Article Archive

Coordinator's Comments

02/07/2018 Posted by

As I write this, we begin a new quarter in the middle of a heatwave following the summer solstice and the group's annual residential week at Taynish and the Moine Mhor. This quarter we are again looking forward to a variety of tasks on both new and familiar sites. [More]

Carsegowan Moss and Carstramon Wood 9th-11th February 2018

29/05/2018 Posted by

Our customary late winter residential was held once again in Dumfries and Galloway, funded by the LCV reserve development funds. The task was to remove birch scrub from the Carsegowan Moss and beech saplings from Carstramon Wood. [More]

Website changes and GDPR

21/05/2018 Posted by

Recently we have spent some time revamping our website to make information easier to find and more relevant to LCV's changing membership and client base. We hope you like the changes; please send any feedback you may have. There will be more changes to come. In addition there have been some changes to LCV's Privacy Policy to reflect the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). [More]

Coordinator's Comments

28/03/2018 Posted by

As winter finally relinquishes its tenacious grip we enter a new season for LCV, where we will continue to visit a varied selection of old and new sites. This includes a summer return to wonderful Taynish in what will hopefully be a flaming June. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

21/12/2017 Posted by

Season's greetings, and welcome to a new and exciting quarter for LCV. As always we have a full programme ahead of us, with visits to a mix of old and new sites and clients. [More]

Carsegowan Moss Residential Oct 13-15 2017

18/10/2017 Posted by

Eight of us set off from Edinburgh on Friday destined for Galloway. After our customary stop in Moffat for deep-fried dinners we arrived at the well-equipped Stronord Outdoor Centre near Newton Stewart. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

08/10/2017 Posted by

Welcome to another LCV season following on from a successful summer including our sunniest ever trip to Taynish, where we enjoyed a day trip to the tropical paradise of Gigha. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

27/06/2017 Posted by

Following a successful AGM we begin a new LCV year, which will contain new opportunities and challenges for us to meet. I am very pleased to say that our conversion to Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation has been completed, apart from the tying up of a few loose ends with OSCR. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

19/03/2017 Posted by

Following a successful winter of activity we are looking forward to a busy spring, which will include our AGM on 9th May. This will be our first AGM under our new corporate identity as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

12/01/2017 Posted by

As I write this we approach the winter solstice when the days begin to lengthen and we can look back on a successful LCV season and forward to a new one. It has been a period of ongoing change wrapped up in continuity as we carry on our work with a variety of clients, both old and new, with a variety of interesting tasks, while saying goodbye to Ian and Mark as they head for a new adventure in the far North. [More]

Two for One - Carsegowan Moss and Carstramon Wood Residential 28 - 30 October 2016

17/12/2016 Posted by

Heading for the picturesque Stronord Old Schoolhouse outdoor activity centre 5 miles from Newton Stewart we travelled down on Friday evening. David Nutter was our well organised leader and caterer; Sarah McConachie, Willie and myself were sharing the driving. In the minibus were also Louisa, Edel and Bruno. Pete Carthy joined us at the centre. It was a long drive and we stopped off for chips etc. in Moffat. This very southern bit of Scotland feels properly wild and remote. LCV and I had been to both sites before and I was looking forward to continuing the work to preserve both very special sites. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

01/10/2016 Posted by

As we enter a new LCV season, there have been a few changes. We have now achieved the necessary committee and full membership agreement to convert LCV to a SCIO and will be putting in our application very shortly, once a few small, remaining details are sorted out. [More]

Legacy Update

01/10/2016 Posted by

With summer on its last legs I thought I would write you all an update on our progress towards putting the money Colin McLean left us to good use, to keep us all cheerful through those nasty cold winter months. [More]

