John Muir seems to have been a prominent feature at the Botanics over the last 6 months or so. During the Autumn and Winter we had the exhibition at the Gateway about John Muir’s botanical legacy, “Nature’s Beloved Son” and also during this time there were a number of the Visitor Welcome Team who undertook the Discovery level of the John Muir Award.  Those participating were Betsy Ogilvie, Bill Gardiner, Catherine Thomson, David Brash, Fiona Gordon, Gavin Powell and Tamar Duncan.  The award was facilitated by myself, Drew McNaughton, however all the participants enthusiastically offered their skills to share with the group.  Initial discussions were made to put together a proposal for activities to do to meet the four challenges and then once the go ahead was given by Rob Bushby of the John Muir Award, we were off!


The four challenges are based on the main aspects of John Muir’s own life experiences which broadly speaking were:

Discover, Explore, Conserve and Share.

During the winter training hours we fulfilled the objectives of our proposal by going into the garden, spending time getting to know the place as a haven for wild creatures. For example, as part of the discover challenge we took photographs of wild flora and fauna in the garden.  During the explore challenge we worked on wildlife tracking and identification and discussed the use of maps for biological recording purposes. For the conserve challenge we did biodiversity recording which was submitted as part of the ongoing records of the garden and created bug lodges for the demonstration garden. And for the share challenge we had plenty to discuss between us and produced some poetry and a gallery of photos on Flickr (


Photo by Betsy Ogilvie

This month there is also the birthday of John Muir on the 21st of April and along the John Muir Way there will be events going on ( Nicely coinciding with John Muir’s birthday we have also generously been allowed to use the display cabinet in the Library Foyer to exhibit some of the John Muir Award material so please come and have a look!