Did you know October is when hedgehogs start to hibernate? Here's some top tips on what we can to do to look after our little friends over the winter!Hedgehogs need to store the necessary body fat to go into hibernation. They will be out foraging for food such as earthworms, beetles, slugs, snails, insects, fruit and carrion. To help, you can set up a little feeding station with cat food/biscuits (not fish based) and set up a couple of nesting boxes in the garden. Avoid giving milk as this can cause diarrhoea. Fresh water in a shallow bowl is perfect for them.
Last year, a landmark report by the United Nations warned that, unless urgent action is taken, the opportunity to avoid the worst effects of climate change will be missed.
The Climate Change Plan Scotland 2018 set out the continuing actions of Scottish Government to ensure Scotland meets the climate challenge. Following on from this, Scotland became the first country to declare a climate emergency in early 2019 and the Climate Change Bill 2019 set a challenging national target for Scotland to be Carbon Neutral by 2045.
The City of Edinburgh Council recognises the vital role of local government in addressing climate change and in May formally declared a climate emergency and committed to becoming a carbon-neutral city by 2030.
This consultation can be completed at https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/ce/edinburghtalksclimate/
In October 2019 the City's Transport and Environment Committee recently examined a report on this from a London perspective.
City of Edinburgh Council is also proposing that the City achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2030-7.
Scottish Gas Networks and Kier, their contractor have completed Phase 1 & 1a and Bridge Road will open on Sunday 3rd November. The full programme with not finish until May 2020 culminating at Dreghorn Link. Details of the individual phases are indicated in a presentation. Click on the images to see the presentation.
Sniffer dogs being used to help find leaking water mains
Sniffer dogs are being used to help find leaking water mains for the first time in Scotland in rural areas where the water does not always show on the surface.
Two spaniels, called Snipe and Denzel, have been trained by ex-military dog handlers to detect the smell of chlorine in treated water.
A trial programme in parts of Dumfries & Galloway and Ayrshire surveyed Scottish Water’s trunk mains and searched for leaks enabling us to assess whether to use them on an ongoing basis.
During the trial, the dogs found leaks on a 24-inch steel main in the Dalmellington area and on a nine inch main near Lochmaben.
Since 2006, leakage has been reduced by over 50% using a number of modern technologies. However, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to do the job more effectively.
Local ecologist Nigel Rudd shares his knowledge of Japanese knotweed, giving us the facts- and clearing up some of the fiction- surrounding this prolific plant.
Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica) is an elegant herbaceous perennial plant which was imported to Britain by Victorian plant collectors. Popular because of its striking appearance, vigour and size, the species has, in common with many introduced plants, ‘escaped’ into the wild, where it rapidly grows into very dense stands, reaching heights up to 4m.
Why is Japanese knotweed important?
This species threatens the UK’s biodiversity because most native plants simply cannot compete with its rapid spring growth (up to 10cm a day); its prolific rhizomes (shoot-producing underground stems), and its habit of growing in dense, single-species stands. It grows almost anywhere - on derelict land, riverbanks, abandoned properties, railway lines, and gardens. Its presence can be the result of previous land use, but very often it arises because of illegal fly tipping. It is widespread throughout Edinburgh, and in Colinton the species occurs in the valley of the Water of Leith, in woodlands and in private gardens.
Can it damage buildings? READ MORE to find out
A £20 million project to make the drinking water network in the city and beyond more resilient is more than a third complete.
Scottish Water has installed just over 4 km – out of total 12 km – of brand new mains in the southern part of the city which supplies much of Edinburgh and parts of West Lothian.
The investment will allow customers to be supplied from two different locations – Glencorse and Marchbank Water Treatment Works - making it less likely that they are left without water.
The extended network will also have the capacity to link to other existing and future water supplies across parts of the south of Scotland. It will ensure Scottish Water can provide its customers in Scotland’s capital city, including a growing number of households and businesses, with fresh water around the clock.
The network expansion across part of the Pentland Hills – some of it visible from the city bypass and the A702 near Hillend - has included working in areas where World War One training trenches were constructed. Work is also being carried out in part of the Swanston Conservation Area where any work taking place in April and July requires extra care and consideration due to lambing season and ground nesting birds.
We have prepared some information on Japanese Knotweed for private owners of property. Click this link to read it.
The City of Edinburgh Council have an invasive weeds team to deal with both Japanese Knotweed and Giant Hogweed on Council owned land. For further information follow the links below.
With signs of spring and hopes of summer, experienced camper Peter Byrd’s Definitive Guide to Sustainable Camping https://professionalcamping.com/guides/sustainable-camping-definitive-guide) comes to us at a great time. Whether you are a daytime hill walker enjoying the Pentlands, an overnight camper or a serious wild country backpacker, Peter’s “Leave No Trace” camping principles and his “Ten Essentials of Sustainable Camping” are an invaluable guide for all of us who want to enjoy and preserve our wonderful countryside.