I’m heading to a new part of town to find my next air quality monitoring station and to spice up the journey I take a route suggested by Cycle Streets –a brilliant online city cycle route planner.

I find myself trundling along one of ‘Britain’s best cycle rides’ – a journey along the 35 mile stretch of the Union canal, Edinburgh to Falkirk. It’s amazing to be in the city and yet feel somehow removed and in a kind of time-warp as I gently peddle my way along the quiet tow path for not nearly long enough before I must turn off and head back to the bustle of city traffic.

Union Canal – Edinburgh Source: www.walkhighlands.co.uk


Appropriately the air quality monitoring station I find myself at looks rather like a Dr Who tardis on the top of which someone has rather comically (although for essential air quality monitoring purposes) stuck an extraterrestrial dalek looking exterminator style appendage. I kid not.

Enter Edinburgh Gorgie Road air quality monitoring station.













This monitoring station sits with a busy artery road on one side and a small urban park on the other. The park is littered with beautiful spring fresh purple crocus and … less attractive ground features.

As I survey the four trees I find with most lichen on, I am somewhat oblivious to the on-looking passers-by this time as I tip-toe my way around the park. But I notice the local dog walkers seem slightly curious of my peculiar lichen spotting game!

Part of the Edinburgh Living Landscape initiative & the TCV Natural Talent scheme