Taynish residential 7th-15th August 2016

22/09/2016 Posted by

Baulking at the thought of spending all of August in Edinburgh, LCV headed, once again, to Argyll for a week's residential task courtesy of Scottish Natural Heritage at the Taynish and Mhoine Mhor NNRs. LCV have been frequent visitors to these two sites over the years and have undertaken various tasks including birch pulling, fence construction and gorse control. While a privilege in itself to visit such a magical part of the world we've also been wowed by the sight of the Knapdale beavers in their new habitat and various other wildlife going about its business. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

30/06/2016 Posted by

We are now heading into the heart of the summer as another interesting quarter begins for us. Notably, we will soon be revisiting the Taynish area for our annual summer resi pilgrimage. In other news, though we are still looking for more committee members, I would like to welcome Heili and Jackie to the committee, as Fundraiser and Leader/Driver Organiser respectively. [More]

Legacy Update

12/04/2016 Posted by

With Spring springing all around us and another year under everyone's belts it is time for another update on our progress towards putting the money Colin McLean left us to good use. At our consultation event a couple of years ago we defined four categories of activity that our members wanted us to contribute to. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

11/04/2016 Posted by

Spring has sprung as we enter a new LCV quarter. [More]

Carsegown Moss Residential 11-12 March 2016

11/04/2016 Posted by

Scottish Wildlife Trust describes Carsegowan Moss as "one of the best examples of a lowland raised peat bog in Galloway. Cranberry and bog rosemary grow in the Sphagnum carpet and adders bask in the heather. Hen harriers, merlins, short-eared owls and barn owls can be seen occasionally hunting across the bog." [More]

More pub quiz success (well, nearly!)

11/04/2016 Posted by

So, it was a hardy bunch of souls who managed to stir themselves to trot along to the pub quiz only 24 hours after getting back from the resi. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

22/09/2015 Posted by

Hello, As summer gently fades we enter the final quarter of another eventful year. I would like to thank Partha and Nicola for all their work through the years and wish them all the best in their future endeavours. Their departure for new horizons leaves us with a committee vacancy for a Mucker Editor and we are still trying to recruit a Publicity Officer. If either post interests you or if you know a candidate please contact me. [More]

A New Site for Summer

22/09/2015 Posted by

Late summer 2015 has seen the arrival of a new site for LCV, Little Boghead Nature Park. Formerly an area of gravel pits and situated on the southwest side of Bathgate this is a West Lothian Council owned site which was set up by a local community group and visited, in 2005, by the Princess Royal. [More]

Way Out West: Taynish Residential

22/09/2015 Posted by

Late July saw another successful outing helping out SNH in Argyll and Bute with their Taynish and Moine Mhor reserves. Taynish is a fantastic reserve and one of LCV's favourite spots. Much of the reserve is covered in ancient oak woodland (Scotland's very own rainforest) but there are big areas of grassland, heath and saltmarsh as well. On this trip much of our work focussed on clearing bracken from glades within the woodland areas, as well as birch saplings from some of the boglands. [More]

'WE WILL FIGHT THE BEECHES! (Fagus sylvatica)' Carstramon Residential Weekend 28th Feb and 1st March 2015

02/09/2015 Posted by

Carstramon Wood is a beautiful Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) Reserve near Gatehouse of Fleet in Galloway. It consists of a canopy of Sessile Oak grown from English acorns some 2 centuries ago, ancient Beech Pollards and an understorey of Hazel, Ash, Alder and Holly. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

14/06/2015 Posted by

As you read this we begin another LCV year following another busy productive season. [More]

Legacy Update

12/03/2015 Posted by

As winter turns to spring, it's high time we gave you all a brief update on the progress we're making towards making good use of the money kindly left to us by Colin McLean. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

09/03/2015 Posted by

Hello, As you read this, winter should be over and spring will be springing. We begin another LCV season having completed a packed and productive winter with visits to established sites and some new places too. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

20/12/2014 Posted by

Hello, As I write this, winter is increasing its dark and gloomy grip but, thankfully, the solstice is within reach. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

20/09/2014 Posted by

As I write this the long, sunny summer fades nto a memory and we enter the season of mellow fruitfulness with another action-filled programme to keep us busy in the run up to the year's end. [More]

