Giving Nature a Home in Glasgow

Our work

Our work
You might be surprised to read that our work is far broader than nature reserves and Big Garden Birdwatch. Read more about what else we do.

Giving Nature a Home in Glasgow

An exciting project about reconnecting with nature and bringing it back into our city.
  • Glasgow Wildlife Garden Festival 2018

    2018 is going to be a big year for wildlife in Glasgow! Fiona Weir, Giving Nature a Home Project Manager, tells us more.  

    This year, RSPB Scotland and Glasgow City Council are teaming up with partners, organisations and community gardens right across the city, to celebrate the fifth year of Glasgow Wildfest and the 30th Anniversary of the Glasgow Garden Festival!  We'll be bringing the festival to as many green spaces as we can, and raising awareness of the wildlife found on your doorstep. 

    We'll be celebrating with a series of events throughout the year, including a launch exhibition at Kelvingrove Art Gallery in April, and Glasgow Wildfest from 19 May - 3 June. We'll also be creating a garden as part of Festival 2018 on Glasgow Green, and ending the celebrations with a conference at Glasgow School Art in September.

    Wildfest 19 May–3 June

    Each year wildfest has over 40 groups involved running a variety of events from art installations, wildlife themed walks, canoe trips and citizen science activities in all sizes of green spaces from community pocket gardens, stalled spaces, back courts, church yards, schools grounds and parks.

    This year we're looking for even more partners and organisations to help us celebrate 30 years since the Glasgow Garden Festival, by running green-themed events and helping raise awareness of Glasgow's biodiversity, as well as showcasing the work you're doing.

    If your organisation, community group or school want to take part in wildfest and run an event in a green space or school grounds, or open your gardens to celebrate the 30th anniversary, please fill out a registration form and email it to gnahg@rspb.org.

    Networking meeting 14 March

    If you'd like to be involved in the festival, we'll be running a networking meeting with partners on March 14. This is a great opportunity to let others know about your project and to share ideas for events as well as launch our community pack which will be a tool to support your event throughout the festival.

    If you're interested in attending this meeting, just drop us a line on gnahg@rspb.org.

    Finally to see some of the events that took place last year I have attached a link of a film by Gregory Vaux  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z49QsR8Uuhw

    We look forward to hearing from you! 

  • Meeting a hedgehog without spines

    Winter is beginning to make its presence felt and the Hedgehogs and Habitats event that took place at Kelvingrove Art Gallery on Sunday 22 October, gave everyone a little reminder about looking after nature at this time of the year. Volunteer, Kyle Reid, tells us more. 

    The event focussed on the loss and fragmentation of suitable hedgehog habitat, as well as issues such as the lack of good nesting sites. I think people, particularly the younger visitors, were very surprised to find out what they can do to help, even in their own back gardens. Many of them were unaware that hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, and will often seek shelter in gardens to hibernate for the winter.  

    Sarah-Jayne from RSPB Glasgow and Jackie from Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue talked to the visitors about some of the issues affecting hedgehogs, which have seen a drastic decline in their numbers, with at least a quarter of the population lost in the last decade. Issues include: drowning, plastic pollution, increased threat of predation from badgers and a reduced amount of invertebrate food, such as slugs, which forms a key part of their diet.

    Top tips for anyone keen to help hedgehogs are:

    • Make sure that you have gaps in fences or walls for them to move freely between gardens.
    • Give up on the garden work for a while and let some overgrowth, log piles or compost heaps gather in certain patches. Hedgehogs are always on the lookout for warm, cosy places to settle down during the winter months.
    • Avoid using pesticides, as these will reduce the amount of food around for the hedgehogs to eat. 

    Despite being hectic, the event ran very smoothly, with small groups heading downstairs in the museum every 20 minutes to see the hedgehogs, while the crowds upstairs were kept entertained with a ‘seedbomb’ workshop. This involved making little hedgehogs out of clay and bits of bark, with a sprinkling of seeds rolled up inside to be put out in hard to reach areas of the back garden,

    Downstairs, visitors were able to get an up-close look at the stars of the show: an unnamed hedgehog to be released back into the wild and a captive hedgehog affectionately named Baldy, due to the fact that she was born without any spikes. Unable to fend for herself in the wild, Baldy has always been kept in captivity, giving her a gentler disposition that some of her feistier companions. (We didn't actually have any runaways but a few of them have made a valiant attempt!)

    Our generous visitors helped us to raise £200 throughout the afternoon, so thank you very much to everyone who came along.

    For more up-coming events in Glasgow, visit http://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/at-home-and-abroad/scotland/glasgow/wildlifegardenfestival/events.aspx

    Find out more about Hessilhead  http://www.hessilhead.org.uk/

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Special music commissioned for National Chamber Music Day event this Saturday

    Glasgow Wildfest continues this weekend, and it's taking on a rather musical slant in celebration of National Chamber Music Day! The Hidden Gardens, in Glasgow's South Side, will be open from 12pm-6pm on Saturday as part of Doors Open Day, and from 5pm you can bring along a picnic and eat to the relaxing sound of live chamber music. Enterprise Music Scotland have commissioned a new piece in honour of the event, and they've given us permission to re-post their blog about it below:  

    For this year’s National Chamber Music Day we have commissioned composer, Matilda Brown to write a new work!

    The piece will be premièred at a special free event in collaboration with RSPB Wildfest and Door Open Days at the Hidden Gardens, Glasgow on Saturday 16th September, 5pm.

    http://www.matildabrownmusic.co.uk


    Matilda on the new commission:

    Birds fly, humans only try…

    This new bird commission by EMS has given me the opportunity to discover many beautiful and exciting new things about birds and to share and perform these ideas with new musicians, out in the open.

    Working on the project took me back to my first ever commission, ‘First Flight’ performed by ensemble 10:10, about two birds exploring the world for the first time, like fledglings leaving the nest.

    This new piece features four birds that fly solo and meet together at various points throughout the music. At some point each instrument from the ensemble takes a turn to become one of these birds.

    • Skylark featuring a stonechat
    • Cuckoo
    • Curlew
    • Sea eagle

    The instrumentation I have used is violin, viola, cello, piano and vocals.

    Various motifs and accompaniments in the music are there to express the speed, size, elegance and character of each bird on some level, and to provoke in the listener, some kind of emotional response that may connect to their personal experiences of birds.

    My inspiration for the piece began by simply going outside and listening to birds from the end of summer leading into the Autumn. Then I listened to Messiaen’s 'Chronochromie’, being once again amazed by his scoring of birdsong. My main source of inspiration has come from Kate Bush’s album, 'Ariel’, where she sings to live sound recordings of birds.

    The piece for me, links to some of the music I have written in response to long distance wilderness walks. In 2014, I walked the Cape Wrath solo and I was convinced a little brown bird, which was a skylark, followed me for two days. I decided to feature this bird in a short song within the piece.

    Humans have always wanted to fly. Perhaps that is one of the many reasons why birds continue to fascinate us - being in awe of their ability to be free. Let us preserve, enjoy and look up to these most precious birds.

    National Chamber Music Day 2017 is sponsored by Mackie's of Scotland and The Hugh Fraser Foundation.

    You can follow EMS on Facebook and twitter, and find more events using the hashtag

    For more Glasgow Wildfest events, including music at the Kelvingrove Bandstand, and foraging with Urban Roots, visit http://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/at-home-and-abroad/scotland/glasgow/wildlifegardenfestival/events.aspx