I’m sitting in The Lions’ Gate under the boughs of a rowan, in dappled sunlight and it’s most delightful. Birds are tweeting, bees are buzzing and nature’s bounty is putting on a bit of a show. Apple, medlar, plum and cherry trees are fruiting. Strawberries are ripening, herbs are flowering and our new lawn seems … Continue reading
On The Beach
For the past six weeks, having watched Seaspiracy, and been shocked into action, I’ve been picking up litter from a beach I pass on my morning cycle. It’s a potentially beautiful spot where the Dolphinton Burn meets the Firth of Forth, and swans, geese, ducks, oystercatchers, and gulls are just some of the birds you’ll see on any day by the water.
However, the Firth of Forth is, as a dog walker proclaimed this morning – ‘a dirty river’. Too true, I bought myself a litter picker and armed with it and a bag I’ve now an intimate relationship with human trash. Tyres, plastic bottles and tops, sanitary towels, a lot of sanitary towels, innumerable pieces of plastic of all sizes and types, shoes, lots of shoes, clothing, ropes, wipes, food packaging, fibrous and congealed human-made materials, just about anything you can think of that humans make and nature has to suffer. I always think of a whale or dolphin or any sea creature consuming this stuff, and the complete misery of that vision is sobering. I can clear that beach, just about, in a month, but then it all comes back again. How not to despair?
Plants and seeds bought via our Community Climate Action Fund success. It’s exciting to see our plans for edible/sensory/medicinal campuses come together. Over the last few weeks we’ve taken delivery of lots of herbs and seeds and soil and compost and water butts, and this week we take delivery of twenty fruit trees too! You … Continue reading
I’ve just been sent a pack of 100 seed-balls as part of the Keep Scotland Beautiful #BeeDiverse campaign. I’m sure we’d all agree that the rockery beneath John Napier’s tower would be a delightful sight covered in flowers and populated with bees and butterflies. Bee populations are in dramatic decline due to habitat loss – … Continue reading
It’s been an inspirational experience working with colleagues from ENSA, The Business School and the Development Office, dreaming-up how, moderate funding, from the Community Climate Asset Fund could be put to use at Napier. In the first place I was delighted to have been enthused by Clive Gee’s positive energy when he suggested, out of … Continue reading
I’ve been playing with data from our recent School of Computing survey into student attitudes to sustainability. The point of the survey was to gather evidence of how students feel about sustainability, as a precursor to organising focus groups that will investigate how we can embed sustainability methods and materials into computing modules, in the … Continue reading
A few years ago I made my way back to see Graham Bell at Garden Cottage (the oldest intentional food forest in the UK). I’d met Graham once before and made a film then too. You can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2M1uMqRUabw Back in the 90’s I’d read his book The Permaculture Garden and had always … Continue reading
One the most positive things to have come out of the lockdown situation has been the ability to work your weekly hours in a manner that supports your health and well-being. That is, if you’re lucky enough to have a progressive employer, or a job at all. I’ve been getting up early, often in time … Continue reading
Professor Sally Smith (Head of Graduate Apprenticeships and Skills Development), MSc student Kris Plum, and I are currently involved in research about embedding sustainability in the university curriculum. We’ve developed a survey – ‘student attitudes to sustainability’ based on the excellent work from SEED (Sustainability and Environmental Education)*, responses to which will be synthesised into … Continue reading
Delighted that in collaboration with ENSA president Ankit Dougal and Clive Gee at the Edinburgh Napier Development office we’ve been awarded £2660 by the Community Climate Asset Fund ‘to help tackle climate change and deliver Scotland’s green recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.’ £1000 of the funding comes to The Lions’ Gate at Merchiston for … Continue reading