The River Almond in Almondell Country Park on a glorious recent day in winter

RiverLife is an ambitious project targeted at reconnecting communities and wildlife with the Almond and Avon rivers and to restore the natural heritage.

The bulk of the project is made up of works including improving fish passes in the River Almond.

Volunteer and training programmes are being co-ordinated and the project, which runs until summer 2020, will work with community groups to see how they want their river improved.

So why is the project under way? The answer is that both rivers have a heavy industrial past including shale mining, mills in the 19th-century and also by significant urbanisation.

The rivers run through West Lothian (including Bathgate and Livingston), Falkirk and City of Edinburgh and projects aim to improve access, education and skills training.

Providing training and volunteering opportunities to communities based around the River Almond and River Avon is one of the project priorities.

A fund totalling £40,000 over four years is available and organisers expect that individual grants will be in the range of £250 to £5,000.

The money is intended to support individuals, organisations, and communities and projects could be from art to practical environmental work.

The criteria also includes improving understanding of the natural heritage along the rivers, surveying habitats, working with young people to inspire the next generation of river custodians and producing materials that enhance the river experience.