Dispatches from the Western Front: A report on this year's Summer Resi at Taynish

01/08/2014 Posted by

Taynish is a national nature reserve managed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). The reserve is a very special oak rain forest located on a little finger peninsula into Loch Sween with the Isle of Jura just over the hill. The Moine Mhor — The Great Bog also managed by SNH — is a few miles north in Kilmartin Glen. LCV has worked on both sites in the past and on this trip we continued with the never-ending task of removing young trees from the bog to prevent it from drying out and turning into a forest. In Taynish we slashed and cut huge swathes of bracken to open up the land which would enable flowers to grow and also help with the humane hunting of deer who feed on tree saplings thus inhibiting natural reforestation. [More]

Sorting at Seafield: Community Recycling Centre tour

28/06/2014 Posted by

'Just so you know, I usually give these talks to primary school children!' exclaimed Hannah, Changeworks representative and our guide for the session. Despite this, she coped admirably with the barrage of questions from fifteen informed and engaged LCVers, adroitly turning her prepared presentation into an interactive discussion. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

19/06/2014 Posted by

The new LCV year begins with a new committee line-up with Louisa Martin standing down after five fruitful years as Co-ordinator to move into the role of Membership Secretary, Sarah McConachie retiring after serving for many years in a number of roles, and Rachael Taggart vacating the post of Social Secretary - if you'd be interested in replacing her do get in touch - we also welcome back Mark Herron as Tools Officer. Thanks to everyone for their sterling work over the last twelve months. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

23/03/2014 Posted by

Having spent much of the last week lurking on my sofa battling an unpleasant bug, I have had plenty of time to consider what it is that I like about going out with LCV. So, here goes: [More]

Colin McClean's Legacy Event, 18th January 2014

23/03/2014 Posted by

You may have read our 2012 Annual Review which celebrated the life of Colin McLean, one of our most important founding members. He left LCV a generous legacy so current and former LCV members spent a day in Duddingston deciding how best to use the money. We started with a guided walk around Colin's Bawsinch nature reserve before our planning meeting. We then relaxed over a meal and repaired to the Sheep Heid Inn for a game of skittles. [More]

Colin McLean's Legacy Event: 18 January 2014: Bawsinch guided walk

23/03/2014 Posted by

On an overcast, cold and rainy winter afternoon we met at the wicket gate for a tour around the Bawsinch Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) Reserve. I love going to Bawsinch as it's one of my favourite places in Edinburgh, a hidden gem of quiet, trees, birds and otters with the magical backdrop of Arthur's Seat. While waiting in the bird hide for everyone to arrive I had a good look out over Duddingston Loch to see if I could spot the otters which are apparently living there: no luck this time, unfortunately, but no doubt I will be back to try again. [More]

Colin McClean's Legacy Event, 18th January 2014: Deciding our priorities

23/03/2014 Posted by

Thirty people. Twenty thousand pounds. No agreement about what to spend it on. So how do you get a roomful of people to agree on something, make sure that everyone's opinion is heard and not take hours and hours and hours over it? [More]

Colin McClean's Legacy Event, 18th January 2014: Skittles at the Sheep Heid Inn

23/03/2014 Posted by

After clearing up and sharing out the leftovers from a very delicious and filling meal about twenty of us headed over to the Sheep Heid Inn in Duddingston village for a game or two of traditional skittles at Scotland's oldest skittle alley. [More]

Grappling with gorse: Taynish Residential February 2014

23/03/2014 Posted by

On Friday 31st January at 1800hrs ten of us left Edinburgh heading for Mid Argyll in the face of an apocalyptic weather forecast. Our plan was to spend the weekend removing gorse on the Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) reserve of Taynish. We had an uneventful journey to Balloch where we paused for some scran at the chippie. Suitably refreshed we then began the 'interesting' part of the journey making for the Rest and Be Thankful where - despite signs warning of increased landslip risk and some roadside snow - we reached our journey's topographical high point. We soon arrived at Kilmartin and its wonderfully misnamed Bothy. [More]

