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The Balsam Battle is over for 2018 - join us for 2019 from April 

Balsam boot camp was a big feature of our volunteer events this summer. We ran 19 dedicated balsam pulling sessions where 227 volunteers spent a total of 365 hours balsam pulling. Once you add in events where there were multiple tasks, 443 volunteers spent a whopping total of 611 volunteering hours fighting the good fight. 
Evening and weekend events proved popular and we roped in corporate, youth and community groups to get more people out on the ground. Local people helped by allowing access to the river – on one occasion we all trooped through a downstairs flat in Stockbridge and over the sofa and out the lounge window onto the river. (Thanks Nick, it saved us a 200m wade to reach that spot!). We tried some new techniques in 2019 – bagging and snipping the balsam seed heads where they were well developed. We thought our volunteer Nigel had invented this technique, but turns out the Irish got there before us. We used the WoLCT inflatable kayaks to reach some tricky spots in Coltbridge and managed to the surprise of seasoned local paddlers, not to drown or puncture them. Some particularly committed volunteers spent their own time chasing up outliers and making repeat visits to catch late seeding balsam. Many thanks to those people -you know who you are. 
Balsam seed can survive for two years so in 2019 we get to do it all again, though we reckon we can sharpen up our act and be more targeted in our approach as well as getting some more chunky big groups on board. Also in 2019 we intend to be sampling Wilstone-based Puddingstone Distillery’s Himalayan balsam flavoured gin. The balsam petals add both flavour and a delicate pink colour to the gin. What’s not to like?



Leithers against Litter are cleaning up Marine Esplanade can you help?

Leither against Litter Friday 14th  Sept, 12 – 3 PM, Marine Esplanade (behind Seafield Sewage Works) – 
Please, if you can go along please follow the facebook link and click "Going" instead of "Interested". If you're not sure don't click anything. Leithers Don't Litter is organising this litterpick for a company but anybody can join. Meeting point: far end of Marine Esplanade where it turns into Albert Rd. Google map:  
Please read the safety disclaimer below:
The organisers are not liable for any injuries. You participate in the event at your own risk. If you’re bringing children it’s your responsibility to look after them. We ask you to read carefully the following health and safety advice.
Dress appropriately for the weather, wear warm waterproof clothing if it’s wet and windy. Wear sturdy boots or shoes and clothes you don't mind getting dirty.
We can bring around 30 litter pickers but if you have your own please bring it with you. 
Bin bags: we will supply us with large bin bags. 
Protective gloves: We have about 15 pairs but if you have your own please bring them with you.
Potentially toxic waste such as unidentified cans or canisters, oil drums, poisons, insecticides, clinical waste and other hazardous substances should be left alone. Take a note of their location and report it to the organisers. We'll have sharps boxes for needles. Any sharp object or rusted metal should be treated with extra care.
In the event of small injuries, cuts or bruises please call Zsuzsa on 07545 654 383. She’ll be carrying a basic first aid kit. 
Anyone who has been picking up litter should clean their hands, thoroughly afterwards. There are no toilet facilities near the location.
Gerry 07808 397 509 Zsuzsa 07545 654 383
At the end of the cleanup we'll serve tea and biscuits. Bring a reusable bottle for cold drinks and reusable coffee cup to reduce waste.



The Racers are ready for Sundays Duck Race - buy your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment 

We have had a phenomenal response to this years Duck Race which will take place on Sunday 16th Sept - funday from 2.00pm, races from 3.00pm. The Race of the Yellow Ducks has amazing prizes donated by restautants local to the river. See the list below. You can buy in advance until Thursday on our website or come along on Race day, if you have tickets please try to get them back to us by Friday. There is also the Blue Race which you can only buy on the day and these prizes are for awesome attractions!!!


1st Prize  -Michelin starred Champagne Lunch for Two at Restaurant Martin Wishart
2nd Prize - Family ticket and lunch on deck of the Royal Yacht Britannia
3rd Prize  - The ‘Orchard’ Canonmills - £50
4th Prize  - Imperial Palace, Longstone  - £40
5th Prize -  Pizza Express Stockbridge - 2 course meal for 2 – 
6th Prize -  Dantes of Colinton - £25 
7th Prize  - Water of Leith Cafe Bistro, Canonmills £20
8th Prize - Pizza Express in Leith 2 main meals
9th Prize - Cafe on the Corner, Currie  £20
10th Prize –Mimi’s Bakehouse £10
11th Prize -  Java Moment Cafe Colinton  £10
12th Prize –Mimi’s Bakehouse £10


Blue Race for Sale on the Day only

1st - Escape Room Experience for up to 5 people

2nd - Dynamic Earth Family Ticket up to 2 adults and 3 children

3rd - Camera Obscura – 4 tickets

4th - Scottish Seabird Centre – Family Pass

5th – Butterfly and Insect World – Family Pass 

6th  - Conifox Adventure Park – Family Pass

7th - Edinburgh Zoo - 2 tickets

8th - Jupiter Artland – 1 adult and 1 child

9th - Crolla’s Ice Cream - £20

10th – A Blue Duck – donated by Colinton Arts

Quite rightly we have had a number of concerns that our duck race will be littering the river. We do take this very seriously, as a group which organises over 100 river clean-ups a year rest assured we count them all out and back in.....we have dozens of volunteers on the days to chase and collect all the ducks. We bought the duck 12 years ago so they are re-used over and over and we loan them out to other races so they do not need to buy extra plastic. We even do the race in Sept out of the nesting season to minimise disturbance to wildlife. It is a great fundraiser for us and helps to engage a new audience in our work. Thank you


Water of Leith Conservation Trust Annual Report 2017/18 available to download

2017/18 was a very busy and productive year for the Trust.  Overall iwe delivered 349 volunteer tasks, learning days and events attended by 6297 people – nearly one every day!! Here for the community 7 days a week, we welcomed over 17,600 people to our Visitor Centre and volunteers gave 8833 hours of service to keep the Water of Leith ‘Clean, Green and Beautiful’- read all about it in our Annual Report CLICK ON ME to download



Volunteer tasks this Thursday and Sunday 30th Sept

Thursday 13th September 10.30am – 1pm – Pre Duck Race Clean-up at the Visitor Centre and downstream.  Join us as we prepare the route for the Duck Race on 16th and give the Slateford area a good clean-up.


Sunday 30th September 10.30am – 1pm Bells Mill Meadow Cutting
Meet at Wester Coates Gardens for the annual cut of Bells Mill to help keep our wildflower meadow in good heart.