Community Fund – Glasgow Old People’s Welfare Association – August update

The garden is now progressing very well and furniture in the shape of a tables, chairs and a smaller table have been identified and ordered. Below are pictures. We have yet to see any birdlife make use of the birds nest in the tree and the variable weather has impacted upon the flourishing of flowers and produce. We have however been able to grow some strawberries successfully and a number of plants have bloomed. Moreover, the hanging baskets at the entrance to the Centre look fantastic and certainly lend the premises and added beauty. When fine weather has been favourable, service users have enjoyed sitting in the garden and the sheltered area at the north corner has proven highly popular.

Below are photos of tables and chairs we intend to purchase.

Community Fund – Scottish Beekeepers’ Association – July update

For most July is the start of the holiday season, but not so for beekeepers! The summer months are our busiest time, whether it’s harvesting honey, dealing with swarms or if the weather is rubbish, checking the honeybees have plenty stores!

Schools however are most definitely out for summer!! We’d the pleasure of being invited to two summer camps. First, Toryglen After School Service, where we met some wonderful children, keen to learn more about honeybees and all they do to help us. Cracking crowning moments!

Next, we headed to Off Grid Kids in Glasgow, where we found a lively bunch raring to learn and gosh did we share lots of honeybee facts! The buzzy bees enjoyed their foraging hunt for delicious nectar!


We were delighted to send one of our junior beekeepers, Harriet Sweatman, to represent Scotland at the International Meeting of Young Beekeepers (IMYB) at Marlborough College in England. This meeting is for young beekeepers (aged 11 to 16 years old) from all over the world, to team up and carry out various beekeeping challenges! 21 countries from as far afield as India, Russia, Lebanon and Denmark took part this year and we’re delighted to say Harriet was part of the team who came second, go Harriet!!

Community Fund – Scottish Waterways Trust – July update

Life on the canal continues to be busy and vibrant and there is great anticipation in the air due to the forthcoming Edinburgh Festival and Fringe which will bring an abundance of visitors to the city.   The recent completion of the upgraded towpath from the Falkirk Wheel site to Edinburgh , has opened opportunities for communities from outwith the city boundaries to access the city centre via the canal towpath.  These upgrades have increased the usage of the towpath as an active travel network helping: connecting canalside communities; increasing physical fitness of local residents; giving access to the built natural and cultural heritage of the canal to all ages and abilities.

 Volunteers on the Canal

Adobe have been out again helping with the maintenance and upkeep of the Edinburgh canalside.   A total of 13 people participated in theses volunteer days and participated in a range of tasks including; sanding and oiling benches, painting bollards and gates, weeding and planting native wildflowers.

Canal Shed

New members are always welcome, with stories or skills to share and an open mind and heart to meet new people, try their hand at new activities, and be active in their local canalside community.

In July:

  • We welcomed a group of young people who were on an exchange visit from the USA. They greatly enjoyed their tour of Polwarth Church – and of course Dawn and Nathalie’s cakes – and lent a willing hand (or rather 42 hands in all!) to the gardens and other useful tasks.
  • We had a special visit from Sam Adderley of Re-Union Canal Boats, who told us about some exciting volunteering and training opportunities based on the canal.
  • We also had a session with Tom Gold, who as well as being an amazing outdoor educator and bushcraft survival expert, is also a trainee life coach. Who gave us a short talk on what Life Coaching is all about, and will do some taster one-to-one sessions with those who would like to take up this opportunity.
  • Also joining us were some volunteers from the Edinburgh office of CGI IT, who are keen to see what we get up to and lend a hand on the canal.

Canal Shed will be closed on Wed 26 July and 2 August.

We now have two new members of our staff who have joined our team in the last few weeks: Lisa Snedden – Canal cultural heritage officer and Claire Martin – Community Engagement Officer,  Both will be working with the Edinburgh communities to ensure that the built natural and cultural heritage on the Edinburgh union Canal will be maintained.

