01st August 2023

During the school summer holidays, our Arts and Heritage Team in partnership with our libraries delivered our first ever Eco Art and Drama Camp.

The week-long camp took place at St Clares & Calderwood Lodge Primary, linking up with The Root Cause project throughout. Arts, crafts, design, drama and physical theatre activities were incorporated as 24 young people worked with our experienced freelance arts and drama tutors.

In drama, the young people learnt to work around themes of nature and use it as inspiration, with lots of things they found in nature used as props in scenes.

The Root Cause Project’s seed library was put to use, as the young people made seed bombs. The seed bombs were then ‘planted’ in the school’s playground – we can’t wait to see what will blossom!

The young people also tried their hand making paper in art. Damaged books that couldn’t be used anymore were collected from our libraries with the old bits of paper pulped. The young people followed the whole process and used the pulp to make new paper for drawing, writing and painting on, giving it a new purpose and demonstrated inventive ways of recycling.

Other activities over the busy week included working with clay to make pinch pots, finding out where clay comes from. We also made sure we were as environmentally friendly as possible, using recycled materials such as treesaver wood-free pencils, recycled paper and card and seeking alternatives to avoid the use of plastics such as in felt pens and acrylic paints.

The group of young people also used recycled materials to create a mosaic of The Root Cause logo, which we are very much looking forward to putting in the garden at Thornliebank Library for all to see.

Eco Camp Fun!

12th June 2023

Just look at the crop of fruit on the Gooseberry tree! It is so rewarding to see the first of our crops growing after all that beautiful sunshine we have had. The cucumber plant is sprouting nicely and the first of the tomatoes are now appearing, but not quite red yet! The Calendula that we grew from seeds collected in now in full bloom as well and adding a nice touch of colour. If you haven’t been in the garden, do pop along to the library and take a look.

Now is also the perfect time to start gathering in seeds from plants that have finished their flowering for the year. We have added more yellow and orange poppy seeds to the Seed Library as well as some Grape Hyacinth seeds. Anyone is welcome to come along and take some home to scatter and grow! And if you have any self-seeding plants that you could collect seeds from, please do consider handing some in to the Seed Library at Thornliebank library and we will share with the community.

Eaglesham Community Garden

31st May 2023

There are lots of wonderful Community Gardens across East Renfrewshire and Eaglesham Community Garden is just one such example. A sparse area of ground at the rear of Eaglesham Carswell Hall has been transformed into a hive of growing activity thanks to the hard work of two local residents, Sandra and Jennifer. We had the pleasure of visiting one morning to help plant some trees and shovel some woodchip. As a result Sandra and Jennifer gifted us with some beautiful seeds for the Seed Library. Community spirit strikes again!

Eaglesham Community Garden

19th April 2023

We got a lovely surprise visit today by Joseph, Stuart and Stevie from Thornliebank Resources Centre as they came bearing gifts. The lovely folks down at the centre have planted up some beautiful planters to brighten up the front of Thornliebank library. The planters are in situ now and can be enjoyed by all visiting or passing the library. And if that wasn’t lovely enough, Stuart, Stevie and Joseph even spent some time tidying up the weeds at the front and helped us to move some soil into planters in the rear garden! It was a lovely afternoon and made us smile at the generosity of community spirit. Thank you all at Thornliebank Resource Centre!

Joseph and Stuart beside one of the blooming planters

13th March 2023

Primary 7 pupils had a rare treat today as they got to swim with Manta Rays, walk beside elephants in Kenya and swing with Orangutans in the Jungles of Borneo… all with the help of Virtual Reality!

Virtual Reality is a brilliant way to experience things that you might not otherwise get the chance to in real life and as part of The Root Cause Project, we wanted to give pupils the opportunity to experience some of the Eco/ nature content available. Afterwards pupils said “It’s so exciting!’ “It felt like you were really there!” “We need to look after the jungle and oceans”.

A P7 pupil immersed in the Virtual Reality experience

Libraries run various different VR sessions throughout the year and are added to the ‘What’s On’ section of ERCLT website.

22nd February 2023

Library staff had a lovely time putting together the start of the Seed Library. Part of our wishes for The Root Cause Project was to establish a Seed Library for East Renfrewshire.

We are collecting seeds, storing and giving out flower seeds to the local community for people to grow in their own spaces.

A Seed Library Production Line going on!

There’s a whole host of flowers that ‘self-seed’ at the end of flowering season that you can gather in before they disperse and, if stored properly, can be used to replant the following season to grow as new flowers. Some examples of flower seeds you can collect include: Poppies, Bluebells, Columbines, Cornflowers, Scabious, Foxgloves, Verbena and wildflowers.

You can hand in suitable flower seeds to any East Renfrewshire library and we will add to the Seed Library, currently housed at Thornliebank Library. We will have a log book where we record some details about the seeds. Anyone can come along to the Seed Library to have a look at what is available and take some seeds away to grow in their own space. All we ask is that you return some seeds back to the Seed Library at the end of flowering to help keep the cycle going and the library thriving.

Next steps will be to gather in vegetable and fruit seeds! For more details about the Seed Library- contact libraries@ercultureandleisure.org

14th February 2023

We just had to share this tasty recipe card for quick pickles that was added to Giffnock Library’s Eco Tips Wall. Yum! Do you have any recipe ideas that saves on food waste as well as the pennies? Pop them on to your library’s Eco Tips Wall and share with us.

27th January 2023

Big Garden Birdwatch long weekend starts today. There’s still time to sign-up and take part. RSPB need your help- can you spend one hour between Friday 27 and Sunday 29 January counting the birds? If yes, you will be helping the RSPB to see how birds are faring. It’s free, fun and a great way to keep an eye on your local wildlife.

Why take part?

In the last 50 years, the UK has lost over 38million birds- that is a shocking figure and one that the RSPB are working hard to tackle, with your help. You can log your bird count online at: https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/ where you will also find lots of helpful tips and info to help our feathered friends. So grab a pen and find a comfortable perch and get counting!

Water Filter in action

11th December

Groundworks has begun in the garden and this nifty little digger has done a brilliant job of preparing the grounds for a new accessible path and children’s section. Check back later for some ‘after’ photos!

Small but mighty!

08 December 2022

We have put up Eco Tips Walls for everyone and anyone to pop up their ideas, tips or even pledges that can help to make greener choices in everyday life. We have loved reading all of the amazing suggestions from the community and have picked out some to share here:

Say No to fast Fashion Write to your local MP and supermarkets, tell them to fight the climate crisis!

Make your gift wrap eco friendly- use cloths, old newspapers etc Toilet tip- one flush saves the planet!

Save and freeze food scraps and use in a hearty stock for soup when possible do laundry and other tasks in off peak times.

Eco Tip Wall at Barrhead Foundry Library

Do you have your own ideas to add? Check out the suggestions at your local library and add your own idea, tip or pledge to the wall and let’s all take small steps together to tackle the climate crisis.

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