An Ecological Summer is planned with our new Conservation Officer, Steven

Steven reflects on this first month or two in post and talks about ecological work we have planned for the coming months

Share This Post

Thanks to everyone for the warm welcome to the Water of Leith, just about on my second month but still feels like about 2 weeks! Has been great getting to know everyone and our shared passion for survey work and river flies in particular! With the worst of the weather hopefully behind us and looking into the spring/summer months we have a lot of exciting ecological surveys planned!

We have an expanding, knowledgeable and enthusiastic team of Survey volunteers, if any of these Projects are of interest to you please let us know!

Riverflies on the Water of Leith
The Riverfly survey has already commenced with an abundance of flat bodied mayfly so far! These will continue on until September with a monthly survey at Longstone and more occasional surveys at other sites along the river. This survey is part of the Guardians of our River Project set up by Buglife Scotland using Riverfly abundance and species as an indicator of pollution and River health. There is an opportunity for practical training run by Buglife at the Visitor centre on the 23rd of May this is open to all for first timers and those wanting a refresher!

Wildflower Meadow Surveys
Wildflower meadows make up complex ecosystems that can support a large amount of biodiversity in a localised area. The Annual Wildflower Meadow Surveys will start off in May with some interesting results coming in through our early meadow surveys with many new species already recorded! The number of Species recorded across these meadows has grown dramatically over the last 5 years from around 100 species in 2019 to over 600 in 2023 with almost all sites showing an increase in biodiversity! Last year alone we recorded 147 new species of wildflowers and grasses. There are 10 Meadows and Gardens along the Water of Leith to record with our survey season kicking off at Bogs Mill Meadow on the 7th May followed by Bells Mill on the 14th!

Pollinators along the Water of Leith
This Year we are stating a new project looking at Pollinators along the Water of Leith. This project will help to assess the effectiveness of our wildflower meadow management and inform future management measures along the water of Leith. It’s also a great opportunity to learn more about the changing diversity and numbers of these crucial species! . The recent Sunny Weather has brought out the Bees and Butterflies, which is a great opportunity to get started!

Fungi Surveys in the Colinton Dells
Our Fungi Surveys have been a tremendous success since Autumn 2023 recording over 100 species in the Ancient Woodland of the Colinton Dells so far! This group is a great opportunity to learn more about an underappreciated kingdom of life, with plenty of diversity left to discover! Our team is continuing to hone their ID skills and find new species!

Coalie Park BioBlitz
With the opening of Coalie Park just around the corner we are conducting an inaugural BioBlitz to catalogue the parks biodiversity on the 29th May! The BioBlitz will be a whole day event in which teams of volunteers will work together to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, fungi, and other organisms as possible! Please let us know if you live locally and would like to get involved

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get news & updates straight to your inbox