Edinburgh Napier University

Month: June 2024

‘Lest we forget’: Armed Forces Day 29 June 2024

‘Lest we forget’: Armed Forces Day 29 June 2024

On the last Saturday of June every year, Armed Forces Day emerges as an annual day-long commemoration of the service carried out by those within the Armed Forces community. As well as promoting vast recognition and awareness of the sacrifices they have made and the service they have provided in past wars and wartimes. It also fosters a national appreciation of the work they continue to do today. All throughout the year, the Armed Forces community works not only to provide national security and promote peace. They also offer national and foreign aid when needed, deal with drug smuggling and trafficking instances, and combat terrorism on both a national and global scale.


Showing our appreciation and support for the Armed Forces significantly boosts morale within the Armed Forces community. Both for the veterans, current personnel and their families. There is an abundance of opportunities as well in which individuals, society, organisations, and institutions can express and demonstrate their support. You can learn more about how to show your support on the Armed Forces Day webpage: Get Involved – Armed Forces Day.


Lest We forget: Our War Poets Collection…


Craiglockhart War Hospital hosted more than 1800 officers from the First World War suffering from shellshock and various other casualties which emerged from some of the horrific experiences they encountered in the trenches. This building now forms part of one of the three campuses of Edinburgh Napier University and hosts our War Poets Collection Exhibition.

This collection is made up of just over 800 different items and archival materials, including poetic works from former soldiers including Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. A signed copies of first-edition books, and three original issues of the famous Hydra magazine. What is so unique and interesting about this collection is that most of the materials and items give a very deep and informative insight into the social and personal experiences of those who served in and lived through the First World War. The accounts and perspectives provided by soldiers, medical staff, and families of the military community during these times bring to light the raw and very real experiences and hardships which they lived through.


Starting this year with a new yearly-recurring feature for Armed Forces Day, we will highlight a different member of the Armed Forces community who was linked to Craiglockhart War Hospital. First up is:


Lest we forget: Captain James Edgar Leach VC (1894-1958)…

James Edgar Leach VC, like the soldier poets Wilfred Owen and Seigfried Sassoon, was a patient at the Craiglockhart War Hospital and had served as a sergeant in the First World War. A document written by his granddaughter Felicity, who conducted some recent research about his life, forms a significant part of our War Poet’s Collection. It serves as a memorial of remembrance of his life, achievements, and experiences during the war.

James Edgar Leach VC was noted to have been born on the 27th of July 1894 at Bowerham Barracks, Lancaster. His father, James Leach, was also noted to have been “a Colour Sergeant with the King’s Own Royal Regiment.”


It seems that James Leach VC followed a similar path to his father and was eventually promoted to sergeant himself during the War. His courage and distinguished conduct in the First Battle of the Aisne played a huge part in helping him achieve this promotion. On 29 October 1914, he and Sergeant John Hogan were also awarded the Victoria Cross for demonstrating bravery, resilience and effective forward-planning and strategy. When serving for the 2nd Battalion, Manchester Regiment on the field and assigned to the unit on the Western Front. The announcement made in the London Gazette, 22 December 1914, notes their “conspicuous bravery near Festubert on 29 October”. There they  decided after two failed attempts at recapture to “recover the trenches themselves” on the afternoon. They were also said to have worked “from traverse to traverse at close quarters with great bravery”. And eventually regained possession successfully, having held their ground even when faced with heavy shelling. The Victoria Cross is recognised as the highest. It is the most reputable award for showing valour against their opponents on the battlefield.


James Leach VC eventually went on to receive the rank of Captain. The Victoria Cross which he was awarded can be found on display inside the Lord Ashcroft Gallery.  Located within the Imperial War Museum in London. More information can be found on the Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes | Imperial War Museums webpage.


Felicity, upon visiting the former Craiglockhart War Hospital, has described that this visit made her feel a “closer connection” to her grandfather James Edgar Leach VC. She also noted the ambience of the building. Particularly within the long corridor alongside the War Poets Collection and the Rivers Suite, which she described as “impressive.” And then implied that it had brought to life an image in her mind of what the building may have looked like over a century ago. She described how the doors in front of the War Poets Collection opening “on to the former main entrance to the hospital”. And the “beautiful black and white tiled flooring” made her feel like she was “walking in her grandfather’s footsteps.”


Based on Felicity’s description of visiting our War Poets Collection, it was a very moving and reflective experience. Both the building itself and the range of archival materials and items detailing the personal experiences and hardships faced by many patients of the Craiglockhart War Hospital. It all brought to life the very real horrors of the First World War. And sacrifices made by the veterans, their families, and the Armed Forces community.


