Blogs and News - St George's School For Girls, Edinburgh

11 May 2017
Himalayan Balsam Pulling

Balsam 650w

As part of our Natural Connections Outdoor Learning programme, the Primary 5 girls and some U4 helpers set off along the Water of Leith on Wednesday 3 May to help on a conservation project. Our task was to pull out the Himalayan Balsam growing in the wooded area behind Bell’s Mill Meadow.

We learned that Himalayan Balsam is an invasive plant species, brought over to this country in the early 1800s as an ornamental garden flower. By 1855, it had escaped the confines of the gardens and started spreading through damp habitats in woodlands and riverbanks, out-competing native species in ecologically sensitive areas.

The problem is that whilst Himalayan Balsam is very pretty, the bees think so too. They are choosing this flower to pollinate instead of own Scottish flowers. Himalayan Balsam also has a very effective way of dispersing its seeds. When the pods are ripe, they explode them into the wind and can quickly cover large areas of ground like this.

It is a race against the plant at Bell’s Mill to stop it reaching the river as if it does, the seeds will be carried downstream and the banks of the Water of Leith will be carpeted right down to the sea with Himalayan Balsam – and little else. A biodiversity activity, counting all the plant species ringed by a thrown hula-hoop, illustrated the effects of human interference on our native plants already.

Under the guidance of Charlotte Neary from the Water of Leith education team, the girls were taught how to identify Himalayan Balsam and instructed as to how to remove it and destroy it. This involved quite a bit of ripping, tearing and stomping on the plant, which the girls seemed to take great satisfaction in doing!

We had the most beautiful sunny day for our task, and coupled with the heron looking on and the kingfisher (for those lucky enough to have spotted its fleeting appearance), we had a wonderful morning and returned to school rather proud of doing our bit to help the environment.

Himalayan Balsam, watch out – the eagle-eyed P5 girls are onto you!

Mrs Sinclair
 

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News Archive
2018

January

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Welcome to students from Havergal College

Hockey News

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Book Fair in Lower School Library

Rugby at Murrayfield - Scotland v England

Sledging

Guide Dog Visit

RSPB Big Schools’ Birdwatch

Chinese Performance - Lasswade

Model United Nations Conference

Lower School Book of Excellence

Primary 6 Author Visit

Primary 5 Fringe Schools Poster Competition

Clothing Clear Out – Collection Extravaganza!

Remove History - Board Games

The Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships

Boarders' Ceilidh

The Edinburgh Brain Bee Competition

Under 13 Scottish Schools Lacrosse

Under 14 Scottish Schools Lacrosse

Under 15 Scottish Schools Lacrosse

Primary 7 Hockey Tournament

S1 East District Hockey Tournament

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S3 East Cup Final

The Lower School Badminton Championships

Lower School Dance Showcase

Clothing Clear Out – Nursery Collection Extravaganza!

World Book Day

Spanish Play

The Edinburgh Piano Festival Competitions

Play in a Day Articles

A Visit by Hayley Valentine from BBC Question Time

Primary 5 Visit The Scottish Parliament

British Science Week

Primary One Visit the Zoo

500 Word Story

Primary 6 Skype Call to India

Primary 6 Power Investigations

Lower 4 Merchiston Social

The Play That Goes Wrong

Parents Play and Stay at Nursery Outdoor Learning

Revving up the Revision

Autumn Term Upper School Production

Edinburgh Primary Badminton Squad

Lothian League

Sport Relief

Euro Quiz 2018

LUSH at Houldsworth House

Making Scones at Houldsworth

Poetry Match-Making

Lower School Book of Excellence

Young Enterprise Scotland Programme

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St George’s Primary 7 Netball Tournament

Athletics versus Dollar Academy

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Skiing

Primary 5 Trip to Bannockburn

P3 Visit to Hopetoun House

Fundraising Afternoon

Katie Morag Day

P5 Sketch Club

Primary 5 Camp

P3 Visit to the Victorian Schoolroom

News from The Little Owls

Remove Trip to Inchcolm Island and Blackness Castle

The Leg Bone's Connected to the Knee Bone ...

The Murrayfield Care Home Visit

No Excuse for Single Use

International School Award

6th Form Leadership Day

Announcement for Sports Celebration Evening Categories #STGSC18

Nicola Morgan Speaker Event

Lower School Equestrian Team

High School of Dundee Tennis Tournament

Kilgraston Invitational Junior Tennis Tournament

Cricket News

Scottish Schools Athletics

Skiing

LTA Year 9 & 10 Final

Lifelong Learning Conference

Reading Ambassadors

Salters Chemistry Festival

Primary 6 Cycle of Life Visit to Edinburgh Zoo

The Friendship Fair

Banana DNA

JRSO Sign

Our Primary 4 Show: H₂O

After School Care - St George’s +

Primary 2 Trip to the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens

News from The Little Owls

Junior School Sports Day

Netball Success

Cricket Festival

ALUMNAE: Victory for St George’s Alumnae Golf Team!

The Robots Visit Primary 1

Girls’ School Association Boarding Fair

Primary 5 Farewell

Transition Day for Our Pre-School Girls Moving to Primary 1

ALUMNAE: St George's Summer Lunch

Independent Women Spring/Summer 2018

Art Exhibition - Ms Knox

2017