FareShare FoodCloud

Free Surplus Food Collections from Tesco

FareShare is a food redistribution charity, currently running a national scheme that is looking for charities and not-for-profit community groups who could collect free surplus food from a local Tesco store every week. The main types of food an organisation would receive would be bakery products and fruit & veg, and more occasionally eggs and other longer-life items.

What’s new?

FareShare FoodCloud is a new scheme which helps charities and community groups like you to access the free, unsold, surplus food from a day’s sales at your local Tesco supermarket. Using the simple mobile technology FoodCloud, we have already helped many UK charity groups to access hundreds of tonnes of fresh, good quality, free food. We want you to benefit too.

How does it work?

1. You nominate one or two days per week you are available to collect surplus food from your local Tesco store.

2. On those evenings at 7:30pm, you will be notified via text that your donation is available for collection.

3. The fresh surplus food will be packaged and available to collect from the store from 8:30pm that evening at a large Tesco store, or from 7-10am the next morning at a smaller Tesco Express store.

4. We are happy to say, this will always be a FREE of charge service to our charity partners.

FareShare currently redistributes surplus food to over 6,000 charities, together serving over 28 million meals last year.

If your organisation is interested in this scheme, please get in contact with Chloe Beale on 07508 910658, or

Community Fund – Rowanbank Environmental Arts & Education Summer news 2017

We are on tour with our Forest Circus! Thanks to the continued support of Vegware and the Woodland Trust, as well as some exciting new collaborations, we have been able to share our Magical Woodland Walks with many more people this Summer. During our first month of gypsy life we have worked with Greenpeace at Glastonbury, doing a walkabout act to raise awareness of the importance of forests, and the work that Greenpeace does. We’ve then been touring Woodland Trust woodlands in Wales, travelling from South to North and then South again (see attached photos).

Community Fund – Fundación Fauna de la Amazonía – June Update

One of our long-term aims is to provide conservation inputs to the local communities and schools and so we were very pleased to receive a copy of “Conservation Education and Outreach Techniques” as a donation from NHBS (Natural History Book Service) and the British Ecological Society’s Gratis Book Scheme.  This book presents the theory and practice for creating effective education and outreach programmes for conservation. As such, it will be a very useful addition to our small but growing library. Many thanks, Anita, for the suggestion and application information.

Pete has been living with, and helping, the Fundación for some time now. He bought his own 47 hectares of land several months ago; this land almost adjoins the Fundación’s, and he has been building his first residence there over the last while. It is almost complete and he will be moving in very shortly. His plan is to develop some of this land (land that has already been denuded of trees by previous owners) as self-sufficient , permacultural farmland, like a croft, and save and protect the vast majority of the land which is old forest. He will be re-foresting where and when possible with some of the tree species which have been extracted over the previous years. He also plans to develop a small, residential tourist project to encourage people to visit the area, as well as continue to volunteer with the Fundación. Good one, Pete! Check out his Facebook page…………..

Our latest reptile ‘find’ this month was an Eastern Scarlet Snake (Pseudoboa neuweidii) which was actually seen just outside the clinic a couple of weeks ago. Of course, there were numerous other sightings of different species of birds, insects, plants, spiders, etc, etc.

A few more palms and other trees have been planted near the boundary with one of the neighbours where the last remaining tall grass is being removed/displaced.

Further work has been happening on the path as well, including cementing another section (well done Dave and Glen!). It now looks like we will not need any steps on the way from the entrance to the clinic/quarantine which will make the pathway much more accessible and easy to walk. Some trees have been planted on the disturbed land at the entrance which is now beginning to ‘green up’; and fallen bromeliads and orchids have been attached around and onto some of the trees at the forest edge. We reckon it looks pretty cool, and it’s going to look even cooler once it has all settled in.

It is never silent on the land; there are the stream and river sounds, bird, frog, cricket and cicada ‘songs’; the sound of distant rain (usually coming ever-closer!), amazing thunder storms, and in particular, at night the sounds of other insects and frogs , night jars, potoos, owls, falling trees and branches. Some nights are relatively chilly (around 10-15 degrees centigrade) while others are between 20-25. As mentioned before, there is rarely a breath of breeze, and when there is, it is often caused by bats and/or large moths flying past.