You can view all the War Poets Collection items and materials through LibrarySearch. The collection itself can also be visited and consulted during general Craiglockhart campus hours. Our Exhibition and Visiting webpage also has more information. Felicity’s written document about her grandfather can also be read in full in the War Poets Collection exhibition area.


By Rachel Downie

Learn more about the War Poet Collection. 

And you can read previous posts to learn more about the collection. 

Feedback 2024

 Feedback 2024

Summer is here, well if you ignore the weather.

The libraries have got a bit quieter. So, we thought it is a perfect opportunity to ask for feedback.

At the Library, we are always trying to find new ways to improve. To make our resources both more accessible and more relevant to our users. The best way to do this is of course feedback!

We take feedback very seriously.

How you can give feedback in 2024:

You can give us feedback in various ways, from filling out feedback slip. You will find feedback stations at each library. Or you can email library@napier.ac.uk. You can also reach out via our social media accounts and here at the blog.

Importance of feedback:

We understand the idea of giving feedback, there might be a thought that it won’t matter and nothing will change. But we want to stress that this is not the case with the library. We act on feedback. We listen. For example, we launched our You Said, We Did campaign. The list below is a few examples from our campaign:

  • LapSafe laptops were made accessible
  • ID on mobile phones can now be used instead of a card to borrow laptops from LapSafe
  • Family room Craiglockhart initiated
  • Book stock hours for Merchiston moved to be the same as Craiglockhart & Sighthill
  • Increased number of loans – 30 for students and staff
  • Provided ergonomic equipment.

You can read more on You Said, We Did.

All of those things happened because of feedback.

So once again, we are asking for feedback *insert Bernie Sanders*

Let us know what you like at the library but more importantly, let us know what needs changing or improving.  Check our library webpages to leave feedback.



You read that correctly. That’s our title. Craiglockhart Campus Library is growing tomatoes again, a bumper crop this summer.

Tomatoes at Craiglockhart:

The Info & Ops team have been growing tomatoes at Craiglockhart library workroom for a few years now and this year, we believe, we’re going to have a bumper crop.  When I say bumper crop, I mean more than 3 which is our usual level of harvest to be shared across a team of 7!

We’re currently growing 3 plants of the Tiny Tim variety, small tomato plants which can easily be grown in a pot on a window sill.  Although this is a compact variety, here at Craiglockhart the plants grow a bit long due to the lack of light, hence the canes you see in the pictures.

Tomatoes growing at Craiglockhart

Growing Tomatoes

The seeds for these particular plants were sown in February this year. They were then kept warm in a conservatory until about the end of March. And then moved to a greenhouse when it got warmer.  When I say warmer it got warm and then cold again so initially they had to be covered with fleece to keep them warm!  They’ve been in the window for about 2 months now and have really come on, albeit in a long way!

When the flowers came out we helped with the pollination by brushing the flowers with a paintbrush.  The plants must be kept well (and consistently) watered to prevent the skins from splitting and blossom end rot. This is where the bottom of the tomato (where you can see the remains of the flower) turns black.  They’re also now being fed once per week with Tomorite (other brands of tomato feed are available!).

We’re all very much looking forward to the tomatoes growing and ripening over the next few weeks.  Looks like we’re going to get more than half (or less than) a tomato each this year!

Salad anyone?

by Cathryn Buckham


Things to do in Edinburgh over the Summer Period

Things to do in Edinburgh over the Summer Period

Stumped for what to do over the summer? Looking for inspiration? Look no further – here, you can find a list of venues and activities located within the city of Edinburgh. As well as a range of events taking place here over the summer. Whether you are seeking out live entertainment, cultural experiences, or simply to wind down in nature following a long exam season, Edinburgh has a range of exciting events on during the summer period. There are also many breathtaking attractions and outdoor hill walks if you wish to immerse yourself in the natural wonders that the city has to offer.


Festivals and Entertainment over the Summer…

Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2nd of August – 26th of August 2024)

The iconic three-week Edinburgh Fringe Festival started shortly after the Second World War when eight theatre groups were uninvited to perform live at the Edinburgh International Festival. Many performers were influenced by this movement and started to follow in their footsteps until the Festival Fringe Society eventually emerged in 1958.

The Fringe Festival now occurs every August in Edinburgh and welcomes huge numbers of artists and performers worldwide. Venues, along with bars and food stalls, are often scattered around the city centre as well. When it comes to genres of each live performance, we are spoiled for choice – you can see many live acts playing out through the city streets including circus performers, physical and musical theatre, comedy acts, opera, dance acts, children’s shows, and many, many more. Some of them are even free of charge!

