Going Wild about Scotland through July 2018

24/08/2018 in RZSS


Wild about Scotland volunteer Joyce with visitors aboard the busWild about Scotland started the summer holidays with a wee break to get the bus serviced and team rested before our busy season of events.

After the success of last year, we had another fantastic day of pond dipping with Friends of the Calder and the South Lanarkshire Rangers in Bonnie Blantyre. This hidden corner is a real local gem and well worth a visit for an afternoon picnic. We then headed northwards to Blairgowrie to take part in the community event with the Greenspace Rangers from Perth and Kinross. A big thank you to all the families who came along to these events!

This summer we have teamed up with Midlothian libraries as part of their summer reading and events challenges. We spent a day at Loanhead in July and will be visiting Newbattle and Penicuik libraries in August, please come say hello if you are nearby! The library had lots of fantastic free resources to keep the kids busy in the holidays.

Below: Looking for mini-beasts on board the Wild about Scotland bus

RZSS Wild about Scotland - looking for mini-beasts

During the last week in July we headed to Dumbarton Academy to welcome families from Children in Scotland on board and celebrate their Food, Families and Futures event. It was a great day making bird feeders, exploring the bus, taking part in animal handling and a bonus tasty BBQ for everyone to share!

We also had a special visitor back on board the bus. Former Education Officer Jamie returned to us for a day to help with the Cosmos Holiday Club and an afternoon at St Andrews Botanic Gardens. A big thank you to Jamie for stepping in, we hope you enjoyed your day reliving your bus adventures! 

We had lots of wildlife and vehicular enthusiasts on board at the Dundee Museum of Transport as well this month. Our bus driver Dave had a great time showcasing the bus and teaching us about the exhibition.

RZSS Green Team at the Wild about Scotland beach clean

Above: The RZSS Green team ready to get stuck into beach cleaning

This month we also ran another Beachwatch beach clean with over 70 people coming down to Fisherrow Harbour in Musselburgh to help. We collected an impressive 27kg of litter in 17 bags!  A big thank you to the 50 volunteers we had helping, including the RZSS Green Team who came to do their bit. Our most interesting find was a piece of a 1960’s Novo Raceways Scalextric, Made in USSR in the
1960’s. Just goes to show that plastic never goes away. We will be running another one on the 14th September as a part of the 25th Big British Beach Clean, keep an eye out for details on our Facebook, Twitter and the Marine Conservation Society website. 

Below: Part of a 1960s Scalectrix controller recovered during the beach clean!

Part of a controller from a 1960s Scalectrix set

This summer we’ve had some time to look back over our personal highlights of the year! We’ve had an amazing time journeying across Scotland and hit some important milestones in the project, but it has not all been without a few bumps in the road! So, we thought we’d give you some of the best, worst and funniest moments from our adventures…

The Wild about Scotland beach clean recovered 27kg of rubbishThis year we have had the pleasure of working alongside some fantastic partners as well. A huge thank you to Marine Conservation Society for helping us to run our beach cleans, to RSPB for showing us your fantastic white-tailed eagle lesson and mini-beast resources and to Scottish Wildcat Action for sharing your expertise with schools we were visiting in priority areas. These partnerships have all been a highlight for the whole team.

There were a tough few months over the winter with the weather hitting the bus team hard. A few tricky driving moments, the car almost getting stuck in the snow twice (saved only by Dave’s master driving skills), the generator breaking down and having to return early from an away week in Glasgow.

Team highlights:

Annabeth -  Mull was my favourite trip of the year for several reasons. It was my first island trip, we met some fantastic small schools and the beautiful scenery all around. It is also home to the beautiful white-tailed eagle, a contender for my favourite native species. Despite having my eyes glued to the skies I didn’t catch a glimpse this time around but will hopefully return one day and see one. 

Rosie - My highlight of the year has been the first ever Wild about Scotland Day at Highland Wildlife Park. I love visiting the park because of the stunning scenery of the Cairngorms and the incredible animals found both in the collection and the wild around there. We had a brilliant week visiting some lovely local schools and then a fantastic day with all the families from the invited charities. It really demonstrated the community spirit of the highlands and highlighted why we run this project.

Dave – The weather in Harris & Lewis!

Life on the road can be tough at times, we are often together 24/7! But we always manage to have a laugh and keep smiling! From Rosie falling into a ditch after attempting to chase some sheep off the road, Dave daily declaration that “this a great job” and Annabeth’s questionable puns.

Over the past school year… we’ve travelled almost 7,000 miles, said goodbye to one Education Officer and hello to another, been on 8 ferry trips to 4 islands, visited 144 schools, got stuck in the snow twice, given out 315 trees, engaged with over 20,000 pupils, smashed one phone screen and eaten over 200 cakes!

We’ve got a few months left on this adventure and even more stories to tell. Next month we’ve got some popular events coming up including the Big Picnic at Helix Park and another trip northwards to Aberdeen for the 25th Techfest!

See you next month,

Rosie & Annabeth

 

Top comments from July:

“Nice to get the latest updates on the Beavers and Wildcats- will we have wolf or lynx?”

“Love it! Great for kids and adults alike”

“Reinforced our promise not to use too much plastic”

 

Top social media posts from July:

 

 

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