Community Fund – COCA – June update

It’s been all hands on deck this month, and with summer approaching fast and the weather turning better WWOOFers have thankfully found their way to COCA to give Caz and the two hard-working EVS volunteers a hand.

A massive amount of transplanting has taken place to establish the summer crops in the field: around 2000 seedlings of different types of cabbage and more than 4800 leeks were transplanted with the help of our WWOOFers from Austria, France and Germany. In the Polytunnels, the first tomatoes have started turning red, cucumbers have started producing fruits and in the field the carrots and parsnips are looking better than ever! In the meantime, the sowing of salads and winter brassicas continues, plus the usual weeding, watering and of course the Friday harvest. But that’s not enough! We are also experimenting with new, more exciting varieties this season, including purple kohlrabi, black radishes, golden turnips and different varieties of carrots.

June was a lot of work, but as everyone knows, we live by the motto “work hard, play hard” and on their days off our volunteers got to enjoy the Blue Lagoon festival and – one of Pembrokeshire’s finest – the Unearthed Festival. A weekend leisure program including sea-kayaking, surfing, hiking, biking and a boat trip around Ramsey island with Gerald made sure no-one got bored on the weekends…

Community Fund – Scottish Beekeepers’ Association – June update

June definitely was a bee month! Hopefully there was lots of bees and honeybees flying and foraging near you. As June started it was back to school for us, we had the pleasure of talking to primary school children, teachers and assistants at several schools. First up was Lomond Primary School in Helensburgh, where Primary 1 and 2 pupils were learning all about bees and beekeeping as part of their Clarendon Ranger activities. From there it was up to Aberdeen where pupils from Hillside Primary got the pleasure of seeing her majesty live…the Queen Bee that is! Later in the month, just as schools were finishing we spent a lovely morning talking to Primary 3 pupils of Ladeside Primary in Larbert as part of their mini beast project, they knew so much about insects it was un-bee-lievable!

Ladeside Primary and their Mini Beast Project!

Whilst in Aberdeen we joined up with Aberdeen Beekeepers’ Association to spend the day at Wood Group headquarters, as part of their Eco Town initiative. Many employees were delighted to watch the live bees and see her majesty laying a few eggs and a few new honeybees emerging.

As part of our adult education programme, we were thrilled to be invited along to Community Networks in Paisley, not only to talk about bees and their importance as pollinators and food suppliers, but also to have a sneak preview at the wonderful gardens and growing projects the team have created there. Well done to all involved!

Last but by no means least, was our week spent at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh. For several years now we have been asked by the Royal Highland Society to host the Honey Tent at the show. Our tent is one of the busiest at the show, attracting around 40,000 visitors over the 4 days. As a charity, we rely on our fantastic band of volunteers to set up and man the tent, and this year we had over 200 volunteers to take part, thank you so so much!! The Honey Tent is also one of the major competition tents at the show, and this year we had over 400 entries for the various competition classes. The competitions cover everything from honey, to beeswax candles, photographs and baking so loads to see and enjoy! Our visitors had so much to see and do, with a lot of them spending more than half an hour in the tent! They left with bee friendship bracelets, bee friendly seed packets and information on how to look after bees and honeybees in their area.

Community Fund – Glasgow Old People’s Welfare Association – July update

Garden Project Update

All concrete work has now been completed and a secluded roofed area erected in the far corner of the garden area. Likewise, a workbench for making potted plants has been completed, save for sanding. A bird house has also been placed in the trees at the end of the garden and we have now produced some strawberries from our plants.

Service users are enjoying use of the garden and we hope to use some of our produce at lunchtime if plants continue to bear fruit.

Community Fund – Meesden Community Garden – July update

We are now in the middle of our growing season and thanks to recent rainfall everything in the garden is looking great. We have just started cropping our potatoes and have already had an abundant crop of Peas which everyone agree are the tastiest they have ever had. As well as the Potatoes and Peas we have been able to supply the people in our village with Rhubarb, Lettuce, Garlic, Strawberry plants and Tomato plants and we will soon have a good crop of Beans, Leeks, Carrots, Onions and Broccoli.