Bara brith

15/03/2014 Posted by

This Welsh fruit cake is called bara or bread because it looks like a bread loaf - and it's pretty healthy too! If catering for ten volunteers bake two for a hearty pudding or just one if it's for a slice each with a cup of tea. [More]

Barley Risotto with Roasted Squash

15/03/2014 Posted by

An unusual take on a classic risotto using pearl barley as the grain rather than rice. Cheap, tasty and highly calorific! What's not to like? [More]

Butternut Squash, Chickpea and Spinach Curry

15/03/2014 Posted by

A substantial and healthy dish for those that love some spice. [More]

Guinness Fruit Cake

15/03/2014 Posted by

A stick-to-your-ribs Irish delight perfect for re-energising dispirited volunteers. [More]

Potage Parmentier

15/03/2014 Posted by

Antoine-Augustin Parmentier popularised the potato as a human food source in 18th-century France. Apocryphally a version of this hearty soup was first distributed from soup kitchens during times of famine in northern France. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

01/01/2014 Posted by

Depending on your point of view either the weather has turned properly seasonal or the big freeze has arrived. However, surely we can all agree that the trees have put on a very fine show this autumn with many of LCV's favourite sites showing a splendid range of reds, yellows and browns, beautifully set off by some surprisingly blue skies. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

30/09/2013 Posted by

Well, the nights have drawn in but volunteer enthusiasm has hardly diminished with full buses on many recent tasks. [More]

Help us find a fitting purpose for Colin McLean's legacy

30/09/2013 Posted by

Colin McLean was an important part of LCV's history and now, a year after his death, he's helping to shape our future too, in the form of a legacy he left to us in his Will. [More]

Bogs, Bracken and Beavers: Kilmartin Summer Residential

30/09/2013 Posted by

LCV's previous weekend trips to west Argyll volunteering with SNH around their local reserves have always been popular, even in midwinter conditions. So it was no surprise that nine of us were keen to sign up for a week-long summer task at the end of July. Whether it is the stunning remote scenery, the variety of interesting conservation tasks undertaken, the enthusiasm of the rangers or simply the deluxe (en-suite!) accommodation provided in the Kilmartin bothy: we keep coming back for more. [More]

Lothians Conservation Volunteers in Roslin Glen

30/09/2013 Posted by

This varied site is always popular with our volunteers. Its Ranger, Midlothian Council's Alan Krumholds, explains how LCV's input complements his own endeavours: [More]

Key Lime Pie

30/09/2013 Posted by

A roaring success whenever she makes it and with only our health in mind, Edel presents her fine scurvy-preventing pudding. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

19/06/2013 Posted by

I ended my last set of Coordinator's comments with "Roll on spring!" - a phrase which now seems strangely inappropriate as within weeks of writing it I found that I was being sent to Malaysia by my employer. Here the weather is altogether warmer, though no drier, than is ever the case in Scotland. [More]

Vegetarian chilli with avocado salsa

19/06/2013 Posted by

Being quick and easy to prepare, this tasty chilli is a tried and tested meal for the first night of a residential after a long day's travel. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

13/03/2013 Posted by

Despite a fairly benign winter we haven't proven wholly immune to cancellations this quarter, with three tasks having to be rearranged in January. However, due to impressive efforts by Matt - LCV's Tasks Officer - all were relocated and no volunteers had to be disappointed by a break in our programme. In fact, it's been a successful quarter all round for Matt as he also sailed through his minibus driving test just before Christmas. [More]

Rhoddie whacking and beaver tracking: New Year residential, Scone Palace 2012/13

13/03/2013 Posted by

It was a small group (Mark, James and I) who left Edinburgh for the now-familiar Scone Palace to tackle the regal rhododendrons once again. [More]

