The RiverLife team, like almost everyone else, have recently gone through some changes to the way that we are working. Social distancing has meant that the usual myriad of public events, school programmes and volunteer activities that we would typically be carrying out at this lovely time of year have all been put on hold.
That left us with an interesting question – how can we try to keep people engaged with their rivers and burns, and all the wildlife that lives in and around them, with everyone unable to get together and go out further from home?
Well for starters, the whole team is working on developing more online material, such as informative videos, education resources for our popular school programmes, and virtual training for our dedicated volunteers.
We have also recently released our free Virtual Trails films that let you explore the River Almond and the River Avon from the comfort of your couch. These relaxing films follow the two rivers from sea to source, and let you hear some stories from the people who live in the communities alongside them. We hope they convey that sense of serenity that we often feel when spending time by the river, and show what the rivers mean to local people. You can watch the films here:
River Almond: https://youtu.be/mDgGfgB_anE
River Avon: https://youtu.be/cRQDXdyICIM
We are also excited to announce our online Resilient Rivers Photography Exhibition! We are looking for photo submissions of the River Almond and River Avon that show how our rivers can still be beautiful despite the pressures that are put on them. They have been heavily affected by humans over the centuries through industrialisation, urbanisation, agriculture and pollution. If you take your daily allotted exercise down by your local river or burn there is a good chance that you’ll see signs of these impacts. The remains of the old weirs constructed to provide water to mills, pollution and plastic from the surrounding industries, or even an old tyre or shopping trolley sticking out of the water, it’s usually easy to spot some of the pressures these waterways face.
The images shown here were part of a photography exhibition that we ran a couple of years ago in conjunction with West Lothian College, and these entries perfectly captured the impacts human behaviour can have on our rivers.
So if you snap some pictures of your local Resilient River while out exercising, or if you already have a great photo showing just how strong our rivers can be, upload it by clicking the button below. Once we have our entries we’ll be showcasing them in the Resilient Rivers Photography Exhibition, so keep your eyes peeled for that coming soon!