Community News 19th November: Nature Trail for Book Week Scotland, #IWill Week and Spare Digital Devices

Linlithgow’s Nature-Themed Book Trail

For Book Week Scotland this year (16-22 November 2020), a nature-themed book trail will pop up across the outdoor spaces of Linlithgow! Featuring favourite nature books, quotes and authors, the trail will encourage us to pause and enjoy the beautiful outdoor spaces of our town, perhaps to explore one or two new green spaces, and help us to discover some new nature writing to inspire us through the winter months.

Half of the trail locations will feature entries from Amanda Thomson’s beautiful ‘A Scots Dictionary of Nature’.

A Scots Dictionary of Nature brings together the deeply expressive vocabulary customarily used to describe land, wood, weather, birds, water and walking in Scotland. Artist Amanda Thomson collates and celebrates these traditional Scots words, which reveal ways of seeing and being in the world that are in danger of disappearing forever. What emerges is a vivid evocation of the nature and people of Scotland, past and present; of lives lived between the mountains and the sky.

Thanks to a public call-out, the people of Linlithgow have chosen their favourite nature writing to feature on the trail markers too. Accordingly, the trail will feature quotes from classic writers such as Nan Shepherd and Robert Burns, more contemporary favourites including Dara McAnulty and Carol Ann Duffy, and children’s authors Kenneth Grahame, Beatrix Potter and A. A. Milne.

The trail went live around Linlithgow on 16th November and be in place for the duration of Book Week Scotland for people to explore and enjoy. Markers will be located around the lochside path, along the canal towpath, in community gardens and en route to Beecraigs Country Park and Cockleroy, highlighting the beautiful outdoor spaces we are so lucky to have all around us in Linlithgow. All the trail locations are marked on a dedicated trail map, available via

The selection of books chosen as Linlithgow’s favourite nature writing will be featured in Far From The Madding Crowd this November – enticing us to discover some new favourites, rediscover a classic or get started on the Christmas shopping. They will be offering click and collect and free local delivery during tier 4 restrictions.

The trail is supported by the Scottish Book Trust and delivered by Kathryn Welch in partnership with Transition Linlithgow and Far From The Madding Crowd.

#IWill Week Linlithgow Young People’s Project

“There Is Hope” is a bit of a slogan at Linlithgow Young People’s Project (LYPP). On our wall of encouragement, painted in our youth centre, these words are right in the middle. Hope is a powerful tool and has been a very important part of the lives of young people this year.

The Youth Link #IWill Week shows that feeling lived out in the lives of young people all over the country. It is “an opportunity to shout about the fantastic contribution young people are making in their communities, society and the environment.
LYPP has been passionate about seeing young people engage with and challenge the communities they are part of. From weekends sleeping on the streets to 24hour human trafficking simulations and participating in the Burgh Beautiful competition 2 years ago. They have also worked on projects with Linlithgow Museum, Historic Environmental Scotland and even being trained up to provide Mental Health support for their peers in school. They have been part of it all.

Throughout this year young people have also continued to show a passion for Social Justice. Taking to social media to raise awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement and to challenge stigma around gender identity, sexuality or mental health awareness. In Bridgend, we’re also seeing them excited to partner with us in recreating a new newsletter that will highlight local news within their village.

To see some of the contributions and celebrations that are being had across the UK please search for #IWill or #PowerOfYouth on social media. Follow LYPP on Facebook or find out more on their website.

Do You Have Digital Devices to Spare?

You can find out more information about this project on the Transition Linlithgow website. This event is still ok to go ahead despite tier 4 restrictions, we are asking people to drop donations into boxes and leave promptly.

Let’s help others stay connected this winter!

Linlithgow & Linlithgow Bridge Community Council Update

Linlithgow & Linlithgow Bridge Community Council Logo

The next meeting of the Community Council will take place next week on Tuesday 24th November at 7.30pm via Zoom. To register to attend please email [email protected] and confirm you are a Linlithgow resident.

You can stay in touch with the Community Council on Facebook and their website.

Business Spotlight – Linlithgow Digital Christmas Market

Sadly the planned Linlithgow Christmas Shopping Day next week has had to be cancelled but you can still support local businesses, many of whom are staying open for takeaways, click and collect and local delivery. 

As this year’s Advent Fayre also cannot go ahead this year, One Linlithgow has created a Digital Christmas Market event on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th November. It will feature the usual stallholders and local businesses.

