On Sunday 19th of May, Scot and Amelia teamed up with Friends of Polkemmet to deliver a litter pick event along the river Almond that runs through Polkemmet Country Park. They were also happy to be joined by members of the West Lothian Litter pickers who kindly loaned the use of bag rings and some extra pickers.
In total, 18 helpful volunteers and a dog showed up to lend a hand and clear paths along stretches of the park including the circular path across the footbridge, past the Baillie Mausoleum and towards the loch. After about an hour and a half of work the group managed to get 11 bags of rubbish, a road sign, road barrier, a parasol and many other interesting things, including 7 golf balls for Trufa the dog!
It wasn’t all work and no play though, as the children who came along seemed to enjoy having a supervised splash in the river as they navigated to pick up bits of rubbish that had collected along the riverbanks or gotten wedged between the foliage.
Polkemmet Country Park is situated on the main stem of the upper Almond just west of Whitburn and was a great location for the clean up event. The woodlands throughout the park are known for having a diversity of tree species. Along our stroll we could easily spot beech, conifer, horse chestnut and sycamore. Thrushes, chaffinches and robins have all been spotted there as well as the occasional kingfisher. However, during spring it is the bluebells that really take centre stage. Bluebells abound along the park’s trails and it is fun to try and spot the differences between native bluebells and Spanish bluebells. Native bluebells have drooped stems and narrow bell-shaped flowers that distinctly roll back on themselves with whitish-yellowish pollen. Spanish bluebells have straighter stems with open tipped flowers and blue pollen.