West Lothian Garden Competition Video
Want to see the highlights of the West Lothian Garden Competition? Have a watch of the video:
West Lothian Garden Competition
Attention Teachers - FREE 'Better Home for Butterflies' Pack available for school gardens!
Central Scotland Forest Trust are offering free packs for school gardens - to create 'Better Homes for Butterflies'! See all the details below!
'' Butterflies in general have had a very turbulent time of late, as they are so vulnerable to changes in weather and habitat, and there has been lots of press coverage about how they are faring. 2013 seems to have been a better year so far, however, in Central Scotland, there are three species of butterfly who are not having such a good time of it. Butterflies, such as the Large Heath, Green Hairstreak and Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary are not only affected by the weather, but they have very specialised habitat needs, which are being lost across the countryside.
CSFT, with funding from SNH, North Lanarkshire Council, South Lanarkshire Council and CSV Action Earth have developed a project which aims to provide more homes for these specialist butterflies, across Central Scotland. Part of that project has been to develop school Bog Garden kits, so that 100 primary schools across the area can create small areas of peatland habitat in their grounds. ''
The packs are only available until the 6th December and there are limited numbers - so if you would like a pack for your school download and fill in the form below - and send it to Emilie.email@example.com
Time to get wrapped up and get out there!
It's that great time of year when you can look out scarfs, hats and gloves and head out for a brisk frosty walk! Although the forecast is for freezing conditions, there's plenty of blue sky! So wrap up and get some fresh air - if you want to see all the wonderful places near you that you can explore have a look at our 'Places to Visit' map!
Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill; Consultation Launched!
The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens are encouraging you to respond to the consultation for the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill.
The consultation will give you the change to influence government policy in areas including:
1. A right for communities to take over underused public sector land and assets.
2. A community right to buy in urban areas.
3. Changes to allotment law.
The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens have full information on how to get involved in the consultation, along with details of their information night in Glasgow on December 13th. For full information see: http://www.farmgarden.org.uk/farms-gardens/your-region/scotland
Exploring the West Lothian Pentlands!
Many people don't realise that part of the Pentland Hills Regional Park is in West Lothian! The area within our county is often quieter than the main routes through the Park from Flotterstone and Harlaw. You can download a map of the Park, showing the main paths and routes here.
To find out about Ranger events, and how to get involved in the Park check out: http://www.pentlandhills.org/info/3/discover/5/natural_heritage_service
Farming Education Pack
We now have a teacher onboard to develop a curriculum linked Farming Education Pack, in partnership with RHET (Royal Highland Education Trust).
It's a very exciting project, as the pack will pull together resources from lots of sources and tie it into a structured plan focusing on farming in West Lothian!
Get a wildlife friendly garden, and create a buzzzzzzzz.
SRUC have created a leaflet full of tips on how to encourage more wildlife into your garden; its also got lots of information on our favourite little pollinator - the Bee! It might seem the wrong time of year to be thinking about your garden - but a little thought and planning now will see your garden come alive next year! You can download the leaflet below!
Once you start seeing more bees in your garden, you can easily identify them using the Bumblebee Conservation Trust's ID guide: What's that bumblebee...?
It's getting chilly!
The weather is definitely changing - the leaves are turning, thermals are getting looked out, and this is the time of year we really need to take care of any wild visitors to our gardens! It is as simple as putting out some seeds, a peanut feeder or a home made lard and seed cake for our feathered friends.
(Just remember never feed birds anything which contains salt as it is toxic to birds in high quantities; if you want to make a pine cone and peanut butter feeder, make sure the peanut butter has no added salt)
If you are lucky enough to get hedgehogs into your garden, you can help them by putting a small wooden hedgehog house in a quiet area of your garden; line it with some bedding and hide it under leaves! For more information on how to keep your wild visitors happy in the cold see the links below!
Guide for feeding garden birds