Mental Health Awareness Week 10 – 16 May / Springfield Mill
A small nature reserve near Polton that you could get around in less than ½ an hour if you raced it or longer if you have the time to spot some fluffy new chicks being naughty and leaving the nest without permission. Maybe spend a few moments to take in the sounds of the River North Esk and you might catch a dipper or merganser bobbing by. Because there are open grasslands, trees, two ponds and the river, it’s a good place to spot and listen to birds in the variety of habitats. And who doesn’t feel better watching and listening to them tweeting away? A welcome break from the usual Twitter? And If you have some noisy fledglings with you, get them to collect sticks and make a nest, while you have a quiet moment to see green.
The Midlothian Ranger Service works to promote Midlothian’s countryside and showcase the great wealth of biodiversity in its woodlands, parks and river valleys. The service is based at Vogrie Country Park, but looks after six sites across the county. Our thanks to the team for providing the information for these special emails marking Mental Health Awareness Week.
Mental Health Awareness Week 10 – 16 May / Penicuik to Dalkeith Walkway
This 9 mile route travels along the old Edinburgh to Peebles railway and the Penicuik branch line, linking busy towns and villages from Dalkeith (near Tesco Eskbank) to Rosewell and then it’s open countryside until the outskirts of Penicuik, along the Esk Valley. If walking makes you feel good, how about trying to spot some of the things on the spring scavenger hunt, on your wanderings in the busy or quiet sections?
Or spot the difference that a few months make….one taken in February and the other in April.
Mental Health Awareness Week 10 – 16 May / Roslin Glen
If you are a fan of the TV show Outlander, you may be aware that our very own Roslin Glen was used as one of the filming locations. This site is steeped in history, with bits of its old gunpowder mill buildings still standing to add to the atmosphere. The main car park area is situated on the B7003 between Roslin and Rosewell. Roslin Glen is a great place for picnics and wee wanders along the river. However to really appreciate the beauty of the Glen you need to take a walk up to the gunpowder mills where the steep cliffs on the far side of the river reveal waterfalls and even provide habitats for nesting birds.
The woodlands in the Glen are home to a variety of deciduous tree species and now is the perfect time to learn to identify their leaves. Click on the link below for the leaf ID guide from Nature Detectives to see if you and your family can become top tree spotters!
Mental Health Awareness Week 10 – 16 May / Gore Glen
Today, as part of promoting the outdoors in Midlothian for Mental Health Week, we are featuring Gore Glen.
This is the perfect place for a walk along the river. Situated just south of Gorebridge on the A7, it is easily accessible by car or on foot. Canopies of broadleaf woodland trees filter the sunlight through to the path along the river and you really feel like you are away from all the bustle of daily life. The paths that zig-zag down from the main car park and bridge over the railway offer some of the best views of the Pentlands in Midlothian. When walking along the path next to the Gore Water, look out for Dippers which feed along the river. These wonderful birds are easy to spot, as they bob up and down on rocks, and then dive into the water for fresh water insects such as mayfly and stonefly larvae.
Click this link for guidance on how to clear your head and feel calmer : https://clearyourhead.scot/
Mental Health Awareness Week 10 – 16 May / Straiton Pond
This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and its theme is nature. Studies show that being active and spending time outdoors can have real benefits for your mental health.
The Midlothian Ranger Service works to promote Midlothian’s countryside and showcase the great wealth of biodiversity in its woodlands, parks and river valleys. The service is based at Vogrie Country Park, but looks after six sites across the county. Over the next five days we will introduce you to some of these special places which offer peace and tranquillity. We hope this will encourage you to visit and explore these areas.
The first is Straiton Pond. This is a nature reserve in an unlikely place. You will find it opposite the retail park in Loanhead, right beside the bypass. It is only a short walk down a tree lined path to reach the pond and be greeted by an eager group of swans, ducks and coots, and in May all their tiny chicks too! Take a seat on one of the benches installed by the Straiton Volunteer Group and enjoy a moment of peace. Maybe see if you can identify the various bird calls from the pond edges using a bird song ID app. Remember not to feed the ducks bread…but if you have any leftover lettuce from your sandwich they would really enjoy that.