The ELCV recently held their Annual General Meeting (we finally report - better late than never!). The restrictions of Covid meant we kept deferring it, but the Scottish Charities Commission then gave blanket permission to temporarily run such meetings online instead of physically, so that's what we did. And as part of the AGM we approved a change to our constitution to allow us to carry on this way in the future - we've moved into the 21st Century!

What did it cover? - well Jenny gave us a resume of the year, John Harrison updated us on progress with the Aberlady Hub, Dave Quarendon reported on the giant hogweed projects and our social media sites, Dick & Jenny gave an overview of the finances, and all the committee members were re-elected - apart from our leader Dave Oldham, who sadly has had to retire due to ill health, so Dick Gill agreed to take over as chairman. And we welcomed two new members onto the committee - Andrew Stevenson and Terry Page.

See the full details in the minutes on our website here 

Hogweed by the A68

One of the River Esk hogweed spotters was out for a walk and saw a large batch of the plant. Reckoned it was beside a burn which feeds into the Tyne and so he used the app on his mobile, recorded it, sent us his gpx file. This meant it was easy to go and investigate, and he was dead right on both counts - there were a dozen dead stems from last year complete with seed heads, fifty maturing plants. and hundreds of tiny shoots. It is on an embankment of the A68 and only feet away from the far upper reaches of the Bellyford Burn, which eventually feeds into the Tyne. We checked the burn a mile both up and downstream, and luckily it hasnt yet spread. But BEAR Scotland, who look after all the roads, have been urgently informed.

Litter Pickers

Out of the blue, ELCV recently got the following email:


I am writing from Green18, a charity that exists to further environmental education in Scotland. We have a project that aims to set up 'clean-up hubs' (as we call them) and have been successful in raising funds to get equipment for these. Initially the project was going to collaborate with Scotmid and equipment would be housed in stores across the country.
Sadly, this collaboration hasn't been successful and we are now looking to provide equipment to groups and organisations that can utilise the equipment in their local communities with some support from Green18 where necessary.
I was wondering whether you would be interested in receiving some litter pickers to be used to help keep Edinburgh clean of litter.
We immediately said yes! And today ten of them were delivered - top quality see the spec here.

Many thanks to the charity Green18 on facebook

So if you are one of our volunteers who loves keeping the countryside and beaches clean, contact Jenny to borrow one - no more excuses!

Giant Hogweed on the River Esk

Following on from our Giant Hogweed eradication project on the River Tyne, the Inveresk Village Society are launching their own programme to tackle the plant on the River Esk, initially on its lower reaches in East Lothian. They will be looking for local spotters - so if you live closer to the Esk than the Tyne, why not offer to help? See more details on their website at InvereskVillage.wordpress.com.

To Whom It May Concern

ELCV offers a range of courses, one of which is the Digging Awareness Course – which is designed to cover most low level Hogweed digging offences. ELCV offer this course for educational purposes as an alternative to excommunication and penalty points, to encourage diggers to alter their attitude towards slapdash digging and the potential consequences thereof.
Will whoever was responsible for claiming to have properly dug up this plant (i.e. 6in below ground level) beside the Tyne path back in May please inform us.

We Won!

Our Giant Hogweed Eradication Programme was not just a finalist, but the winner of the Enhancing the Environment category in the Scottish Land and Estates Helping It Happen Awards! The full video of all the categories is here on YouTube. Our video starts at minute 31, and the winner is announced at min 32.20, the judges saying:

"... a brilliant initiative that really considers the long term impact of invasives. A great example of landowners and volunteers working together to enhance the environment..."

This is all due to the hard work of the farmers and the spotters, and especially James Wyllie for driving it all.