Rugby tackling the river litter

By Col Stocker

Weaving through the heart of the city, a river can bring in a wealth of wildlife to the urban environment, but being in such close proximity to human activity it needs looking after. The Water of Leith Conservation Trust works to conserve and enhance the river, its heritage and wildlife and works with volunteers and community groups to deliver around 240 river clean-ups and habitat improvement tasks annually. 

There's usually plenty of enthusiasm for looking after the river, and as a result of covid restriction and the cancelling of the rugby season it unlocked more volunteers!

Johnny, Project Officer for Water of Leith Conservation Trust saw an opportunity to maximise the energy of the Broughton Rugby Ladies Section and get them in the river helping with a spring clean-up of the rubbish that ends up in it.

"We have begun to run green gym sessions for the Broughton Rugby Club Ladies section, so they have an opportunity to stay fit and to support one another, especially those who would be socially isolated.. We have begun fortnightly session where they have been coming out working on the Water of Leith walkway to remove leaves and cut back vegetation, however to help them fully experience the river I want to take them wading in the river for litter.

Already something they do with their conservation volunteers there were shortfalls in the numbers of waders for the whole team to work on the river at once.

So not ones to see that energy go to waste we were delighted to help. Up to 20 members of the Brougton Rugby Ladies team, 70 of our regular conservation volunteers that come out on a weekly basis to enhance and protect the river. The population of Edinburgh that use the walkway as a place of relaxation and wonder during these covid times so it is litter free. A wide diversity of plants and an

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