PUFFINS are popping up all over North Berwick thanks to a new initiative by a group of volunteers helping townsfolk during the coronavirus crisis, writes Alasdair Northrop.

Mairi McGinley said the idea came up in a discussion with fellow members of the North Berwick Community Resilience Group.

“We were trying to come up with some way of bringing the community together from a distance,” she said.

“We knew lots of children had been enjoying spotting rainbow pictures and teddy bears in windows whilst on their daily walks, so we thought why not do something a bit more ‘North Berwick’ and give the children (and adults) a new art project to work on.

“My daughter in P5 had been given a puffin picture project by her teacher Alan Connell for their art class, so we knew it was something a lot of the children would be doing already.

“The idea is the same as that of the rainbow pictures – create some puffin themed art work to display in your window.

“If puffins are tricky, then something beach-themed would be fab and if you’re not keen on art projects, then you could display a puffin toy, tea towel or poster.”

Puffins are particularly associated with the island of Craigleith off the shore of North Berwick.

It was once one of Britain’s biggest colonies of puffins, with 28,000 pairs in 1999, but numbers have fallen dramatically in recent years due to the invasion of tree mallow, which chokes up the puffin burrows.