You can stay up to date with what acts are on and when they are playing by following the Edinburgh Fringe Festival social media channels, checking out the Edinburgh Festival Fringe website or downloading the Fringe app.

Walks and Nature in Edinburgh …

Arthurs Seat and Calton Hill

Located within Holyrood Park and a short walk from the Royal Mile, Arthur’s Seat is a popular peak.  A hill walk for activities such as hiking and sightseeing. It is the highest point of Holyrood Park and an extinct ancient volcano which sits at 251m above sea level. And provides vast, panoramic, and breathtaking views of the cityscapes of Edinburgh. It is relatively easy to climb for avid hillwalkers and is known to take approximately one to two hours to reach the top.

If you are looking for a gentler hill walk which also has excellent, panoramic views of the city. Calton Hill is also a very short walk from Edinburgh city centre and hosts our National Monument. As well as the Collective Art Gallery which is a contemporary art centre situated on top of Calton Hill.

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

Don’t fancy hill walking? Located one mile from the city centre is also the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh. It offers 72 acres of magnificent landscape and scenery as well as being home to over 10,000 different plant species. Visitors can immerse themselves in the peace and tranquillity of the park scenery. And being presented with the opportunity to learn more about the fascinating origins and history of the park itself, which was founded by two doctors researching the use of plants for remedial purposes in 1670. Some of the most popular features of the gardens include the Chinese Hillside, the Queen Mother’s memorial garden, the Giant Redwood trees in the Woodland Garden and the globally recognised Rock Garden.

Albeit the glasshouses, you can visit the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh free of charge. Nevertheless, you may still be tempted to spend some money in the Botanics Shop which offers a varied selection of souvenirs, gifts, artwork and plants. You can find more information and check for any upcoming events being held there through the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh webpage.

Edinburgh International Book Festival (10th of August – 25th of August 2024)

As can be expected, our library team were going to find an opportunity to promote a book-related event here! Since 1983, visitors and book lovers have been presented with the chance to meet and engage with some of the greatest and most well-recognised authors, as well as thinkers, performers, and artists at Edinburgh’s International Book Festival. It hosts a variation of innovative and exciting events, some of which include open on-stage discussions and conversations, workshops, think tanks and masterclasses encouraging creativity and skills development. Many authors will sign copies of their books for you after each event as well.

As is the case with many festivals, food and drink is available. As well as relaxation spaces such as the indoor café on Lauriston Place. There is also an on-site bookshop should any of the authors you engage with at the festival gauge your interest! Every year, the festival also seeks out short-term staff over the summer to assist with visitors and the running of the festival. Some of the perks of the job include discounted books and entry to events. A booklover’s dream job!

The Edinburgh International Book Festival will take place at Edinburgh Futures Institute this year. More information can be found on their webpage: Edinburgh International Book Festival (edbookfest.co.uk).


Other cool attractions to check out…


  • Edinburgh Castle
  • National Museum of Scotland
  • Dynamic Earth
  • Camera Obscura and World of Illusions
  • St Cecilias Concert Room and Music Museum
  • The Scott Monument
  • Edinburgh Dungeon


By Rachel Downie

We will be updating the blog regularly over the summer with fun and interesting articles, stay tuned!

Euros 2024

Euros 2024

Are you ready for a summer of sport? What with Euro 2024, Tour de France, Wimbledon, Formula One, Cricket World Cup, The Open Golf Championship, Summer Olympics and Paralympics, it seems there’s something for everyone.

Euro 2024 is upon us so read on to find out more about the competition.

The UEFA European Football Championship, informally known as the Euros, was first held in France in 1960 and has been held every four years since (except for the 2020 tournament which was held in 2021 due to COVID-19).

This year, UEFA’s Euro 2024 is being hosted by Germany and takes place from Friday 14th June until Sunday 14th July 2024. Ten cities across the country will host matches and have dedicated fan zones. This will be the first time Germany has hosted the Euros since its reunification in 1990.

Germany/West Germany have featured at every Euro since 1972 and have won the competition three times, twice as West Germany in 1972 and 1980, and then as the reunited Germany at Euro ’96. Spain has also won three times. Italy are currently the defending champions, having won the Euros twice, first in 1968 and then at Euro 2020.

The tournament features 24 teams in the Group Stage, all of whom will be playing for a place in the next round, hoping to progress to the quarterfinals, semifinals and ultimately to the final itself. The top two teams in each group, along with the four best third-place teams, will go forward to the Knockout Stage.

