Park life: Windrush Drive goes green

Posted on 26/02/2014 by


A site previously earmarked for a new primary school on Edinburgh’s waterfront has been transformed into temporary community parkland thanks to a £50,000 investment.

The Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund and Edinburgh City Council have supplied funding, enabling the derelict two-hectare site on Windrush Drive, Western Harbour in Leith to be turned into temporary green space. This will be available for community use until such time as plans to build the primary school are confirmed at some point in the future.

What was an unsightly area last year has now been transformed – new top soil, trees, grassland and a wildflower meadow have been created to improve the local landscape for both local residents and the new community to enjoy.

Councillor Adam McVey, who helped spearhead the project, said: “Greening such a large site in Western Harbour has already improved the amenity for local residents and made it more likely new residential developments will be brought forward on neighbouring gap sites. The cooperation between the groups involved and consultation with local residents has made this one of the most effective projects of this kind and it can, and should, be replicated throughout Edinburgh.”

The greening initiative has been made possible by Port of Leith Housing Association temporary leasing the site from Forth Ports and taking on future maintenance, with Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust carrying out initial landscaping and sourcing funding.

Port of Leith Housing Association Chief Executive Keith Anderson said: “For many residents, seeing the derelict land day in and day out was becoming an eyesore. By transforming it into an area they can use and enjoy can make a real difference to their lives.”

Charlie Cumming, Project Manager at Edinburgh and Lothians Greenspace Trust, said: “Windrush Drive is the third temporary greening site undertaken by ELGT with CSGN funding in recent years. Other sites were located in Craigmillar and Granton and each of them has brought stalled development areas into positive management and accessible greenspaces for local people.”

Port of Leith  photographed by Alan Peebles