Tree-felling courses Spring 2013

13/03/2013 Posted by

Since taking over as Co-ordinator I had been keen for LCV to run a tree-felling course, given that our last one had been the best part of ten years ago. Like most ideas, this was easier to imagine than to implement and it wasn't until last spring - when we realised that none of our volunteers had been formally trained to use our winch - that we developed our plans for a combined felling and winch-safety training day in earnest. [More]

How many conservation volunteers does it take to measure a tree? Part 3

13/03/2013 Posted by

You may recall our seemingly endless quest to measure the height of a sequoiadendron tree in Scone Palace's stately pinetum. To recap, our sadly-missed friend Colin McLean had set us the task of calculating the height and girth of this magnificent specimen plant to mark its 150th birthday. He had chosen this tree because he had recorded the same measurements in 1970 while working at the palace for the Forestry Commission. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

01/01/2013 Posted by

Well, the nights have drawn in but volunteer enthusiasm has hardly diminished with full buses on many recent tasks. [More]

Beecraigs Badger Watch

01/01/2013 Posted by

After several false starts last summer it was a cautiously optimistic group that assembled outside the Filmhouse on a September evening, hoping for an evening of badger spotting. There was no time to waste if we were to make it into position before the badgers were out and about and so we jumped straight into the bus and headed for Beecraigs. Pausing only to put on numerous spare layers of clothing, meet up with Willie and listen to the Ranger's instructions, we headed straight for the hide. [More]

Synchronised raking and beaver hunting: Taynish residential September 2012

01/01/2013 Posted by

This year's autumn residential trip was to a site new for me, but for many other LCV members it is a well-loved one: Taynish National Nature Reserve. If you haven't been before, Taynish lies in part of the grounds of an old estate in Argyll and has wonderful views out onto Linne Mhuinch and Loch Sween. Scottish National Heritage Ranger Gordon was a wonderful guide to the site and its surroundings, including a rebuilt piggery - sadly lacking pigs at present. [More]

Lothians Conservation Volunteers' Ceilidh - 10th November 2012

01/01/2013 Posted by

Many thanks to everyone who came to this year's fundraising ceilidh - over 120 in total. It was lovely to see some new faces as well as others more practised in ceilidh dancing. As is traditional, LCV members staffed the bar and the door as well as assisting with set up and clear up. A big thank you goes to all who assisted on the night. It was great to see the dance floor of the South Side Community Centre full when the wonderful Hud Yer Weesht ceilidh band struck up the tunes. [More]

Biscuits

01/01/2013 Posted by

Our last Leaders' Course covered all the topics vital to the smooth running of our conservation tasks. (August 2009) [More]

Buckthorn

01/01/2013 Posted by

LCV supplies appropriate protective clothing for all tasks. (November 2009) [More]

Lift

01/01/2013 Posted by

This cartoon commemorates an event which still causes the LCV ceilidh organiser of the time to break out in a cold sweat! We did in the end manage to retrieve the lost supplies in time for the ceilidh. (November 2009) [More]

Moat

01/01/2013 Posted by

LCV's reputation for a job well done even reaches Westminster. We would like to reassure readers that we have done nothing involving moats (or duck houses for that matter)... (June 2009) [More]

Banana Oat Bites

01/01/2013 Posted by

These oat bites provide a lighter dessert experience than usual for LCV. Fruit and oats too - they're practically health food! [More]

Christmas Tree

01/01/2013 Posted by

After a tree-felling task at Addiewell LCV members have been known to take the maxim "reduce, reuse, recycle" a little too far. (November 2008) [More]

Coordinator's Comments

16/09/2012 Posted by

Summer may have been late arriving this year, but it arrived in style for the summer resi at Scone Palace, contributing to a thoroughly successful week of rhodi bashing with a bit of random destruction thrown in for good measure. Day tasks have been running nicely as well with impressive turnouts for some of the historically quieter midsummer outings. Even if bad weather forced us to postpone a badger watching trip, socials have been successful with another good showing at the pub quiz and a most enjoyable festival trip. On the organisational front there's been progress on the website with a final colour scheme now in place and work afoot to get the members' mailing list sorted once and for all. [More]

