Monday 8 June 2015

Volunteering for Water of Leith Conservation Trust

Last week was Volunteers Week and I volunteer for the Water of Leith Conservation Trust every week, but nonetheless my activity today for the 30DaysWild campaign is to volunteer.

I patrol the Colinton Dell area of the Water of Leith most weeks. I pick litter - here's my litter picker and bag. I try to empty the bag out along the way into the bins and then reuse it. I usually pick around 3 or 4 carrier bags worth of litter. Today for some reason there wasn't all that much litter to pick.

I also keep an eye our for overgrowing vegetation that could be a tripping hazard or poke people in the eye. I am very minimalistic in my approach to pruning at this time of year, as I don't want to possibly damage food sources or nests. (I was quite amgry to see (council? housing association?) workers severely cutting back a hedge today).

Also when I'm out, I record the wildlife I see. Today I was most impressed by seeing what I think is a tree bumblebee.

The photo isn't great, the bee is a very busy, fast moving little creature, whatever it's species. In a world where bees are declining (though there were plenty of bumble bees around the Dells today) it is nice to see the tree bumblebee extending its range and moving across the UK and into Scotland. If this is a tree bumblebee then it's a new species for me. And that was another of the challenges I was going to set myself for 30 Days Wild - to find a species I've never seen before. The tree bumblebee is one of the species that Opal Nature is focussing on for their Species Quest - you can find out more and join in here.

I also enjoyed standing by the river and watching the mayflies as they danced in the air currents above the water.

It's a great way to get out into nature and feel as though I'm doing something very worthwhile at the same time as enjoying the wildlife and watching the seasons change. Plus the Water of Leith Conservation Trust is a great organisation to volunteer for, they (usually!) get the balance right between supporting volunteers and giving us responsibility. And believe me I've seen a lot of organisation who can't get that right.

Water of Leith Conservation Trust offer a number of volunteering opportunities along the river in Edinburgh.


TexWisGirl said...

you are so good to pick up trash.

eileeninmd said...

You are great to volunteer and pick up the litter. Hubby and I and our neighbors are always walking around picking up litter in our neighborhood. Enjoy your day!

Magyar said...

__My views / opinions are so often held as incorrect, but I see a large difference between an apple core, an orange peal, or a peach-pit tossed into the woods, and a bird stuck in a plastic bag, or a butterfly caught in a plastic bottle that has a half life of a 1000 years.
__I become angry as I see such things, and I do my best to 'gain the clear'. It would be grand if all people had but 15% of your daily care Juliet, and just imagine... what an infinite difference that would accomplish. (Sorry to leave so much 'clutter' here!)
__Smiles, _m

RG said...

A busy organization there! I think having a person paid to organize volunteers, provide training and arrange projects is really essential. There certainly is a big payoff - lots of it documented in that website!

Crafty Green Poet said...

TexWis, Bill - thanks

Eileen - great that you also pick up trash!

Magyar - I agree, I don't have a problem with things like apple cores thrown into the woods.

Rabbits' Guy - I entirely agree!

Lynn said...

I posted a photo of a bumblebee this morning - I was also delighted to see it because of their scarcity these days.

EG CameraGirl said...

You are a treasure! People who clean up after those who litter are special!

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Tree bumbles are rampant down here, they particularly love ceonothus, but unlike other bumblebees they seem to like harvesting aphid sap from leaves.

betty-NZ said...

That's a great thing to do. I used to do that occasionally in the US. Here in New Zealand, you hardly ever see trash on the side of the road--or anywhere. The kids' school lunchrooms don't have trash bins so they are forced to take it home.

Rambling Woods said...

You are wonderful in all that you do for nature. Hubby is always picking up trash around here and we take garbage out of the pond. Where do people think it goes? Thank you again.. Michelle