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It’s still Winter at Longcraig and a winter of Storms!


We’re now on to the tenth named storm of this winter – quite a lot to put up with! Thankfully, we successfully got all our boats off the water before the storms set in, and even better, we’ve got everything secured down inside or out. Fingers crossed – no damage to report at this stage of the winter!

We’ve also completed the security upgrade, following our building work early last year, by fitting one additional CCTV camera overlooking the new secure boat park, right behind the redeveloped facilities block. So, we can even keep watch from a safe distance!

During the autumn, we’ve had to replace the control cables and the steering cables on our Humber safety boat – obviously a bit of wear and tear but also possibly a by-product of inaction for nearly two years during the pandemic days.

The good news is that our newest Wayfarer dinghy came back from the repairers in early November – hopefully now all spick and span – so we’re starting to get all our assets back available again for the forthcoming season!

2024 Activity Bookings opening soon!


In a few days’ time Longcraig’s online booking calendar will become available.

And, despite inflation at over 11% for a period last year, we’ve held to our commitment for no fees increases this year as we look forward to a whole year uninterrupted by building work, pandemics, equipment breakdowns etc.

For any Groups who are planning a major event or a special event or celebration, that would involve some activities at Longcraig, the window of opportunity to select a specific date and a specific programme closes very soon. So, if you’ve NOT already been in touch – do so urgently!!

The best way to get in touch is through and we’ll take it from there.

This won’t stop you getting a booking, but it might well be that your preferred date(s) are already gone!

Marine wildlife

We’re still seeing a lot of dead seabirds strewn over the coastline, so if you are in the area, or anywhere else on the coast at this time, watch out for them. The advice is to leave them alone – don’t poke or prod, but if you can, notify the RSPB and they will coordinate their removal if necessary. There’s not a great deal that can be done to those poor seabirds falling for Avian Flu, but there’s no point in us spreading it around, or even risking our own human health.

We’ve also had a whale washed up which officials came and cleared away, and more recently, another whale carcass washed ashore near Culross in Fife.

Many of these things are completely natural, but there are things we can all do, to help restrict the events to just ‘natural’ ones rather than things caused by us – Humans – and our impact on marine life.

The biggest collective damage to wildlife, whether huge whales or tiny little barnacles, is our own ‘left-overs’ rubbish and litter which makes its way into the sea. As Scouts, we won’t be dumping too much litter (anywhere) but just watch out for stuff that blows away before you can catch it; watch out for stuff that washes down the roads and drains in heavy rain and makes its way into the sea later.; and watch out for others who are perhaps less careful than we are as Scouts. Beter still, we can ‘do something’ by removing rubbish, especially plastics and fishing lines/nets, from the water or the shoreline – if it is safe to do so – and carefully disposing of it in a more appropriate way.

Everyone is responsible for keeping the seas clean, and in turn for protecting the huge umbers of marine wildlife who are unable to free themselves of entanglement or digested plastics.

Our Journey to Net Zero


What is Net Zero?

The term net zero means achieving a balance between the carbon emitted into the atmosphere, and the carbon removed from it. This balance – or net zero – will happen when the amount of carbon we add to the atmosphere is no more than the amount removed. (source: Energy Saving Trust)

Over the past few weeks, and around the Christmas and New Year holiday break, we have been meeting with the potential providers we previously contacted, along with a few more. This stage of the process is to help us define what we will be able to do, towards a Net Zero target. We will soon be able to take this forward to get formal approval from the funding organisation, and then finally, to get contractors on board to source and fit all the necessary hardware and systems.

What are the plans and outcomes?

  • New or improved heating in changing spaces
  • More hot water for showers
  • Reduced electricity bills
  • Opportunity to extend our operating season.

Is what it’s all about! And, which of these is not to be wanted??

We will be achieving this by a mixture of renewable energy, such as solar panels; heat pumps, which extract any warmth from the surrounding air; and storage methods which will enable us to store energy generated during the day, to be able to use when we need it – in the evenings or shower-time!

We’ll keep you informed over the next few months as we move our way through this process.



To find out what our Type 1 Volunteering is about, please refer back to the December newsletter.

Or please simply contact us at with your preferred meeting date and your contact details.

We’ll take care of the rest!

Do you have any parents in your Group who might be interested in this? Please do let them know!!

February Focus on TYPE 2 Volunteering:

We can also offer a different type of volunteering, which is to provide an opportunity for groups of adults, Scouts, or Explorers to come along during the ‘closed’ season and give us the benefit of your volunteering – this could be just for one event, or it could be – say – once a month for a period. This can count to a number of outcomes, such as DofE volunteering, various scout badges and awards, or simply to lend a hand for a few hours. Things you might get involved in could be checking of buoyancy aids, fixing boats, painting, and decorating some parts of the centre which were not impacted by the recent building improvements, beach protection work, or behind the scenes stuff like preparing our land activity kits.

If you’re interested, please get in touch to make arrangements or discuss further.

Christmas Gifts

First – Thanks to everyone who passed on their best wishes to Longcraig and to our dedicated team of volunteers and supporters over the Christmas period.

A bit belatedly for Christmas, but nonetheless very welcome, was letter just a  few days ago from the Trustees of the Bell’s Nautical Trust advising us they have approved a grant as funding toward replacing
or upgrading our quite old and quite sick tractor at Longcraig – the one that does all the dirty work every day, all day – launching safety boats, moving boats around, heavy lifting and tugging – to name but a few.

A very welcome start for 2024 and we are very grateful to the Bell’s Nautical Trust for their ongoing support by way of this very generous grant.

Peeps in the past

Only a few people will have been around long enough to recognise this photo of a fleet of sailing dinghies at Longcraig – no prizes for guessing as I’m going to tell you!

These dinghies are sail numbers 9, 10, and 11 out of 4 boats that were once the main sailing craft at Longcraig. They are Skua dinghies – a local design based here in Edinburgh and in many cases home-built from kits. We had four, and we know of four others that were based down at Granton harbour in the same era. Only a few bits remain of these fine sailing boats – but noted that the masts were a common fitting with the Wayfarer dinghies which are now the mainstay of our larger dinghy fleet.

This photo was taken around 1968 – 1970 period.