In some ways the river banks are very much like many of us in respect to not quite having the perfect summer body when spring arrives. During the winter months the surging river levels hide the worst of the unhealthiness in the river in the same way a cosy hoody hides our slices of cake or extra helpings of roast potato’s.
The river banks suffer from the small minority of the Edinburgh population dropping litter, finding tempting road work cones that can be thrown in, waste blown from building sites and a sewer system struggling to cope with wetter winter surges of rain and then discharging into the river.
Come spring as water levels drop this means we can see river banks coated in wipes, cans, crisp packets, dog pooh bags, foam insulation and giant hogweed seedlings sprouting . Definitely not the look to rock when getting invited for a tumble through Stockbridge or flow through Leith that’s for sure.
Thankfully for the Water of Leith it’s personal trainer comes in the shape of our own volunteers and their dedication to keep it healthy.Thus since the start of April we’ve been slowly working our way up from Leith giving the river a crash plastic free diet removing tons of rubibish and helping it to to look splendid by killing off the Giant Hogweed seedlings to increase biodiversity on the banks.
Since April started we’ve already clocked up 300 hours of volunteering just dedicated to cleanups alone and many more planned as we work our way up to Balerno with help from community and corporate groups along the way.
If you’d like to get involved your can register as a volunteer here https://www.waterofleith.org.uk/volunteer/conservation-team/ or turn up on the 1st Wednesday of the month at the Marine Memorial outside Malmaison at Leith at 10.30am to help with our monthly Leith clean up