News & Views October 23, 2014

One of the five Chilean Flamingo chicks at Edinburgh Zoo. Photo courtesy of Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

Graffiti With A Difference

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley, quotes from Scott’s books and the thoughts of the man himself have been written across the floors, windows and walkways of Edinburgh’s Waverley Station.

As part of this campaign, developed by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, 25,000 copies of a free book – Great Scott! – will be given away in the station. Telling the story of Scott’s incredible life, the pocket-book includes a timeline, quotes and musings and gives tips on things to see, read and do relating to Scott.

“As a City of Literature, we want to see books, words and ideas celebrated as widely as possible,” said Ali Bowden, Director of the Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust. “Most people know about Scott – the world’s tallest monument to a writer is the Scott Monument on Princes Street – but they might not know his books and we hope this campaign helps people discover the man and his words.”

Juliet Donnachie, Network Rail’s station manager for Waverley, said: “As the only station in the world named after a novel, I like to think that Waverley Station retains a bit of romance not always associated with modern railways. Sir Walter Scott was the most prominent Scot of his time and it’s appropriate that the main railway station in Scotland’s capital continues to acknowledge his influence.

“Waverley Station has been the stage for millions of stories since the Victorian era and I think Sir Walter would like that.”

Great Scott! is only available in Waverley Station in October and November while stocks last, as well as online in audio form and as an ebook at


NTS Volunteer of the Year Awards

A green-fingered volunteer at House of Dunn has been honoured with a National Trust for Scotland Volunteer of the Year Award at a ceremony in Edinburgh.

Christopher Linton has dedicated an average of 32 volunteer hours every week for the past two years, contributing to the outstanding presentation of the gardens and managing of the wider estate, including building paths and bridges.

Chris was nominated by Head Gardener Russell Shanks. “Chris is a fine example of a young man who is prepared to get involved for the better of the local community,” said Russell. “His work has been invaluable.”

Chris received the top award in the Gardens category. Awards were also presented in categories including Groups, Support, Outdoor Conservation and Property, representing the breadth of work provided by volunteers for the National Trust for Scotland.

“The Trust depends upon the support of its volunteers,” said Sir Kenneth. “I am privileged to present the Volunteer of the Year Awards, knowing that the time, skills and resources our volunteers devote to the Trust are beyond any words of gratitude I can offer.”

For more information about volunteering opportunities visit


Who Needs Hollywood?

East Lothian has played a starring role in films seen by millions of people over the last few years. Ranging from the grandeur of Gosford House, as seen in Castles in the Sky and The Awakening, to Renton’s iconic sprint along Princes Street in Trainspotting, to Robert Langdon of the Da Vinci Code’s visit to Rosslyn Chapel, East Lothian’s beautiful locations are very good at stealing the limelight from the stars!

East Lothian Council, in partnership with Film Edinburgh, has created a new movie map to highlight the region’s top 15 film locations.

“The new film map is a celebration of the crucial role East Lothian has played in the creation of some of the most acclaimed TV and film productions made in Scotland,” said Rosie Ellison of Film Edinburgh. “For example, The Railway Man has been released in 47 countries since the start of the year and grossed over $22m in cinemas so far – that’s a huge number of people who now have seen East Lothian and locations such as Gilmerton House and North Berwick’s Milsey Bay.”

To download a copy of the new East Lothian on the Screen Map, click here.



If you’re at Edinburgh Zoo over the next few weeks, look out for five incredibly cute Chilean flamingo chicks.

“When the first egg arrived, the parenting couple got really excited and accidentally knocked it off the nest,” said Nick Dowling, Senior Bird Keeper at Edinburgh Zoo. “We don’t usually intervene with our flamingo flock but as this was our first egg since 2010, we carefully picked it up and placed it back on the nest.

“Luckily, one of our same sex male couples went straight onto the nest, fostered the egg and raised it as their own.

“The fifth egg was born to a young couple, but was then was ‘stolen’ by our other male-male couple! Chilean flamingos are very paternal so often the more dominant couples will squabble with the inexperienced parents and ‘steal’ the egg.

“Both these chicks are now walking around the enclosure in their father’s footsteps and will continue to feed from them for the next few months as, interestingly, both male and female flamingos produce a nutritious, milk-like substance called crop milk.”

Edinburgh Zoo has been the home to Chilean flamingos for over 40 years and the well-established flock now numbers 38, including the new chicks and the Zoo’s oldest residents, three 53-year-old males.