Tuesday 23 March | Brianna Berman

For her #100DaysOfGreenNevis project, violinist Brianna Berman is tracking the growth of several trees in her local area and doing a solo litter pick at the same time.

For my 100 Days of Green Nevis challenge, I chose to track the growth of three trees in my area of Glasgow as we transitioned into spring.  To do this, I’ve gone (almost) every day to take a photo of the trees and check in to see how they’re doing.  As the days have gone by, however, I have become interested in the environment that my trees live as well and wanted to learn more about it. 

The trees sit on the outer edge of a bend in the Forth and Clyde Canal. First completed in the late 1700s, the canal cuts across the central belt and was originally used as a means of quickly transporting goods and people across Scotland.  Eventually, use of the canal tapered off in favour of railroads and in 1963, it was closed to through traffic.  These days, the canal is used for walking trails and fishing spots and hosts an abundance of flora and fauna to observe. Notably, there is a wide variety of bird species that live along the canal, such as kingfishers and great herons. I personally have spotted swans and moorhens many times during my daily visits.

While enjoying this little slice of nature within busy Glasgow, it has been hard not to notice the part of the scenery that doesn’t quite seem to fit – the trash.

Wanting to do something more tangible with my Green Nevis challenge than just taking photos, I have decided to (in a Covid-safe way) begin a solo trash-cleaning project on this section of the canal and will be documenting it along with my daily tree photos. 

This challenge has given me the opportunity to appreciate the parts of nature that exist within a city.  It is important to pay attention to our local ecosystems and to think critically about what affects our actions can have on them.  Seeing so much trash littered around the beautiful space that the swans, moorhens, and kingfishers call home forces me to evaluate my own lifestyle and has encouraged me to think about how I can lessen my negative impact on my local environment and on my feathered neighbours who live there.  To my fellow city dwellers, I encourage you to go out and discover your own little pocket of nature to observe and reflect on! I know that I have certainly enjoyed the experience and I am looking forward to watching the environment continue to change and grow during the second half of the challenge. 

From 1 February 2021, Nevis is running #100DaysOfGreenNevis, where our musicians, staff and trustees will each take on a task for 100 days linked to Sustainability. We’d love you to join us, either by following the campaign online to get ideas of what you can do, or to show us you own actions for us to share. If you would like to know more, do get in touch at georgina@nevisensemble.org 

Nevis Ensemble’s #GreenNevis campaign in 2019 won the Environmental Sustainability award at the 2020 Scottish Awards for New Music, and was shortlisted for Best Campaign by Julie’s Bicycle.