Category Archives: Nature News

Walk round Donolly Reservoir

Last year, the Garvald to Gifford core path (236) between Garvald Mains and the Donolly reservoir was upgraded, with fences installed to separate the path from the fields in which cattle graze and a bridge built to replace the ford across the Papana water.

Also, the path along the embankment on the NW side of the Donolly was cleared and although it is not to the same standard as the core path (220) on the SE side, it is now possible for a reasonably agile person to do a circuit of the reservoir. However, it is still fairly difficult to walk in a couple of places where trees are growing on the embankment and at the South-West end where the embankment has been washed away.

If you are interesting in regularly using this walk and would like further improvements to be made to the path, please get in touch using the contact form so that we can inform the East Lothian Countryside Volunteer Path Wardens. If there is enough interest from the community, then it might be possible to arrange for improvements made to this section of the walk. Thank you.


Garvald to Gifford Core Path Upgrade

The Core Path from Garvald up to the Donolly Reservoir, accessed by the road up to Garvald Mains, has been upgraded with new gates, a bridge over the burn and the whole path is fenced off from the rest of the cattle field. It’s a bit muddy in sections so wellies or walking boots are required at this time of year, but much of the path has been upgraded with fresh hard-core. The route to the reservoir and back makes an nice hour’s stroll for the whole family, or you can walk all the way to Gifford. More information about the route to Gifford can found in the updated Garvald to Gifford path leaflet.

Woodland Management

Yesterday on the steep bank of the Papana Burn adjacent to the park in Garvald, the young trees received some annual maintenance work. Approximately fifty individual trees required some attention including the straightening of leaning trees, cutting of some intrusive weeds (e.g. gorse / brambles), replacing dead saplings and repairing damaged tubes and stakes. Photos taken by Graham Barnes.

Wandering ducklings…

A mother duck and her lovely ducklings have been spotted in Garvald’s streets and gardens. Please let them visit us safely, give them some space to explore and try not to let your pets worry them. Thank you.



One for the nature lovers …

A kind offer from Barrie Ash:

“I currently receive ‘Scottish Wildlife’ from Scottish Wildlife Trust, which is published three times each year as well as ‘Natures Home’ from the RSPB, which has a Scotland News supplement and is published quarterly.

Instead of ultimately consigning them to the recycling box, if there is anyone in the village or nearby who is interested, or might be starting out in learning about our wildlife, you would be welcome to have a look at them. I would be pleased to pass them, after having had a good read myself of course!

Please contact me by telephone 01620830322 or drop round to The New School House.”

Hedgehog Awareness Week 2015

This week is national Hedgehog Awareness Week. And we in Garvald have even more reason to be Hedgehog aware as we are lucky enough to have a number of these prickly personages resident in the village.


This year efforts are focussed on gardeners. There is so much that gardeners can do to help the hedgehog, very simple things like:

Ensuring there is access into the garden (all that is needed is 5” square gap).
Checking areas before strimming or mowing.
Moving piles of rubbish to a new site before burning it.
Ensuring netting is kept at a safe height.
Checking compost heaps before digging the fork in.
Stopping or reducing the amount of pesticides and poisons used.
Covering drains or deep holes.
Ensuring there is an easy route out of ponds and pools.

If you are lucky enough to see a hedgehog in the village at night time, why not post a comment and let us know? A note of caution should you see one out and about in the daytime though. It is very possibly unwell and in need of help. For more informtion, see the British Hedgehog Preservation Society Website.