tara in the main car park for the Country Park at Linkfield (GR NT652787) at 1pm. For those travelling by public transport from Edinburgh or Haddington there is regular Firstbus service (X6) and there is a bus stop on the main road into Dunbar just before West Barns, which is at the top of the road leading to the car park. From Edinburgh, the bus journey takes approximately 1 hour 10 minutes, but you should check the latest information with Firstbus before travelling.

Please be prepared for changeable weather, as this is an exposed site and in particular you should wear sturdy footwear such as hiking boots as the ground will be uneven and the salt marsh may be soggy! You may also like to take something to drink and a snack.

Contact Colin Shepherd (colin.shepherd@swtlothians.org.uk)

Thursday 13 August at 8.45pm – Bat Walk
An event with volunteers from Lothian bat group who will bring bat detectors to enable us to hear the bats’ ultrasonic echo-location calls. On previous walks we have seen Pipistrelles and Daubenton’s bats. Bring insect repellent!  Meet inside the gate to Blackford Pond on Cluny Gardens at the junction with Oswald Road.  Event will last till approximately 10pm.

Contact Karen Pearson (karen.pearson@swtlothians.org.uk)

Saturday 28 November at 10.30am – Aberlady
Outing to Aberlady Reserve led by Reserve Warden John Harrison, main focus is likely to be on winter waders and ducks, though there my still be some geese around. We meet up in the Reserve Car Park at 10.30am and the event will last approximately 3 hours. Bring suitable footwear, clothing and binoculars.  Accessible by public transport.  No need to pre-book.

Contact Colin Shepherd (colin.shepherd@swtlothians.org.uk)

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