Education and culture Health and spiritual well-being

A benefit of flexible working.

Sunrise over Edinburgh

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 for the sunrise, and going for a cycle into the Estate that’s close by my home.

This morning I met only two people. I don’t think I’ve ever met more than three on these excursions. A man walking his chilled and scruffy dog, and a woman trotting on her pie-bald horse.

I cycled into the wood where the new wild garlic tempted me with it’s heady sweetness.

Eventually I made it the shore, the cockle-shell beach, the sun low in the East, scattering it’s warming glow over the rippling estuary.

Back on the bike, for the climb up the hill. On any day I may meet deer, sheep, pheasants, buzzards, hare’s, highland coo’s, all kinds of nature’s bounty.

An added bonus this morning was that when I approached the gates to leave, they opened electronically for me and so I didn’t have to wrestle with the kissing gate and a long bicycle.

Within little over an hour I was home, and once I’d washed and had breakfast I was ready to start work. Invigorated, inspired, unrushed.

Campus Sustainability Education and culture

Student attitudes to sustainability

MBA students - Amy and BusayoProfessor 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 themes for focus groups to discuss how the university can best address the environmental concerns of the age in terms of pedagogy.

To begin with we’re focusing on School of Computing students, but hope the results will feed into university-wide sustainability conversations, and more importantly, essential actions that universities can take.

Insights will be published on here come the Springtime.

*A big thanks to Environmental Sustainability Manger Jamie Pearson for directing us to SEED.

Campus Sustainability Climate Action

Community Climate Asset Fund Success

The Lions' Gate food forestDelighted 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 landscaping materials, plants, seeds, bulbs, bird feed and feeders.

The rest of the funds are available for projects at our other two campuses – Sighthill, where Lisa Macmillan’s gardening club stands to benefit, and at Craiglockhart where there have been previous discussions about ‘ a thinking walk’, bee-keeping and an outdoor business forum.

Climate Action

52 Climate Actions

52 Climate ActionsRecently, The Lions’ Gate was part of the international 52 Climate Actions project funded by the VKRF.

Our task was to design a deck of online cards, one for each week of the year, detailing a climate action anyone could understand, and many that anyone could achieve.

On the surface the actions are accessible to all, but underneath, thanks to the informational wonders of the internet they are deeply researched and provide excellent resources for novices through to experts.

Our hope is to embed these actions in educational settings, public organisations and community groups. With follow-on funding we’d like to print decks for focus groups and the like.

The project was an excellent example of participatory design and cooperative working across continents, mostly online, between passionate and committed activists.

You can view the 52 Climate Actions here.

Campus Sustainability

Welcome to The Lions’ Gate

The Lions’ Gate is an in-development urban permaculture project based at Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston campus providing; garden, allotment, outdoor laboratory, venue and relaxation space for students, staff and local communities to explore solutions, in an applied sense, to environmental and social issues.

Drop-in sessions are open to all on Mondays from 10am – 2pm. Entrance through the white gate on Colinton Road.

Reception area and stage
Reception area and stage