Colin McLean

16/09/2012 Posted by

LCV founder member Colin McLean sadly died earlier this year. Volunteers and others who knew Colin share their memories of him. [More]

LCV Summer Games: Scone Palace residential, July 2012

16/09/2012 Posted by

In July 2012 a crack team of volunteers took up residence in the decaying grandeur of the Factor's House at Scone Palace for the latest in a series of competitions against their arch-nemesis: Rhododendron ponticum. It is possible that some kind of sporting event was taking place in London at the time, but the details rather escaped our notice. [More]

How many conservation volunteers does it take to measure a tree? Part 2.

16/09/2012 Posted by

Determined to make amends for the scientific shambles of New Year, a second attempt was made on the summer resi to measure Colin McLean's suggested Sequoiadendron. This was made all the more poignant by the sad news of his death, which had reached us on the first work day. [More]

Hot potato and lentil curry

16/09/2012 Posted by

A meal in itself, this dish also benefits from rice and any curry sides you happen to like. The level of heat can be varied to suit all tastes. [More]

Saag Paneer

16/09/2012 Posted by

A curry-house classic and nutritious to boot! [More]

Louisa's spinach lasagne

16/09/2012 Posted by

Retaining the colours of the Italian flag, this is a refreshing veggie take on a classic. [More]

LCV Sees Yew

26/06/2012 Posted by

Not being a car owner or driver, one of my favourite aspects of LCV is going to places I couldn't easily access or simply don't know about. So thanks go to Greg Milne for guiding us along the cycle paths and quiet roads of East Lothian on a lovely cycle ride to Ormiston for the recent LCV social trip. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

14/06/2012 Posted by

You never can tell what spring in Scotland will bring and this year has been no exception, with snow showers at Alness contrasting - only a few weeks later - with T-shirt weather at Beecraigs. [More]

The trainspotting screefers of Alness: May 2012 Residential

14/06/2012 Posted by

On Friday 4 May nine of us set off for Alness in Easter Ross for a weekend of tree planting and associated tasks at a worksite new to LCV. We stopped in Aviemore, marvelled at the snowy Cairngorms and refuelled at the chippy before setting off for the second leg to Sleeperzzz hostel in Rogart, near Golspie. This is similar to the bunkhouse at Glenfinnan, consisting of several converted old-style train carriages. [And First Class compartments at that! -Ed.] On the way we passed Loch Fleet, the site of a previous summer resi. [More]

Fires and frogs at Taynish: March 2012 Residential

14/06/2012 Posted by

How does the ripple effect theory go? A distant butterfly flaps its wings causing slight atmospheric changes, and a hurricane results some weeks later. Well at Taynish on the weekend of 10-11 March, LCV contributed to a real-life butterfly effect. The butterfly in question is the rare marsh fritillary. It lives in damp open grassland. The caterpillars mainly feed on devil's bit scabious and are declining in every European country. Western Scotland, in particular Argyll, is one of the species' remaining strongholds. So the following band of Conservation Brothers and Sisters set about making a little bit of the Taynish National Nature Reserve, which is managed by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), more suited to this rare butterfly. [More]

On the nomenclature of the Sequoia and Sequoiadendron genera.

14/06/2012 Posted by

The use of the title Wellingtonia should be banned forever. Although I have every admiration and respect for the Iron Duke, the use of his name in connection with the tree is pure politics. So-called by English botanist J. Lindley in 1853, many US scientists objected to the name due to proximity of the 1812 war. Thus in 1854 the American C. Winslow proposed the name Washingtonia. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

