Despite Fresher’s Week being the victim of adhoc washout weather, events and services carried on with determination and a broad smile of positivity from ear to ear. Most of Transition’s events went ahead with only a couple needing rescheduled. In this blog, we will be sharing our highlights from the week. Do not worry if you could not make it, there are plenty of events and activities throughout the year for you to get involved in!

St AndReuse, Workshops and Beach Cleans

One of our five big project themes, Sharing, Reuse & Repair, is all about creating a sharing economy, reducing waste, and learning new skills. As always, Fresher’s Week kicked off with The St AndReuse Big Giveaway. Attended by close to 600 people, we shifted almost two tonnes of household items, helping students prepare for the year ahead. No fear, there are more opportunities to pick up stuff.

St AndReuse Drop-In Sessions are held every Monday and Friday, 13.00 – 15.00, at the University Hall Reuse Garages.

Wednesday of Fresher’s launched straight into the practical hands-on workshops, aka skillshares. Three were scheduled for the day, albeit Making a Woodpile Habitat for Wildlife did not have any takers. First thing in the morning was all about Making a Hedgehog Home with the Hedgehog Friendly Campus crew and the University’s practical conservation team. 37 people came along with 17 of them signing up to be part of the HFC. If you are interested in where these homes are going next, HFC are organising an event where you can be a part of that. Keep your eyes peeled.

Later in the day, we ran a skillshare on Making a Windowsill Herb Planter using tools from Tool Share. We had five people along to make their own out of pallet wood. From the pallet dismantling to the herb planter assembling, the group rolled up their sleeves and got well stuck in on the day. A little compost and some sage cuttings provided the final touch to what was an eventful day overall!

Bat Walks and Wildflower Meadows

Another of our five big project themes is Greenspaces & Wildlife, which focuses on the conservation and creation of habitat around the University and local area. During Fresher’s Week, other than the workshop making hedgehog homes, we ran a Guided Bat Walk and a practical session on How to Sow a Wildflower Meadow on the North Haugh.

Despite the thunder storms, four people attended the wildflower session but was cut short over lightening concerns. The organisers were greatful for the hardy volunteers who showed up in a downpour to sow seeds on the bonny banks of our North Haugh meadow. As was the purpose of this event, the University is continuing to create and manage richer spaces for both people and pollinators.

For Fresher’s, two bat walks were scheduled with the first of them being a washout. The second, however, went ahead and with great success. 18 people attended a fine evening with perfect conditions for bats to feed ahead of winter. On display was a delightful showing of Soprano Pipistrelles swooping close overhead. As a special treat the group also spotted Daubenton’s* scooping insects from the North Haugh pond.

Whilst the bats prepare and slowly head into hibernation, there will be opportunity for hands on workshops making bat boxes over winter. There are plenty of Greenspaces & Wildlife initiatives to get involved in!

For the Love of Bikes

Smarter Travel is the theme covering all things – yes, you guessed it – travel. The projects aim to promote those ways we commute for work or get about for leisure that are healthier for people and planet. That covers car sharing, active lifestyles (including walking groups as well), and everything to do with cycling. It is cycling that is always our biggest focus, especially as the University is an awarded Cycling Friendly Campus.

Our main event over Fresher’s Week was the two-part Bike Pool Rental Sessions where we managed to get 40 bikes out to incoming and returning students. There will be more opportunity to rent bikes (see later in newsletter).

To ensure that people feel safe on our roads we had Allan Dunlop, senior instructor with Outdoor Education Fife, lead a Cycling for Students session aimed at getting people’s confidence up when on their bikes. Five people attended and persisted despite the late onslaught of rain. If you can cycle in Scottish weather, you can cycle anywhere!

The final events were our Bike Pool Fix-It-Sessions, which are also run bi-weekly throughout the year. They are an opportunity for anyone to have a basic service on their bike and learn a little in the process too. If you have a Bike Pool rented bike, remember, these sessions are essential!

Any of the cycling events and services Transition runs are open to the public as well. Bookings may be essential, so do head over to our website.