Normally, there is an informal arrangement to meet from 11am till 12 noon at Al Mare, 272 Portobello High Street, EH15 2AT however while the weather is good we have started to meet for Coffee in the Park (in the Daisy Park) our first meeting being on 18/07/2020. We had seven members and some additional family members which made for interesting chat and stories. Some brought along their own chairs, some used the benches and little feet (aka DinoIronman) ran around amongst it all. Youngest and eldest members were happily reunited. Hopefully we will be able to do it again soon.
One of our members, Christine was recently unable to walk her dogs, so posted a request for help. No less than nine different Timebank members came out in all weathers to walk her dogs, who loved the additional attention. Greatly appreciated.
One of the many things we do in the conservation group is to control the amount of Himalayan Balsam that would otherwise take over all other riverbank plants down the Brunstane Burn.
Another successful day on Friday 7th August trying to remove as many “Himalayan Balsam” as possible. They may look lovely, but they are massively invasive. Largely impossible to remove from the infested south bank of the Burn, but the North side should be clear. Some are very big at over 2m tall!
On Saturday 25/07/2020 Timebank led a litter pick around the Tumbles area of Portobello beach. A group of about 30 members and non-members arrived at 10am, thankfully just as the torrential downpours ended! We all enjoyed a couple of hours doing various jobs from weeding the prom, to ridding the beach of litter; hunting tiny nurdles for the keen eyes to digging large carpet from the sand for the more adventurous, all members left with a sense of achievement. Well done to all and hopefully next time Covid-19 restrictions will have been relaxed enough to allow us to return to our traditional tea, cake and chat at the end of our next litter clean.
Early 2016 saw the start of various ‘group’ activities, and one of the most popular was (and still is) the Litter Clearance Group. Initially this was focused on Brunstane Burn, both in Magdalene Glen and downstream from Brunstane Station.
There is a separate post for Brunstane Burn where is passes through the woodland downstream from the station and Donkeyfield, due to the Conservation Group’s involvement here. Both sections of the burn have been cleaned up at regular intervals, with huge amounts of litter and other stuff removed.
Magdalene Glen has needed a lot of attention, and has been a regular meeting place since early 2016. Turnout is usually impressive. They are never just timebank events, but are advertised widely in Maureen Child’s newsletter, and in Facebook which results not only in local residents coming out to get involved, but often family groups from further afield as well.
The following movie by Laurence in April 2017 shows the unblocking of the ‘grating’ at the entrance to the culvert before the burn goes under Milton Link, Range car park and the railway. It shows about 90 minutes condensed into 33 seconds. Observe the water level at the beginning and the end!
In 2018 we progressed to a more preventative approach – we conducted a survey to quantify the scale of the problem, and presented it to our local councillors, Maureen Child, Mary Campbell and Kate Campbell. This resulted in the addition of two new bins, and proposals to Asda and The Range from MP Tommy Sheppard.
By November 2019 a noticeable improvement in the overall level of litter was apparent, so maybe we are starting to have a long term impact.