01/04/2012 Posted by

There are signs of spring from my window here today so - touch wood - perhaps we have made it through this winter without sub-sub zero temperatures, snow drifts and multiple cancelled tasks. This is not to say that the weather has been entirely cooperative. The storms of the third of January caused a delay in work at Scone Palace on the New Year Resi and forced the rangers of Beecraigs Country Park to postpone two tasks while they endeavoured to clear enough wind-blown trees from the many public footpaths to allow their re-opening and our safe access. [More]

The Wrong (Over) Trousers: New Year Residential, Scone Palace, December 2011

01/04/2012 Posted by

The artificial mound of Moot Hill in the grounds of Scone Palace is the coronation site of Scottish monarchs such as first king, Kenneth McAlpin, and Robert the Bruce. In Victorian times the Mansfield family built the mansion house of the palace and improved its environs. [More]

How many conservation volunteers does it take to measure a tree?

01/04/2012 Posted by

Our friend Colin McLean, retired convenor of Bawsinch, Addiewell and Roslin SWT reserves, set us a task for our day off at Scone. In 1970, while working at the Scone Palace pinetum he had measured one of the Wellingtonia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) trees. Planted in 1862 it was due to turn 150 in 2012: re-measurement seemed a fitting birthday present. [More]

Coordinator's Comments

25/01/2012 Posted by

It's been a good few months for LCV, not least because the unusually mild autumn has led to a run of really fine days out. We've been along to two volunteer fairs, one run by the Edinburgh Volunteer Centre and one by Edinburgh University, which have generated an encouraging number of new volunteers, so well done to those who helped out. [More]

The Editor writes...

25/01/2012 Posted by

It's getting chilly here at Mucker Central. I'm starting to wonder if all editors have to wear fingerless gloves to keep their hands warm, as no amount of furious typing seems to be helping mine. Neither do multiple high-speed revolutions in my Imposing Editorial Chair. So, instead, why don't I explain what's in store this quarter? [More]

Fraternising with fritillaries and pausing in piggeries: Taynish residential September 2011

25/01/2012 Posted by

On Friday evening we set off promptly from St Andrew Square with our sights set on the National Nature Reserve at Taynish, near Tayvallich on the west coast. This is just about thirty miles south of Oban. [More]

Lothians Conservation Volunteers' Ceilidh - 29th October 2011

25/01/2012 Posted by

Well, wasn't it a remarkably balmy night for the ceilidh? In previous years gloves and scarves have been the insulation of choice for those manning the door, but not so this year. We had a turnout of about seventy willing dancers who were entertained by the jigs and reels of the Nine Points of Roguery Ceilidh band, and even a rendition of "Big Yellow Taxi." The band certainly knew how to keep the crowd going! [More]

Jaffa Cake - er - Cake

25/01/2012 Posted by

Are you bored of that plain old Victoria sponge? Chocolate cake dragging you down? (Not that I'm aware of - Ed) Well no more! Brighten up your resi with a Jaffa Cake cake. [More]

Poached Pears with Star Anise and Cinnamon

25/01/2012 Posted by

Delicious and (mostly) healthy spiced poached pears. [More]

Sponge Pudding with chocolate sauce.

01/07/2011 Posted by

Summer or winter, chocolate pudding is always a treat. Used with success on Lewis and Ben Lawers resis. [More]

Sticky Toffee Pudding

01/06/2011 Posted by

A British classic. Both tasty and highly calorific! [More]

Split-pea and paneer biryani with tomato raita and aloo paratha

01/05/2011 Posted by

A mighty meal of rice, vegetables, pulses and cheese. [More]

Provencal Vegetable Pie

01/04/2011 Posted by

This is a dish of three parts comprising a vegetable filling in a tomato sauce covered with a french bread topping. [More]

Jamaican Black Bean Pot

01/03/2011 Posted by

A nourishing casserole of beans and veg with a Creole kick. [More]

Apple Pie

01/02/2011 Posted by

A favourite that needs no introduction. [More]

Quick Chick Pea Curry

01/01/2011 Posted by

A delicious mild and creamy curry. Thanks to Fiona who made this on a New Year residential in 06/07 and passed on the recipe. [More]