The event will be hosted on, so please keep an eye on the site for updates and on the One Linlithgow Facebook page.

The Digital Christmas Market will only run for the weekend that would usually be the Advent Fayre. If it’s a success more will be planned, so please show your support by making a purchase on Advent Fayre weekend!

This event has been coordinated by One Linlithgow BID and you can read more in the new edition of The Black Bitch Magazine on page 4. Stay up to date with the latest information by following the Linlithgow Digital Christmas Market event on Facebook.

Community Spotlight – Lochside Playgroup

Lochside Playgroup has been providing quality childcare in Linlithgow since 1972 and is an established part of the local community. We are a registered local charity (SCO: 13205) and registered childcare provider (CS2003013238). We provide a caring and stimulating environment for pre-school children (aged 27 months+) to feel safe, secure, and happy. Sessions run Monday to Thursday 9:15am till 11:45am during West Lothian school term-time (a choice of days is dependent on availability). Over the years the Playgroup has been in several different locations around the town and currently operates from the Low Port Centre (opposite Tesco).  We re-opened again after lockdown at the start of November and currently have a few spaces available.

Attending our Playgroup children can benefit by:

  • Developing self-confidence
  • Encouraging greater independence
  • Preparing for nursery
  • Learning new skills
  • Developing social skills
  • Making new friends
  • Establishing routine

……grown-ups also benefit with some well-deserved ‘Me’ time!

For many children, playgroup is their first experience of coming together in a group situation without their parents or carers. Therefore, Lochside Playgroup is an excellent way to bridge the gap before children start nursery by easing their transition into a nursery setting. By spending time away from family and having fun through play, children can begin to explore the world outside their familiar surroundings and develop their confidence and independence.

Every day is different at Lochside; activities, crafts, toys and books are rotated to ensure that there is plenty of variety and stimulation for children’s interests. There are opportunities to explore the great outdoors, with short walks by Linlithgow Loch and visits to the ‘secret garden’ at the Low Port Centre with its pond and mud kitchen! Children also learn and practice important social skills, such as taking turns and listening to instruction, that will aid their play and help with their transition into nursery. They soon recognise their new friends and often meet their future nursery and school friends here!

Parents and caregivers are encouraged to feel involved in the care and education of their child by joining the parent/grandparent volunteer rota and becoming members of the committee.  As a charity, our parents run regular fundraisers throughout the year – anyone can join our ‘Friends of Lochside Playgroup’ Facebook group to find out about upcoming events.

Balancing childcare with other commitments such as other children, work and a never-ending ‘to-do’ list can be difficult. Lochside is uniquely placed as the only playgroup in Linlithgow to offer families 2.5 hours of childcare per day, Monday to Thursday, providing a great balance for families, stay at home parents, caregivers or grandparents. Each session is £8.50 per child including a healthy snack, paid monthly or by term – funded places for 2-year olds are also available for anyone eligible.

For more information, you can follow Lochside Playgroup on Facebook. To register your child on our waiting list, email our play leader Jenny at [email protected].

Latest Covid-19 Guidance

West Lothian is being placed in Level 4 of the Scottish Government Strategic Framework of restrictions from 6pm on Friday 20th November until Friday 11th December. These include the following restrictions:

  • Socialising – No in-home socialising, 6 people/2 households outdoors and in public places. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people counted in a gathering. 
  • Schools – Open with enhanced protective measures in place.
  • Hospitality – Restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars will be closed. Takeaways can still operate as normal, provided food and drink is sold for consumption off-premises.
  • Travel – No non-essential travel into or out of the West Lothian council area and keep journeys within the area to an absolute minimum. Exemptions include essential travel for work, education, caring responsibilities, healthcare, shared parenting, local informal outdoor exercise or essential shopping not available locally.
  • Transport – Avoid car sharing with people outside extended household wherever possible. Avoid non-essential use of public transport.
  • Sports & Exercise – Gyms and swimming pools will close. Outdoor gyms can remain open. and outdoor non-contact sports are permitted for all age groups.
  • Shopping – Only essential retail will remain open.
  • Public buildings – Closed.
  • Leisure & Entertainment – Closed.

Full details about the restrictions for each level can be found in the document Scotland’s Strategic Framework. More details can also be found on level 4 restrictions.
The current advice to stay safe, protect others, save lives is available on the Scottish Government.

Many thanks to everyone who has been so vigilant in following these procedures already. This will help to keep our community safe.