46 people got involved, attending an average of 2.2 events each. We also raised a bit of money for Scottish Wildlife Trust.
My favourite aspect was the peer-learning. The people who participated ranged from trained ecologists to people who'd never done anything like this before. There were people who had known the wild spaces of Edinburgh for decades, and could tell their stories; and people who'd recently arrived in the city who could tell us about nature around the world. Often, we would discover the name of a flower or habits of a bumblebee through a pooling of shared scraps of knowledge, an old field guide, and google. I've learned a huge amount about the ecology of Edinburgh.
Here are the events:
|Day One: Identifying the flowers which grow in pavement cracks, with Leith botanist Jim Gardner.|
|Day Two: Blowing dandelion clocks in an Edinburgh Living Landscape "no mow" patch on the Meadows|
|Day Three: It was billed as paddling at Portobello, but two of the three of us decided to swim! That's us disappearing into the distance...|
|Day Four: Reading nature poetry amongst the flowers under Edinburgh Castle. This poem about birds singing and red and white flowers is by the East Lothian Renaissance poet William Dunbar.|
|Day Six: Lying in long grass on Calton Hill. Only I was up for being seen doing it!|
|Day Seven: Discover an urban wildlife garden, at George Harris's house in Bruntsfield|
|Day Eight: Explore Ravelston local nature reserve. Spectacular trees!|
|Day Nine: Go barefoot amongst the birches in Princes Street Gardens|
|Day Ten: Make fairy-houses amongst the tree roots in the Hermitage|
|Day 11: Go on a bug walk|
|Day 12: Draw and paint nature. The leaves came from Greyfriars churchyard, but as it was pouring with rain the actual painting was done in a nearby café.|
|Day 13: Dawn chorus walk along the Canal|
|Day 14: Hug a tree|
|Day 15: Help improve a tenement garden for wildlife|
|Day 16: Observe the effect of rain on things|
|Day 17: Visit Scottish Wildlife Trust Johnston Terrace Nature Reserve|
|Day 18: Abstract nature photography by the Water of Leith|
|Day 19: Explore urban woodland with forester Andy Heald|
|Day 20: Play poohsticks in Roseburn Park|
|Day 21: Mini Bioblitz in the grounds of the Astley Ainsley|
|Day 22: Dressing up to meet a "30 Days Wild" official representative from Scottish Wildlife Trust|
|Day 23: Learning European nature words on Calton Hill (and taking photographs) - this is an ööliblikas (night-butterfly) in Estonian.|
|Day 24: Walk down the Water of Leith from Dean to the Shore. Good geraniums: Meadow cranesbill, Bloody cranesbill, and Herb robert.|
|Day 25: join the Duddingston Bioblitz. We explored Dr Neil's Garden and heard about small mammal trapping from Graeme Wilson, manager of the Wildlife Information Centre. This is Jelly ear fungus.|
|Day 26: Bug hunt in Princes Street Gardens with Mike Smith. Several species of bumblebee, immature shield bugs, a variety of woodlice, craneflies, click beetles, and a Snout moth.|
|Day 27: Listing the wildflowers in the Greening our Street Lauriston patch on the Meadows, with Jim Gardner.|
|Day 28: Bat watching at Blackford Pond, with John McTague. Common and Soprano pipstrelles catching midges round our heads, and Daubentons skimming over the water.|
|Day 29: Exploring Lochend Park with naturalist Graham Checkley. We sorted out our Early, Tree, and Buff-tailed bumblebees, as well as discussing birds, botany, and the habitat management of the park over the years.|
|Day 30: Compline (the monastic night office) under Dean Bridge led by former Benedictine monk Stephen Holmes. Rushing water below and bats above.|
"Lovely and inspiring"
"The thing I really like about nature walks is you are never in a hurry to get anywhere!"
"Interesting and instructive"
"What a fantastic Saturday morning! Learned a lot! Got a good mood and energy boost and now feel I've done a lot today."
"Interesting and relaxing meetup"
"I have a big appreciation for bugs and all the others now"
"Loved it. Far too short"
We aren't just for 30 Days Wild.... You can see future events and sign up on the Wild Reekie Meetup page. You can also follow me on twitter at @eleanormharris.