Rivers in the Forth area are set to benefit as volunteer activity restarts for the first time in five months thanks to a £49,200 National Lottery Heritage Fund grant awarded to the Forth Rivers Trust.

The money is part of £6.4m emergency funding announced to help Scotland’s heritage weather the coronavirus storm.

It will also assist in replacing out-of-date IT equipment so staff can work from home as well as make the office safer for those who need to come in.

A spokesman said: “For many volunteers, the opportunity to get outdoors in nature and improve their local rivers at the same time has been a key part of their routine before lockdown.”

Alan Brooks has helped plant 400 trees along the Killandean, a tributary of the River Almond on the edge of Livingston, West Lothian.

The 85-year-old said: “Getting out and meeting new people is really important to me. I have missed the camaraderie of volunteering and the feeling that I am doing something to help nature.”

PICTURE: Scottish international Paul Buchanan fishing in The Almond