Euros groups

The teams have been divided into six groups:

A: Germany, Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland

B: Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania

C: Slovenia, Denmark, Serbia, England

D: Poland, Netherlands, Austria, France

E: Belgium, Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine

F: Turkey, Georgia, Portugal, Czech Republic

As the host nation, Germany opens the tournament in a match against Scotland in Munich on Friday 14th June. The final match will be played at Berlin’s Olympiastadion on the 14th July.

You can keep up to date with all the Euro action by downloading the official UEFA Euro 2024 app – www.uefa.com/euro2024/app.

Euro 2024 Mascot

Albärt is the official Mascot for Euro 2024. It is a teddy bear and was selected as the mascot after a vote by UEFA.com users and schoolchildren throughout Europe. Albärt was revealed to German fans in June 2023 when Germany played a friendly match against Colombia in Gelsenkirchen.

EURO 2024 match ball

The official match ball of Euro 2024, FUSSBALLLIEBE, was designed to embrace the vibrancy of the countries participating in the tournament and the energy of the game. Meaning “love of football” in German, FUSSBALLLIEBE features adidas Connected Ball Technology which is being used for the first time at a UEFA Euro competition. This will help VAR officials to track every touch of the ball and make accurate decisions faster, so handball and penalty incidents can be resolved more quickly.


The Trophy

French Football Federation‘s secretary-general Henri Delaunay first suggested the idea of a pan-European football tournament in 1927. However, the tournament didn’t begin until 1958, three years after Delaunay’s death. The trophy awarded to the champions of the tournament is named after Henri Delaunay in his honour.

Let’s Play!

Of course, Scotland loves football. Nothing brings out Scotland’s national pride more than qualifying for a football tournament! Supporters from all over Europe will descend on Germany but, regardless of which team you are supporting, enjoy the football, the fun and all the drama that comes with the Euros!

Let the games begin and may the best team win!

by Sharon McMichael

Find out more:


We have a post to cover all our sports science databases.

Photo by Vienne Reyes 

Edinburgh Napier DLTE

Ho e Edinburgh Napier DLTE

Today we are exploring the wonderful DLTE here at Edinburgh Napier University. DLTE recently won the best team, Service or Department award at the ENSA Excellence Awards.

Who are DLTE?

The Department of Learning and Teaching Enhancement (DLTE) aims to inspire and support the development of learning and teaching practices across Edinburgh Napier to enhance the student learning experience, as well as ensure that our educational provision and regulation processes are laid out suitably to meet sector benchmarks.  To quote DLTE:

”We are scholarly in our mission, with particular interest in:

  • the application of scholarship in the support of high-quality learning and teaching
  • the study, support and promotion of partnerships with students in learning
  • the appropriate use of technology to complement and deepen learning.

We are committed to enabling staff and students to thrive and succeed in our University and in the future.”

DLTE organises ENU’s learning & teaching conference, The Gathering, which takes place each summer, and this year is on Tuesday 18th June at Craiglockhart. The Gathering is a chance for staff and students to come together and share their experiences and build relationships to take a running start on enhancement based on the work of others.


Additionally, DLTE works to further Edinburgh Napier’s curriculum Enhancement Framework: ENhance. ENhance is designed to support curriculum design and enhancement through:

  • ​Providing a shared reference point and vocabulary.
  • Giving a clearer structure to curriculum design and enhancement work, and the support on offer for this.
  • Facilitating more systematic sharing of existing effective practice.
  • Make internal expertise in curriculum development, from academic and professional services colleagues, more accessible
  • Support and encourage external sharing of effective practice.

DLTE put on webinars under the Learning & Teaching ENssentials banner. You can find details of upcoming training events on the Napier calendar.

DLTE have worked with a range of departments to compile longitudinal induction resources to support students in adjusting to Edinburgh Napier University and UK Higher Education, and these can be embedded into programme and module Moodle sites to help students to settle in without being overwhelmed by an influx of information in week one.


DLTE and Staff at Edinburgh Napier:

Through teaching and peer recognition, DLTE supports the development of staff approaches to Learning, Teaching & Assessment. The PgCert in Teaching and Supporting Learning in Higher Education guides colleagues who are new to teaching in Higher Education to develop their practice with consideration of relevant pedagogical literature and reflection on their own identity as an educator at ENU. Participants in the PgCert can achieve either Fellowship or Associate Fellowship of Advance HE through this programme, as well as through ENroute, our experiential pathway to all categories of Advance HE Fellowship. The content from this programme has been modified to give a foundation for Postgraduate Researchers (PGRs) who teach.

