Facilities Upgrade

We are delighted to confirm that the Planning Application for Longcraig’s Facilities Upgrade was approved by City of Edinburgh Council in August, with no exceptions or comments. This has now enabled the architect to continue with a parallel application for a Building Warrant which is now under way. This is a significant step forwards for this very strange year with no ‘on the water’ activities, so we look forward to maintaining the momentum through the next steps over the coming weeks.

That will of course require a second stage of approval from the Regional Executive Committee and we all hope for and encourage their support in this step later in the year.

During the more recent period of lockdown, we have successfully taken advantage of Longcraig being unoccupied, and more importantly, DRY inside! So, we’ve now completed the painting of all the floored areas which are not otherwise finished with other floor coverings, so much of the building is looking fresh and clean!

Temporary Storage Required

Providing that this all falls into place, we will need to remove some of our boats and equipment over the winter, to enable the builders to get access to the bits that are being upgraded. We are, therefore, seeking some temporary storage space to free up some room over this time. It could be to store some boxed up equipment or it could be for some boats on trailers – either way, it needs to be secure, but could be either indoors or outdoors. It might just be a shed; or a loft’ or a storage container; or simply a secure outdoor space which we can access.

If you have, or know of anyone who has, any such space available from around October/November through to end of March, please get in touch

COVID update

Like all other activity centres, Longcraig has had to temporarily stop activities and any meetings with our members, until instructed otherwise. But we have made a start at putting in place some of the necessary Risk Assessments, so we can very soon encourage our staff team to come back down and crack on with some of the ‘winter preparation’ jobs we need to do – yes, completion of Last Winter’s jobs!! Remember that we were closed down in mid-March – like everyone else – which is just the time when we have a peak activity to get all of the building facilities back into operation, and also all of the boating equipment ‘shipshape’.

That’s about as much as we will be able to achieve this year – Longcraig’s activity season comes to an end in the autumn due to shorter evenings and dropping temperatures (both the sea water and the weather round about us!)

But it does give us most of the autumn, winter and early spring to make sure everything is prepared as best it can be for the 2021 season and we welcome you all back then for more fun water activities!

Here is detail about a significant International Day that we can all contribute to and be a part of:


A number of commonly used chemicals have been found to be extremely damaging to the ozone layer. Halocarbons are chemicals in which one or more carbon atoms are linked to one or more halogen atoms (fluorine, chlorine, bromine or iodine). Halocarbons containing bromine usually have much higher ozone-depleting potential (ODP) than those containing chlorine. The man-made chemicals that have provided most of the chlorine and bromine for ozone depletion are methyl bromide, methyl chloroform, carbon tetrachloride and families of chemicals known as halons, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).

The ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from the harmful portion of the rays of the sun, thus helping preserve life on the planet.

The phaseout of controlled uses of ozone depleting substances and the related reductions have not only helped protect the ozone layer for this and future generations, but have also contributed significantly to global efforts to address climate change; furthermore, it has protected human health and ecosystems by limiting the harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth.

32 Years and Healing

The theme for this year celebrates over three decades of remarkable international cooperation to protect the ozone layer and the climate under the Montreal Protocol. It reminds us that we must keep up the momentum to ensure healthy people and a healthy planet.

The Montreal Protocol has led to the phase-out of 99 per cent of ozone-depleting chemicals in refrigerators, air-conditioners and many other products.

The latest Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion completed in 2018, shows that, as a result, parts of the ozone layer have recovered at a rate of 1-3% per decade since 2000. At projected rates, Northern Hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone will heal completely by the 2030s. The Southern Hemisphere will follow in the 2050s and Polar Regions by 2060. Ozone layer protection efforts have also contributed to the fight against climate change by averting an estimated 135 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, from 1990 to 2010.

On this World Ozone Day, we can celebrate our success. But we must all push to keep hold of these gains, in particular by remaining vigilant and tackling any illegal sources of ozone-depleting substances as they arise. We must also wholeheartedly support the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which entered into force on 1 January 2019. By phasing down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are potent climate-warming gases, this amendment can avoid up to 0.4°C of global temperature rise by the end of the century, while continuing to protect the ozone layer. And by combining action to phase-down HFCs with energy efficiency improvements in the cooling industry, we can achieve bigger climate benefits.

LONGCRAIG – Can you help us operate the ‘Longcraig of the Future’ after Lockdown?

We’ve had good success over the summer months in finding and securing additional volunteers to help develop our youth programme, which is great news given the difficulties encountered this year by everyone.

But we do need more!

Water Skills

Much of our programme is water based so we always have a need for people with water skills. But just a strong interest is sufficient – we can help train you if necessary and we can offer you the opportunity to gain experience to move to the next level.

As well as the more obvious skills related to any type of water activity, we also seek folks with expertise in certain key areas, notably:

Media and promotional generation

We are seeking someone with digital creative skills who could help us create eye-catching material to cover both recruitment and to attract new customers once we are fully open again. These would be both digitally generated material, which could be printed, web-based and also for use on social media and other platforms.

If you have a skill or an interest in this, please get in touch.

COVID support

When Longcraig opens, we may well have to do things slightly differently, as part of our response to help keep the virus at bay. One possibility is that we may well need a few more people around the Centre when we are operating, to help with potential cleansing, disinfecting, preparation and stow away, not to mention perhaps having to keep the scouts and guides at safe distances as well! We anticipate these will be very much shore-based roles, and will provide what may become a very necessary extra part of the running of an activity centre in the future.  

If you have a skill or an interest in this, please get in touch.

A First for Longcraig: (in a year of lockdown)

The first sightings ever in the UK  of a Scopoli’s Shearwater were seen one day in August off Longcraig pier. Hundreds of twitchers descended on Queensferry and Longcraig in particular, waiting to get a unique view of this unique event.

Looking for programme ideas over the winter?

Whilst we are unable to offer any activities during the winter months, we can off to help support your programmes at your meeting places once it is possible to get started with face to face Scouting again. Like many things, we would appreciate having sufficient notice to plan these things, but we can provide a short of longer programme item for one of your meetings over the winter or spring terms. If you are interested in exploring this option, please do get in touch as you start to plan your own programmes so we can discuss and review what you would like to cover and what we can offer to share our experience with your Young People. 

Permit Assessments – a reminder!

Whist we plan Longcraig’s return to active Scouting, we are aware that a number of people may have a need for permit assessment (or even for early stages of permits)

If you fall into that category, please get in touch. Whilst we make the bigger wider plans, we also need to plan in appropriate assessment days, whether that is later this year (if we can) or into 2021. Remember too that there is some grant funding available to help with any training or assessments for activity permits (not just water ones!) so if you have any questions or queries please get in touch and we will do what we can to help.

Everyone leading a water activity for Scouts MUST hold an appropriate Activity Permit for that activity and location!

Longcraig Active Support Unit