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Debris Discovery Day last Sunday was rubbish - literally

What a great day we had on Sunday for our Debris Discovery Day in conjunction with Edinburgh Science Festival and supported by Surfers Against Sewage. Every year we deliver dozens of river clean-ups and the rubbish collected usually goes straight to landfill and we don't really analyse what we collect. So the idea of this event was to get lots of volunteers and families along on the launch of our Annual Spring Clean season, make them pick rubbish for an hour or so, then collect and process what they found. We bribed them with the offer of hot soup and a story by Alette Willis at the break. A whopping 52 people joined us for the day aged between 4 and 80!! - we were even joined by a hen party (complete with matching pink wellies) 

The photos are below but the results were quite surprising. Over all around 40 bags of rubbish were collected by the volunteers - these were emptied out and sorted in to bins: Plastic for recycling, Glass, Cardbroad/Paper, Metal Cans, Timber, Big Plastic Items, Large Metal items, Landfill, Re-use, Weird and Wonderful and YUCK!!

We collected 179 plastic bottles and 170 drinks cans!!, 31 glass bottles, 19 paper cups which could all be recycled. The 10 pieces of timber will be used on my wood burner and a couple of the 12 items of plastic and 16 pieces of metal could be recycled but sadly most will end up in landfill, roughly 20 bags and a few dozen larger items. So much of what we collect is past it for recycling - once something has been littered it gets muddy, starts to degrade or gets mixed up with other things. We also found an enormous amount of cellophane and wrappers - bags and bags full!!! We did have some fun items a dolls leg, balls, a garland, xmas lights and some pretty horrid things used syringe,  nappy and tampon. The main thing is the river is now clean and 400 items littered over 1/2 a mile were purely disposable drinks containers and countless crisp and sweet wrapper - proving that snacking on the go is the main culprit when it comes to littering and probably the main culprit for our expanding waist lines!!

It was great to have the support of Alana and Laura from the Science Festival and 3 volunteers from Surfers against Sewage who really helped to explain the problems this litter could have cause if we had left it in the river - where it would have flowed into the ocean and become a marine problem. So thats some less plastic in the ocean and by our river. But its only the start. There are 10 more clean-ups happening over the coming week so we will get more.

Ready to go

The hens are kitted out and have a lovely pile to sort

Its got to be clean if we are to recycle it

That is MANKY

Wee ones on the case




Trust announces funding support from Baillie Gifford 

The Water of Leith Conservation Trust is delighted to announce that they will be receiving generous sponsorship from  Baillie Gifford this year. The support will enable us to continue to deliver a diverse programme of volunteering opportunities along Edinburgh’s river, raise awareness of this key asset for the city and promote the understanding of it heritage and wildlife though our lifelong learning programmes.  Thank you to all in the sponsorship team for supporting our work – it means so much to our staff, trustees and volunteers to have a secure 2018. 

This is photo of some staff from Baille Gifford helping on a task last summer with our volunteer clearing a new site for a meadow. 


Dean Valley Path use survey from Dean Valley Regeneration Ltd, have your say, if you wish

Dean Valley Regeneration Ltd is a local charity to Edinburgh lobbying for the renovation of the council owned land within the Dean Valley and its popular shared walkway along the Water of Leith from Stockbridge to Dean Village.  It also includes renovation of those pieces of abandoned land next to Stockbridge and along the river side.
We are conducting a survey of cyclists who use the walkway over the next couple of months. Please would you promote this amongst your friends through Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.
The path through the Dean Valley forms part of the Council’s planned ‘QuietRoutes’ network of cycle routes across the city. This aims to provide a network of routes that are suitable for less-confident / less-experienced cyclists and is a key part of the Council’s ‘Active Travel Action Plan 2010-2020’ (originally referred to as the ‘Family Network’). In addition, the path is also an important part of the city’s Core Paths network.

Pine Ladybirds - a very cute native species spotted on trees by the river near Gorgie

Thank you to River Patrol Volunteer and keen eyed wildlife spotter Juliet for these photos of these very prety ladybirds clustered togther on a tree. I have never seen them before.


Path closures update - more bad news I am afraid but some good

Just as we see the beginning of the spring and the start of the easter holidays even more closures of the Water of Leith Walkway appear- all are beyond our control and we are just as frustrated as local people and walkers - below I have included and update from all the closure or you can CLICK ON ME to download a list of the latest issues with some maps of the diversions.

Currie - due to Path Upgrading Works to end of April 

Waulkmill Loan to Currie Kirk will be closed from Monday 26th March, it will re-open for Friday 30th March and remain open over the Easter weekend.  The closure will be back in place on Tuesday 3rd April and the path will be closed for approx. 2 weeks.  This is to allow path improvement works to be undertaken, the path will be surfaced with Ultitrec.  “Ultitrec is a recycled pathway material produced from selected arisings from highway and maintenance works. It provides a versatile and cost effective surface for a variety of locations such as woodland paths, canal towpaths, footpaths, cycle ways, public parks and golf courses.” For more information regarding this surface please visit A sign posted diversion will be in place during the closure, along the Lanark Road


SAUGHTON PARK  - until summer 2019
The walkway route through Saughton Park is closed as the work to upgrade the Park s – the diversion simply takes you round the outside of the park to the north and at rejoins the road at Balgreen Primary School, head back down the side of the park where you cross via the crossing and continue behind the school. Or route down Fords Road, along Gorgie Road and round the park. Map below


 Wester coates / Belford Closure - until mid May – the section between Wester Coates and Belford Bridge is closed to facilitate the removal of the timber ramp at the bottom of the Magdala Steps and the installation of a new structure. This runs into the following issue - map of both below

The Dean Path Landslide - statement from CEC below

The City of Edinburgh Council are aware of public concern over the continued closure of a part of the Dean Path following a second land slip in January 2016.  The Council are committed to ensuring that the path is reopened as soon as possible.  Various avenues are being pursued by the Council, including court action, to try and ensure that work is undertaken to make the path safe.  The Council cannot comment further at this stage due to ongoing legal proceedings.

Newhaven Road to Anderson Place - extended to June 2018 - closed by Miller Homes due to a dangerous retaining wall

The most recent update from Miller Homes spokes person stated: “Miller Homes wish to apologise for the ongoing closure of the Water of Leith Walkway along the Bonnington stretch.   This was brought about by necessary repairs which need to be made to our boundary wall between our site and the Water of Leith.  To undertake these repairs in a manner which meets with current health and safety regulation a telecoms mast needs to be removed.    Unfortunately this is taking longer than envisaged due to the protections given to telecoms masts under the Telecommunications Act 1984 notwithstanding the terms of our lease agreement with the mast operator. On a more positive note the mast operator did locate a new site to move to at the end of last year and has now secured planning permission and is in the process of completing works to allow it to relocate.   This is expected to occur by the end of April/early May which in turn will allow us to remove the mast and make repairs to the wall.   This will hopefully allow the Walkway to reopen by late June but meantime must remain closed for health and safety reasons."

Saughton Diversion

 Belford and Dean Diversions