This weekend is the Big Garden Birdwatch! You can join in by spending one hour birdwatching in your own garden or in a local park or greenspace.
Crafty Green Boyfriend and I joined the Friends of Saughton Park to watch birds in the park, which is on the Water of Leith. The birds we saw included: long tailed tits, goosanders, a sparrowhawk and this beautiful kingfisher (thanks Crafty Green Boyfriend for this photo).
Saughton Park will soon be powered using electricity generated by this micro-hydro electric scheme on the banks of the Water of Leith.
It is powered by the water from this weir
I was delighted to join a group of the Friends of Saughton Park recently to have a sneak preview of the power house. It was a very friendly gathering of people, but unfortunately for the engineers giving the presentation, our attention was slightly distracted by the antics of a beautiful otter in the river! No photos this time, but you can see photos Crafty Green Boyfriend recently took of the otter family in Saughton Park in this blog post.
The hydro electric scheme will produce enough power to serve all the parks needs (to heat the greenhouses, power the kitchen of the cafe etc). This is very small scale - equivalent probably to the energy consumption of three houses. The energy generation is limited due to the fact that the weir that it is generated from is not very high (the energy from hydro-electric schemes is generated by the volume of water and the height it falls from). However, given its position in this park in the middle of a densely populated area of Edinburgh, this scheme will be a great educational resource for local schools and other groups.