The Friends group carries out monthly activities and these take place on the second Saturday of each month and generally last around a couple of hours. Our volunteers are trained to provide appropriate advice and guidance to everyone taking part and that can include health and safety information. Generally all that is needed is a bit of common sense and appropriate clothing for the weather. These are just three highlights from our activity programme and if you'd like any more information abour the Friends activities just get in touch. Our activities are carefully planned to improve the park for it's human and animal visitors, so your efforts will make a real difference.
Project 1. Wildlife BioBlitz
In 2016 we had one of our most ambitious event programmes ever with a year long quest to mprove our knowledge of the park's wildlife and record as many of the species in a park that is one of Edinburgh's six nature reserves. We started with a list of 355 species and volunteers and specialists worked throughout the year with surveys and studies in all areas of the park.
In total 55 new species were discovered taking the total to 410 known plant and animal species including protected species like the Otter, Kingfisher and four species of Bats. Discovered were some interesting species that included the cuckoo bee, the hugely impressive elephant hawk moth and the buzzard, which can often be seen soaring over the dip at Burdiehouse. The BioBlitz was a fantastic success and work to identify new species continues.
Project 2. The Big Spring Clean
We've now had three very successful annual spring clean ups. These events have been targeted to give the park a 'spring clean' ahead of the warm weather when the park gets busier. They take place at that time of year because the foliage is low and it's much easier to get access to the litter.
This year we've teamed up with other groups to organise clean ups throughout south Edinburgh. In total there have been eight clean ups supported by Liberton and District Community Council, The Friends of St Katharine's Park, Murrays Residents, Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre, Edinburgh and Lothian's Greenspace trust all helped clean parks and public spaces across the Liberton and Gilmerton area.
We also had great support this year from corporate clean ups by Lloyds Bank, Lothian Conservation Volunteers and Tiphereth. we've also had fantastic support from the council and the Edinburgh Evening News. Big thanks to everyone for their help[.
Litter and dog fouling are the two biggest challenges we face and unfortunately we will need to continue these campaigns. Please help us by binning your litter and clearing up after your dog.
Project 3. Wildlife Walks
It's not all hard work, we love to have fun in the park - that's what it's for. Every year we organise wildlife walks in the park. There are bird, bat and Fungi walks every year. In addition we have had walks hosted on geology, herbs and foraging for edible plants. This year we are organising our first walk as part of Edinburgh's 'Doors Open' day. This will be a mixture of local history, information about the park and of course the wildlife. More details to come.
The picture here is from our Bird Walk in May this year, which was hosted by the wonderful Graham Checkely. Graham has been a great 'friend' of The Friends. We spotted and heard 18 species of birds and a great time was had by all. We even spotted blue tits using one of the bird boxes that we installed in Moredun Woods.