Craigmillar Community Grows (CCG) is able to meet for social distanced walks once more.

Every Thursday, Craigmillar locals are able to book onto a nice local walk together. At this time, the group is only able to be a maximum of five people, including Karin, the community worker who leads the walks. On Thursday (August 13) we went for a walk, starting from the Thistle Foundation Centre of Wellbeing to a viewpoint in Little France Park. I, Jessie Sheridan from the Business Development team, was very fortunate to attend this week.

We learnt a lot about native species and local edible produce. We took home information about an endangered orchid, details on which flowers are edible, and what you can make from willow. We spoke about recipes, nature and how lockdown has been for us all -all whilst engaging in our surroundings and participating in socially distanced physical exercise.

On speaking to Jessica and Lauren, two other attendees of the walk, they had varying reasons for participating.

Jessica said: “One of my resolutions for this year was to try something new every day. That is how I came across the walking group. I have always been a lover of nature and I grow food in my own garden. This morning I picked a lettuce and some radish leaves for a salad. I very much like identifying plants on these walks, and learning about recipes using home-grown food has been useful.”

Lauren, who started attending the walks recently, said: “I really enjoy the outdoors and identifying species. I have an app that has widened my knowledge. I just take pictures of plants and it can tell me what it is straight away. With my children now back in school, I can now interact with nature at my own pace again. The past few months have been very different, and it is nice interacting with new people again, as well as the local community.”

Karin knows so much about the protected area and it was very insightful learning from her shared knowledge of the area and the plants and species within it. We saw Craigmillar Castle, the spire of St Giles’ Cathedral, and all the way out to Inchkeith Island.

We walked back to the Thistle Foundation and met Christine who showed us the orchard in which we each had an apple.

Christine also very kindly gave us all some potatoes from the garden at the Centre. Potato seeds were planted at the beginning of lockdown and it has proven a bountiful endeavor.

       

Karin welcomes everyone who wants to participate in CCG. The CCG facebook page is the best place to register for walks.