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.
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.