In trimester 2 2023/24 Dr Louise Drumm introduced the ‘Beginner’s Guide to Generative AI short course’, which uses webinars, online discussions and tasks to develop an understanding of Generative AI, its capabilities, shortcomings and risks, and how it may fit into the lives and work of staff at the university. There are plans for a student-focused version of this in the new year. Louise has led 3 phases of the ChatGPT & Me research project which seeks students’ anonymous perspectives and experiences around generative AI in higher education, and has presented on GenAI in HE at various conferences, including the Networked Learning Conference.


DLTE and Students at Edinburgh Napier:

DLTE are strong proponent of student partnership, through funding of Strategic Enhancement Projects. And support of student voice through research, Student-Staff Liaison Committees and collaboration with ENSA Sabbatical Officers.  Home to the wonderful Academic Skills team. The Academic Skills team help students to understand how best to approach university studies. Approach at every level and programme of study, whatever their previous experience or aspirations. They advise on fundamental aspects of the university, work including paraphrasing, academic, integrity, active reading and note-taking; planning and drafting essays and reports; managing large projects, and critical analysis and argument. If you want, you can book one-to-one appointments, find drop-in sessions throughout the trimesters or  or attend integrated Academic Skills sessions within your programme. Additionally, you can check out their own blog, which contains resources to help you with your studies

World Oceans Day 2024

World Oceans Day 2024

It is World Oceans Day 2024. It’s not exactly a catchy title, but the theme of this year’s World Oceans Day is “catalyzing action for our ocean and climate”. Phew. The founders of the event, which is celebrated every year on the 8th of June, are hoping to build a worldwide movement, bringing together activists, politicians and business leaders, as well as ordinary citizens, to save our oceans from the ongoing climate crisis.

Protect our Oceans

They want to protect and restore natural coastal and ocean ecosystems, stop fossil fuel extraction, phase out production of single use plastics, and build a healthier, more abundant future for all.

Those are lofty ambitions to be sure. But here’s why: the oceans cover two-thirds of our planet. Life wouldn’t exist without them, but they face constant threats from plastics, overfishing, biodiversity loss, polluted runoff from land, ocean acidification, rising sea levels, and coastal overdevelopment.

Let’s take one of those threats. According to the Environmental Investigation Agency, every year 13 million tonnes of plastics enter the world’s oceans, and that staggering figure is set to quadruple by 2050.

Here’s another: illegal fishing in Mexico’s Gulf of California has led to the rapid decline of the vaquita, the world’s most endangered marine mammal.

It’s easy to despair in the face of such grim statistics. But we can all do our bit to start to reverse the damage done to the oceans. If you can’t campaign yourself, you can connect with other concerned citizens and organizations. At the very least, we can all be more mindful of the way we use and dispose of plastics. And next time you’re at the beach, rejoice in the life-giving power of the oceans.

By Lesley McRobb

Photo Naja Bertolt Jensen

Read about Tree Week 

Pride Month 2024

Pride Month 2024

Happy Pride Month 2024 everyone!!

Pride and Library:

Our libraries are in celebration of Pride month and you will find a book display at each library.

we love to celebrate Pride month, but we acknowledge that working towards equality is something that needs to happen all year round. We are working hard to promote and diversify our collections to be inclusive of all people, and to redress the imbalances we find in our collections to become more representative of everyone. The Library has a wealth of books and articles on the subject. From the history of LGBTQ+ rights to current Legal information to keep you informed.

The Library has a wealth of books and articles on the subject. We have a dedicated reading list over on our LibGuides. Reading includes the history of LGBTQ+ rights and the current Legal information to keep you informed. Use LibrarySearch to find what you are looking for, or contact us for help with any of your research needs.  Or you can check out our virtual bookshelf here at the blog.

Please get in touch if you have any feedback about our Library stock.

Pride and Napier:

Pride and Napier:

Edinburgh Napier LGBT+ Network:

  • Supports developing awareness of LGBT+ matters.
  • Offers a range of training and development opportunities.
  • Provides a forum for professional and social networking and a means of peer support for LGBT+ staff and researchers.
  • Communicates information and updates to colleagues interested in LGBT+ matters.
  • Liaises with other groups, e.g., Stonewall, Scottish Trans Alliance, staff and student societies.
  • Provide advocacy on behalf of LGBT+ community to the university​.

Pride and Edinburgh:

Edinburgh Pride March is Saturday 22nd June. You can find out more about the march, the festival and more at Pride Edinburgh. ‘Scotland longest running celebration of diversity’.  Running from 1994.


We want to stress that Pride Month might be in June. But Pride is year-round for Napier University.

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