Hi, my name is Laura, and I'm an RSPB volunteer.

It was my first day volunteering at an event with RSPB Glasgow, and I certainly picked a good day to do it. We were part of the Apple-fest run by the Partick Housing Association as part of the Glasgow Wildlife Garden Festival. I live just down the road from the project, but had no idea that such a fantastic wee garden was tucked away down a side street in Partick. The community in the flats around the garden have put a huge amount of work into making a beautiful space, with benches, raised beds and greenhouses. I was incredibly jealous of the size of some of the sunflowers they had managed to grow!

It was lovely afternoon, spent chatting to locals who came to investigate the garden and take part in a range of activities, including making apple chutney and crumble. I suspect the smell of cooking chutney was the main draw for people from the streets...

Local Partick residents making apple crumble with Victoria Bate from the Partick Housing Association (credit H Grist)

I had a chance to learn how to press apples to make fresh apple juice. I also had a sneaky lesson in how to make special home-brewed cider, but I'm keeping that recipe to myself! Robert, a support officer from the Partick Housing Trust, was absolutely fascinating and an expert in horticulture. He explained to me how you tell whether an apple is from the UK or from a warmer climate by whether there is russetting (those rough, orange marks on the skin) around the well where the stem comes out. Apparently it is due to all the rain collecting in the dip in the sunny UK weather!

Robert Louth pours me a cup of fresh apple juice straight off the press (credit H Grist)

Definitely a winning first day, and I'm already looking forward to helping out at the bushcraft event tomorrow...