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Wonderful illustrations of our volunteers in action by our own volunteer Rob - thank you for letting us share them

Rob Hainsworth has been volunteering with us for years and could be occasionally be spotted sketching away. This week he shared the results with us and we just love them - so atmospheric and full of energy, capturing the spirit of working by the river and how the passers by watch our efforts. Below Rob has written a few word about what prompted him to illustrate our work.



'As a 17 year old country lad I went to art college in Edinburgh for almost a whole year before dropping out... distracted by "sex drugs and rock and roll.....  It was the 60s...I've been intending to do some illustration for a while, inspired by my eldest daughter, an artist who recently had a couple of graphic novels published. I last did some illustration about 40 years ago but didn't then have a story to turn into comic strip and was trying and failing to make up one of my own... Then life got in the way until recently, when I was looking for more engaging activity at home. I researched and illustrated "The Famous Tay Whale" by William McGonagall... A fascinating story but a poem so bad that my artwork couldn't spoil it... A very successful try out of any skill I still had. 
After that I was looking for at various possible subjects to illustrate and it occurred to me that Water of Leith volunteers worked in some very photogenic and often quite dramatic work settings... I particularly like the way that volunteers sometimes almost disappear into foliage and sometimes group together to give an intense focus. 
I also like to show "Life going on" (ie. Water of Leith footpath users.. walkers, cyclists, dogs, etc.). I'm intending to do the most recognisable locations and to show all our different activities. I want to get more wildlife into the illustrations.' by Rob Hainsworth




Up coming Events - Foraging, History, Bridges and Ducks

Saturday 1st & Sunday 2nd September – 2.00pm both days
Foraging Weekend along the Water of Leith - Slateford to Colinton
These guided walks will be run by Frances Hillman from University of Edinburgh and will form part of her dissertation research into using foraging as a teaching tool for environmental education. Each session will end with tea and biscuits made from foraged foods and the group will  have a discussion about the topic. Meet at the Water of Leith Visitors Centre spaces are free but limited so BOOKING ESSENTIAL. 
Saturday 1st of September – 2.00pm – Foraging Urban Weeds. Learn about the ecology of edible weeds that grow in Edinburgh and how to use them
Sunday 2nd of September – 2.00pm – Foraging invasive species .Learn about the ecology of invasive species that grow in Edinburgh and how to use them.
Sunday 9th September – 2.00pm
Historic Villages of the Water of Leith -  Belford and Dean aka the Water of Leith Village.
A Guided Walk around the rivers milling heartland,  discover its hidden history and learn how it played its part in our city’s history £5 (members £2) BOOKING ESSENTIAL. Meet at 2.00pm at the entrance to Roseburn Cliff off Roseburn Terrace, Corstorphine Road (by the crossing and bus stop). 
Sunday 7th October – 2.00pm
Bridges of the Water of Leith from Gorgie to Roseburn
To celebrate 200 years of the Institution of Civil Engineering (ICE) we will be joined by local expert Sandra Purves to look at the history of some of the river’s important crossings and discover the rivers newest bridge built as part of the Murrayfield flood defence works. Meet at the corner of Gorgie Road and Balgreen road at the bridge entrance to Saugthon Park £5 (members £2) BOOKING ESSENTIAL.

Next River Clean-up is in Leith on Sunday 19th August at 10.30

Meeting just off Coburg Street - Join Sandra and the volunteers for another Leith clean-up


Last blog we featured @JamesW_754 heron and dipper photos this week a feasting Kingfisher

Thank you James for letting us share your images - he did also spot the otter this week, but of course it was a day when he did not have a camera - typical


Another Busy week of tasks on the river as we finish the Balsam pulling, tidy the Stockbridge Garden and clean-up some rubbish

While may residents of Edinburgh are out enjoying the festival some a favouring some hard graft by the much more tranquil Water of Leith. Our Volunteers have been out Tuesday and Thursday finalising the balsam blitz and we were joined by staff from Changeworks who had fun in the river around Redbraes Weir. The wonderful Peregrines of Tiphereth have also been out twice this week on Wednesday and Friday focusing on the rubbish and balsam at Murrayfield  (Paul is pictured above with the dirty trolley and Karen 'hiding'!!) . I wonder how many folk realise the people power it takes to keep this river clean, green and beautiful. 

Kate collects seed the the Stockbridge garden while Rob has a little dance by the looks of it!! on Thursday

Changeworks staff get stuck in to the river task at Redbraes on Tuesday

Joe, Tony and George just cant stop pulling balsam as the visit Redbraes twice this week!! They come for the waders I think.