4th October 2022

For Giffnock Library’s children’s event about water pollution, we explored facts in Giffnock’s junior non-fiction books.

From here we made a big display wall naming different pollutants, alongside the things we could do to actively protect the environment.

Finally, we built a water filter together, taking it in turns to carefully layer charcoal, sand and pebbles into a cheese cloth. We poured in some dirty water and as it was cleansed by these natural materials we watched it come out of the filter clear!

Water Filter in action

9th November 2022

It was all about birds today when primary 1 class and some of the primary 7 class visited Thornliebank library. The temperature has definitely dropped so we chatted about how we can help our little winged friends to get food over winter. The children were brilliant at identifying different birds including robins, blackbirds, chaffinches and blue tits and we learned about the foods to avoid giving birds such as turkey fat. Then it was time to make bird feeders or fat balls. The children had great fun filling old yoghurt pots with oats, grated cheese, seeds and topped off with melted suet. 40 pots are currently chilling in the fridge and we can’t wait to hang them outside in the library garden for the birds to enjoy over the winter months.

Top tips… you can freeze fat balls/ bird feeder balls in the freezer and take out when needed. If you have a pet dog, avoid using raisins/ sultanas etc as these are poisonous to dogs. Turkey fat doesn’t set the way other fats would and can stick to birds feathers making it hard for them to fly.

Little hands making a great job of the bird feeders/ fat balls

28th October 2022

This morning, I donned my wellies and spent a lovely hour with colleagues from East Ren Council’s Environment team, Sam and Mark, helping them and other volunteers to plant the last of the remaining trees from the ‘Wee Woods’ project.

‘Wee Woods’ is a Cop26 legacy project organised by the Environment team and has seen over 11,000 trees planted across East Renfrewshire! Today’s planting session brings the total to an incredible 27 Wee Woods- how amazing! Each Wee Wood is about the size of a tennis court and has around 400 new trees ready to flourish for future generations to enjoy. A wee pause in the digging/ planting gave me a chance to speak to the team about The Root Cause Project and we are looking forward to seeing how we can continue to support our sustainable projects.

Sam and Mark from Environment Team and Gillian from Libraries with some of the trees to be planted!

5th October 2022

Lesley Traynor, published and passionate writer and founder of ‘Women With Fierce Words’ has just finished delivering a wonderful block of creative writing sessions as part of the project. We invited Lesley to write a piece for the blog about the sessions. Enjoy!

Storytelling is a way of protecting our environment. We need to keep telling the stories connected with places. David Attenborough, COP26 November 2021

Time had been carved out of busy careers, motherhood, and numerous other commitments. Taking part in the Root Cause writing workshops was about realizing a desire to write. The first two weeks of our writing journey included reflective walks in the grounds of Eastwood House. Thoughts were written into small handmade folding notebooks. A few extended this by walking in their own communities, channelling sensory and emotional reactions into wonderful thoughtful writing that was shared with others. Writing of where they lived (who knew we had an Olympian living in the area), of places important in their life. We relived one writer’s arrival in the small Italian village her family have called home for generations.

Lesley with some of the writers

We drew memory maps of places special to us, annotated them with names of people, highlighting areas of significance that would never exist on an OS map. Stories were shared using them.

Settled into Giffnock Library, we considered how to place characters into an emotional landscape in our writing and in our last session we considered our connection to place. We observed people arriving and departing in Giffnock Railway Station, connected that with emotional leavings and arrivals at our own front doors. Our writing journey concluded by reflecting on our own narrative, of people weaving stories about us, of giving us a sense of belonging.

Thornliebank Library welcomed each year group from Thornliebank Primary and ELCC over the month of May. 

This has been a brilliant way to share what The Root Cause project is, why it’s important and excitingly kick-starting the planning our community Gardens features and functionality!

We recapped the wonderful Root Cause centred events held in our libraries so far (read more here) such as our Food scrap growth experiment, seed bombs craft, and our grass earth man craft. There was much interest in rerunning these events again and we have even more exciting things planned throughout the year, so please keep a look out on our social media pages: 

We talked about Climate change and greenhouse gases, and received some insightful responses from all year groups. Thornliebank Primary had already been teaching about such issues –with the recent COP26 and Earth day pledges!

Once we completed our introductions we moved outside into the garden space – explained a little of the ideas our working group has come up with so far, talked about the local wildlife and how a green garden space may benefit them. 

Once fully acquainted the children returned indoors and used a blueprint to plan what they’d like to see in the garden space.

Finally we regrouped as a whole to share our ideas on our flip chart – while we got some weird and wonderful responses – there were definitely ideas supported as a collective – with clever ways to upcycle or reuse materials – such as a tyre converted into a pond space, a homemade bug hotel, and in line with the design of our Root Cause logo – a recycled materials sculpture related to our project. 

Thanks again to Thornliebank Primary and the ELCC for their amazing ideas when visiting – we can’t to see these ideas become a reality. 

22nd April 2022

To celebrate #EarthDay, the Root Cause project held a ‘Hairy Caterpillar’ and ‘Earth man’ event at Giffnock and Thornliebank Libraries, led by the brilliant Kay and Alan.

The children got to make either a ‘Caterpillar’ or ‘Earth man’ out of grass seed and soil. They took them home to look after, watering them gradually each day until the grass seed started to grow!

Take a look at the new resident Caterpillar at Giffnock library.

Over at Clarkston, Eaglesham and Busby Libraries we held a seed bomb craft event, where we made these fantastic little balls bursting with wildflower seeds!

The seed bombs are not only great fun, but by sowing native wildflowers they provide vital resources to support lots of different insects, that can struggle to survive in urban environments.

Barrhead Foundry rounded the day off with a beautiful book display to inspire, promote and engage readers of all ages.

Thanks everyone for coming along!

March 2022

#ScienceWeek took place between 11th-20th March and we held a food scrap event for the Root Cause project at Giffnock library, led by the wonderful Briony!

This event showed the children (and parents) how some veggies could be regrown easily from veg scraps, simply on the windowsill at home. Spring onions and leeks were on the menu that day!

To start off, Briony explained greenhouse gases with a cool science experiment using eco balloons before tackling the food scraps.

The children each created a graph which would be used to track the growth progress of the new veggies before carefully putting the ends of their spring onions and leeks into a glass jar. we all had a giggle coming up with the names for our new vegetables! Favourite was definitely…Mr.

Thanks everyone for coming, we look forward to hearing how your veggies get on!


We were so excited to be successful with a funding bid to Scottish Library and Information Council to deliver ‘The Root Cause Project’.

So…what is The Root Cause Project?

Thornliebank Library has a lovely but unused outdoor space surrounding the building and we hope to transform this into a community space for children and adults alike to enjoy. We are delighted to be working with Thornliebank primary school and the children are going to help us to design, create and look after the space, plant fruit and vegetables and create a little haven for wildlife.

We have taken inspiration from The brilliant Glasgow Seed Library and have plans to establish our own Reseeding Initiative here in East Ren, gathering, storing and, hopefully in time, sharing seeds with the community. More information will follow!

And finally, to celebrate and encourage community involvement, we will be running a year-long programme of exciting and interactive events and activities to raise the profile of sustainability and greener living for adults and children.

We are very excited to be able to share news, updates, tips and ideas here and look forward to working with the community to make a positive difference.

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