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Sunday
Oct252009

Fun and Games at Balerno Clean-up

25 volunteers arrived for this mornings clean-up at Balerno, a great turn out on a chilly soggy sunday. Amongst the 25 bags of rubbish collected we found a range of fun finds including a sledge, a skateboard, a Frisbee and a selection of balls. Slightly more mundane finds include a wheelie bin, traffic cones, barbed wire, pallets, chairs and trolleys. Thank you to all who helped, see photos.

     

Sunday
Oct252009

Conservation Trust Annual Report Published and AGM reminder

Just to remind all members that we have the Water of Leith Conservation Trust AGM on Monday 29th October meeting at the Visitor Centre at 7.00. After all the usual business we will be having a talk from Jonathon Webb from Renewable Energy Devises about the potential for Micro-Hydro Power Generation on the river.The Agenda for the meeting and the minutes can be found on The Trust page of our website

If you would like to see what we got upto last year please read our ANNUAL REPORT

Monday
Oct192009

Clean-up Balerno this Sunday 10.00am

Just a reminder we have a clean-up planned for this Sunday 25th September, meeting at Currie Rugby Club in Balerno, off Bavelaw Road. Wear old clothes, let us know if you plan to come, tea / coffee available, we will finish around 12.30

MAP

 

Monday
Oct192009

Mirco Hydro Power on the river is a step closer as funding award is announced

I am copying this news article from Greener Leith' Blog as Ali has such a way with words. But it is great news that Community Energy Scotland have awarded funding to support a coalition of Edinburgh based community groups, including Greener Leith, to conduct detailed feasibility studies on developing hydro electricity generation on four sites along the Water of Leith.

The Redbraes weir was identified by previous research commissioned by the City of Edinburgh council, as one of 15 sites along the river, where microhydro may be feasible. This study suggested that a 'reverse archimedes screw' might be the best way to generate power from the Redbraes weir. This would be similar (but smaller) to the one in this video clip below, on the River Dart in Devon.

This latest funding award, worth about £6000 to the Leith area, will see the site assessed to see whether a microhydro scheme would in fact be feasible, both from a practical and financial perspective.  It will therefore look at issues like:

  • The best technologies to use.
  • Who owns the land.
  • The impact on wildlife and flooding, and what could be done to reduce this.
  • Estimating how much electricity, and money, the installation would generate each year.
  • How it would be connected to the national grid and the costs of doing this.
  • Installation, insurance and maintenance costs.

Although the site has the lowest capacity of the four sites being assessed in detail, we hope that it will nevertheless prove to be a viable project.

On its own, the project will never power the whole of Leith - but we do hope that it will provide a small income stream from selling renewable energy into the grid. If this is the case, our intention would be to establish a community managed company to invest any income from the project into helping residents nearby to cut their carbon footprint. The project could also play an exciting role as a demonstration and educational resource as well, with a possibility of linking with the Redbraes community garden (where volunteers have just won the 'Best Community Garden' award in this years Beautiful Edinburgh in Bloom competition). It would be visible from the public footpaths on the West bank of the river too.

Historically, the Water of Leith has been heavily modified along it's entire length, and the weirs were originally built to power mills during the industrial revolution. Therefore it seems fitting to try to bring these weirs back into use, providing a clean, green power source for local residents, using the best of modern technology.

If the project is workable, there is in an incredible amount of fundraising, and project development work to do - but at the moment we're optimistic about working with local residents groups like the Redbraes Residents Association to take the project to the next stage.

The other sites that will be investigated in detail as part of the same funding bid are Harperrig reservoir (Kirknewton Community Development Trust), Harlaw reservoir (Balerno Village Trust), and the larger of the two weirs in Dean village (Dean Village Association).

Thank you Ali for that news, we will report later on what the detailed studies find.

 

Tuesday
Oct132009

Mandarin Duck spotted in Leith

This beautiful Mandarin Duck was spotted below Great Junction Street Bridge in Leith. Certainly an exotic find either a long way from home (China/Japan) or more likely to be part of a feral population which moves around central scotland. Thank you to local man Steve Morrisonfor these great photos