Garnock Connections is a Landscape Partnership project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project which is led by the RPSB spans the Garnock Valley from Lochwinnoch to Irvine. Growing for Garnock is a sub-project designed and delivered by local environmental charity Eadha Enterprises as part of Garnock Connections. The project aims to expand and enhance wildflower meadows and riparian (riverside) woodland habitats between Lochwinnoch and Irvine.

Eadha Enterprises maintains a specialist tree nursery at Bishopton growing rare and threatened tree species which it plants in local woodland creation and re-wilding projects. Growing for Garnock will involved the propagation of a suite of native wildflowers and plants to complement tree planting initiatives.

Working in partnership with ReMode this phase of the project offered an opportunity to engage children and adults from a wide range of backgrounds involving them in the discovery of, and learning about nature on their doorsteps. Many of the participants who had had little contact with nature beforehand took part in a series of supervised walks and hands-on workshops led by artists and horticulturists to introduce participants to their local flora. Through this they have learned new skills in plan identification, propagation and planting as well as those in botanical drawing, natural dyes and cyanotype print using wildflowers and plants.

Follow up sessions also involved participants in the collection of seeds which are now being propagated at schools and Eadha’s nursery. The resulting ‘plugs’ will be planted in various sites across the the Garnock Connections area over the next three years to enhance biodiversity.

The exhibition of this work was due to take place in ReMode Lochwinnoch through out May and June of this year – unfortunately this has had to be postponed until COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are relaxed. However, shown here as a digital exhibition is a selection of some of the drawings, print and dye samples, a book of botanical prints made from local wildflowers and some documentation of the walks and workshops. We hope to reschedule soon!

Botanical Drawing Walks

Participants of all ages took part in a series of botanical drawing rambles along the walkways and local woods of Lochwinnoch to make drawings on-site. Samples were also identified and collected to take back and make detailed drawings using magnifying glasses.

Botanical Print

Other groups took part in a day of printing and dyeing making direct prints onto cloth using a variety of plants and wildflowers collected around Lochwinnoch’s woods and walkways. The process involved applying pressure and steaming to enhance the resulting colour prints on cloth.

Some pages from a book of print samples made:

Natural Dye and Botanical Cyanotype Workshops

During these, our participants produced beautiful dyed samples using woad – a flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae group. Historically cultivated across Europe, including Scotland, Woad is an indigo dye which was and is still used produce a range of deep to pale blues.

Botanical Cyanotypes

If you are interested in getting involved as the project progresses please contact:

Peter Livingstone, Eadha Enterprises, pete@eadha.co.uk, 07968745196

Woad Dyed Cotton